I enjoyed my 32nd birthday this past Saturday – I intended to spend it alone but God had some other plans. Since my favorite place in the world is the beach, I decided to go to a quiet, lovely beach called Utsumi by train for the day. The weather was absolutely perfect and I had plenty of time to read, pray, reflect, and thank God for all the things He has done in my life. It felt great to breathe in the salty air and watch the ocean waves. I especially gave thanks for the chance to be in Japan again and all the wonderful people I have met during this past year in Nagoya. One of my friends emailed me with a birthday message and I replied to her saying that I was at Utsumi beach for the day.  She wrote back, “So are we!” She and her family were there for the day as well and before I knew it, she picked me up at the station and we enjoyed a sweet birthday sushi dinner together with her husband and 5-year old daughter. After dinner they sang “Happy Birthday” to me, took me back to the station, and I headed back to Nagoya. It really was so nice to not have to celebrate my birthday alone, although I wouldn’t have minded either way.

Right now I am in Tokyo. Tokyo is truly crazy. The first few hours I felt like a little kid, enjoying the bright lights and the overwhelming crowds. However, by the second day I thought to myself, “I couldn’t live here. It’s just too crazy.” It is so fun to visit Tokyo, though. I am happy to be reunited with friends and be able to spend time with them.

I am headed back to Nagoya tomorrow by bus. It took nine hours to get here from Nagoya, and I hope it doesn’t take that long to get back. It is actually supposed to be a six hour ride but since it is Golden Week the traffic is horrible. I don’t mind at all – I brought plenty of study materials, books to read, and other things to keep me busy. I don’t mind travelling at all (in fact, I love it and I can sleep just about anywhere). In fact, I got a great view of Mount Fuji on the way here -it was truly breathtaking to see. Well, that’s all for now. I will post photos later of my week.

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