Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Japan steals our hearts

When we were at WWU, which seems like a century ago, I worked as an International Peer Advisor for the Asia University America Program. In a nutshell, my job was to be the planner of fun for a group of 10 or so Japanese students who came to Bellingham to study and experience American life. If organizing picnics and ice skating expeditions and birthday parties isn't right up my alley, I don't know what is. It was a fantastic job, and Jan Michael & I both have happy memories of those spring and summer months we spent with the students.

Now, fast-forward 14 years (just shy of a century, ha!) to a reunion with Akihiro, who came to visit again, this time with his sweet wife Hiromi and their 3 adorable boys. What a treat to have them with us and to be able to reminisce and re-connect. They were here for 4 much-too-short days, and we started to miss them the minute they backed out of the driveway. Fortunately for us, we won't have to wait another 14 years to see them again because, if all goes according to plan, the two of us are headed to their neck of the woods (and corner of the planet!) next year.

Planning what to do was a breeze because they're outdoor & nature lovers just like we are, so on their first full day in the Pacific Northwest, we took a trip to the reptile zoo, followed by a stop at the river, followed by ice cream cones. Ice cream crosses all age and language barriers, it seems :)
About 5 minutes after I took this, Haruki had stripped to his undies and was wading in the shallows. He would have stayed there all day, splashing around, but we had ice cream to eat!
Akihiro gives a hearty two thumbs down to root beer and thinks we're crazy for drinking it. We tried to change his mind by making floats, but he would not be persuaded :)
Next up: hiking at Franklin Falls and... more ice cream!

1 comment:

akihiro said...

You were a best International Peer Adviser. We have happy memories. That’s why I came back.

Replile zoo and the river were so good! Usually I don’t like spider. But I liked it just at that time. But I could not like root beer. Maybe I should have drank root beer floats. Please make it in Japan 