Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Jayce is Certified!

Our Youth Center here in Okinawa is awesome.  The director Mr. Rhinehart does amazing things for the kids.  This past October he was able to provide a scuba certification class to the youth.  Since Jason and I are now certified we jumped at the chances to allow Jayce that opportunity.  He had to mow the lawn a few times and do some other chores to pay for half of the fee.

He had fun through the process.  He was nervous for a few of the tasks (so was I).  I think it was good that he was in the class without his parents, so he would tough it out through the scary parts.  He did awesome and is now certified.  He finished up his certification while my parents were visiting.  Here are a few pictures of Jayce the Scuba Diver.

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Tired after the swim.

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The equipment is pretty heavy.  At one of the dives Jason had to help Jayce out of the water, he was tired.  This time he made it out on his own.

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The jealous bystanders.

Looking at these pictures makes me want to dive.  I really hope I can get in one or two more dives before we leave.  I just need to find a willing babysitter to watch Jude near by so I can nurse before and after dives.  Any locals interested?

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

A Day to Remember the Sacrifices

My parents arrived hours before a big typhoon had us locked down in our housing for more than a day.  It was avery long and boring way to start off their trip to Japan.  Unless winds moving cars around is exciting?  After we were cleared to leave our house we headed out to see the damage done and we ended up at the seawall to check out the ocean and get the wiggles out.  It was still very windy and the waves were crashing more than usual.  Jason calls this our lion picture.

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The next day we headed out to visit some of the historical sites.  First we visited the Japanese Navy Underground Headquarters.  

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Entrance to the Japanese Navy Underground Headquarters (photo from Okinawa Hai)

Dug into a hillside outside of Naha city is one of the islands most somber reminders of the bloody Battle of Okinawa. In 1944, the Japanese Navy Corps of Engineers dug a 450 meter tunnel complex to serve as an underground headquarters.  Towards the end of the battle, as things began to get hopeless, the commanding officer and 175 of his staff committed suicide in the tunnels. In 1970, most of the tunnels were restored and opened up for the public.  (OKINAWAHAI)

The semi-circular tunnels hardened by post and concrete were 450 meter in length at that time. They served as underground headquarters to endure the American bombardment and long drawn out fighting and could sustain 4000 soldiers. After the war, tunnel remained untouched for many years. The remains of those who died were collected and a 300meter portion centered on the commander's office was renovated and opened to the public.(OKINAWA STORY)

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Photo from Okinawa Hai

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Here we are descending into the tunnels.

It was cool to see some of the history of the war and very sad.  This poor island went through a lot during the battle, it was pretty much decimated.  The pictures and artifacts on display helped educate me on the battle and tore my heart.  It is wonderful to see how the island and the people can recover from something like that.  The Okinawans are very warm and kind to those of us visiting from the US.  There are definitely those here that wish for the US to withdraw, but we have had a wonderful experience here.  One of the best of my life.  The human race is amazing when it chooses to be.

Friday, May 17, 2013

A Long, Long Time Ago

A long time ago (last year) my parents visited and we had lots of fun.  Here is a re-cap of our adventure, so you can see all the cool things in Japan you are missing.  One night we  BBQ-ed at the beach and enjoyed the sunset.  It was a perfect evening.  The boys ran off to explore and we hung out by the water.

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Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Jude Update

I thought I had better get some new pictures of Jude posted before Grandparents start calling!

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Just over a week old.  First Outing to the Beach.

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First Bath,  just over 2 weeks old.

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2.5 weeks old.

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About 1month old.

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Almost 1 month old.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

The Tambo Fest!

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First of all, I am sorry I haven't posted much lately.  I rarely have two free hands these days and our internet has been painfully slow.  This post took me several days to get up!

 Golden Week is the week where there are 4 national holidays, including Children's Day.  Children's Day is to celebrate the happiness of children.  It was originally Boy's Day and carp flags are traditionally flown throughout the week.

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Jayce really got into it after a week start.

The Tambo Fest or Mud Festival was held during Golden Week.  In Japanese Tambo means rice field.  In the community of Kin a farmer allows his field to be used for the festivities.  Basically the kids play in the mud, swing, slide, swim, whatever they can come up with.  Jason hated every second of it, he later convinced the kids that there was manure of one kind or another in the mud.  He told me it was a bad idea.  I want to know what happened to my country boy - do you think he will still like country life?

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Charlotte was hesitant but jumped in and enjoyed gettin' muddy.

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Grahm my usual wild one was hesitant, cold, and decidedly not in love with gettin' muddy.

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Jason declared Tennyson the brightest because her toes were almost too muddy for her tastes.

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Muddy hair, the black moss was almost impossible to wash out.  Several rounds of shampoo and more conditioner than normal to try and comb it all out with a little screaming for fun.

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As we were leaving we noticed these worms on Grahm's back.  Gave Jason and I the heebee jeebees so bad we both took a shower too.  My google research says they are blood worms - midge fly.

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The muddy bunch and one vampire.

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Trying to get clean enough to get into our awesome van - because it would be awful if it got dirty (just ask Jason.   I only cared about the baby's car seat).