This past weekend I had the chance to visit old friends in nearby Hamamatsu. I first met the Saotome family in Bryn Mawr, PA. I used to teach Atsuko English almost every week at the Borders in Wynnewood – we had fun learning English! Now the family is back in Hamamatsu and Dr. Saotome is busier than ever working as a doctor (cardiologist, actually). I also saw other friends I met in Bryn Mawr, Kate and her husband Jouji who are newlyweds and also living in Hamamatsu.

Saotome family on left, Kate and Jouji on the right side

Girls’ shot (me, Mayu, Atsuko, and Kate)

We went out for yakiniku for dinner – you get a plate of raw meat and veggies…

and then you fry the meat and veggies on the grill at your table. This is one of my favorite things to eat in Japan, although it’s originally from Korea.

I went out to do karaoke the other night with some girls. I didn’t stay that long but it was a lot of fun. Here in Japan you get a private room, two mikes, and you can sing whatever you like.

Keiko and Mary

Jenn and Stephanie singing their hearts out 🙂

Mary and I have been watching the Oh girls for the past few days. It’s been interesting having two little girls living with us. They make me laugh a lot and they are so adorable!

Mikaela and Hannah eating dinner with us at KFC

Guess what? I am going to the Passion Conference in Tokyo next Monday! I am going with 14 other people and it’s going to be awesome. The artists with include Matt Redman and Chris Tomlin and the speakers will be Louie Giglio, Francis Chan, and others. I will be sure to post photos and videos of that next week.

I am really enjoying my English classes for adults and kids. More requests for English classes are trickling in and I am grateful to be able to teach about four English classes a week. One thing I am so thankful for is the ability to speak Japanese – it adds a lot to the classes. While there is a risk that the students will start speaking too much Japanese, for me it’s been great to be able to speak Japanese because after classes ends I can chat with the children, the children’s mothers, and my adult students freely. Most Japanese are very shy to speak English but when they can speak Japanese they have so much to say! Yet another thing I am so thankful for these days!