Yesterday we arrived in Iwadeyma for a three-day stay. I am struck by the contrast between the landscape and the people between all three of our areas where we have traveled to date.
I (along with most of the world) tend to think of foreigners as a country of sameness, blurry and indistinct as individuals. This program is so valuable because despite the language barrier we discover we are all the same, with all the same hopes, dreams, and aspirations.
My host family for Iwedeyama has a modern house but retains the Japanese traditions. Nanri, the father, dotes on his dog Andy (named after Andy Williams) a large, lovable golden retriever with the biggest, saddest eyes I have ever witnessed on a dog. Mikiko, the mother, is a beautiful, quiet woman with a great smile. She is a wonderful cook who makes the most delicious breakfasts.
This morning we dined on eel (unagi) and dango, a special treat for my birthday. I’m not sure how many birthdays I'm allowed in Japan, but I am certainly taking advantage of the time zone difference to allow myself for he maximum gift giving!