Thursday, September 18, 2008

The past 2-3 days...






We've been pretty busy the past couple of days and I haven't had alot of time to blog. We spent the 2 days after the reunion just hanging out around town with just the 5 of us...I am getting plenty of opportunities to brush up on my Japanese and am starting to get the hang of it... One of the days we were by ourselves, we took the monorail to the airport because Michael had forgotten his backpack at customs while we were collecting our luggage. We prayed God would help us find it since it contained his homework and his Nintendo DS :) The monorail was fun once we figured out how to buy tickets and were on our way....We arrived at the airport and I asked various airport personnel how to find the lost and found and eventually, we found the place where his backpack was stored! We were so grateful. The one thing I LOVE about the Japanese people is that they are so VERY helpful and go out of the way to help. That's not always the case in the U.S. (although, my appreciation for our country has grown since I've been here) We also took a trip to the Shurijo Castle, which is an old Okinawan Castle pretty close to where we are staying.

Yesterday, Typhoon Sinlaku made its way back toward Okinawa and we had lots and lots of heavy rain. We didn't want to be stuck in the hotel, so we took our umbrellas and walked around in the rain anyway ~ We visited a street nearby called "Heiwa Dori" (Peace Street) where there are various local vendors selling souvenirs, fruite, seafood, etc. Our boys have been having so much fun exploring with us.... they are truly the best travelers around and have truly embraced the culture... even eating some of the local favorites like Okinawa Soba, Goya Chips, and Taco Rice.

Today, we visited the Okinawa Peace Memorial Park & Himeyuri Park.... it was very educational, although, somewhat depressing as we saw the reality of what war was like in the 1940s during WWII. Most people probably don't know that the island of Okinawa and its civilians suffered great loss during the invasion of the US troops here in 1945. My mom was only 19-20 years old at the time. Seeing the many faces of lost lives(mainly Okinawa civilians)made me think about how each of them had dreams, hopes, families... It is truly a sad, sad story. The battle of Okinawa lasted 90 days and most of the southern part of the island was completely destroyed and sadly the lives lost were mainly civilians (200,000). There were also US soldiers that lost their lives as well as Japanese military men. Sadly, many of the lost lives were civilians committing suicide before being captured due to the Japanese governement brainwashing them into thinking that if they were captured by the US soldiers, they would be treated terribly and also they were told that they need to never surrender and die for their country. Some of the pictures we saw and stories we read were so graphic and so sad that I wondered how our boys were doing with it. Noah was especially interested in reading some of the testimonies from the survivors. We had a chance to talk about it a little and they all expressed how scary life must have been during those times. I think it was important for us to see.

After this visit, we went to the southern end of the island and took some great pictures! The battery in my camera hadn't been charged since we left, so I couldn't take very many pictures but my sister promised me some of her copies.

Tomorrow we go to the beach! I'll post more pictures then!

5 comments:

Thru a Tori-lens said...

I'm so glad you're able to keep us all posted on your journey! We can't wait until you're back home with us, though! June is excited to meet "Baby Anna" and knows that you went on an airplane to go get her. Can't wait to read more... we love you!

Lisa said...

Love the fact that your boy can see where their mom is from and they are also getting a history lesson as well.

Steve n Coco said...

Thanks for the update! Keep us posted...

Karmen and Greg said...

Great pictures ... great adventures ... great memories are being made with your family. I love reading about your trip. Such IMPORTANT lessons your children are learning too! Still praying for you and your family ... can't wait for the next step when you see Anna!

Karmen

Melinda said...

What wonderful memories you and your family are making! It must be wonderful to get to spend time with your sister and her family! Counting down the days until Anna is in your arms!