Please forgive the tense of this post. Many of these things happened days ago but some are still happening. I go in and out of present and past tense quite a bit.
Day 1: Provision and Kindness (28 08 22)
Kindness is best when taken with everything! I would like to thank Krystal, the previous tenant of my apartment, for her kindness.
Here are the events in sequential order. After spending a month in Chicago with my family I flew back to Phx. (Because I’m teaching through Phoenix Sister Cities Teach Abroad Program, I have to both leave and return to Phx.) I arrived in Phx on Saturday and was set to leave the following day.
I learned my first lesson in the universal use of military time after being jolted from sleep by my phone early Sunday morning. Originally, I thought that my flight was due to leave Phx at 7 pm. However, I learned that the tickets would have said 15:00, if that were the case. So yea, messages started rolling in around 4am. Thank God I went to sleep early.
Super appreciative to my Tee Tee! She hooked up a sweet deal for me at Hyatt Place near the airport. I was only 10 minutes away. Praise God! I made it about 20 mins later than I was supposed to be there, but I made it! In a state of half sleep I was really trusting and relying on Him.
From Phx we flew to San Francisco and from San Francisco we flew to Osaka. Two days of nearly nonstop travel. From Osaka there was a two hour bus ride to Himeji, the city where I will live.
Upon arriving, every desire that I had was superseded by my need to bathe. There were two things that needed to happen so that I could do that. First, I needed to clean. I’ve been fantasizing about cleaning my new place for months. Why? Because, as my mom likes to say, a clean house is an illustration of your mind (Steanie interpretation). A clean home or living space means clear head.
Here is where the second most awesome Krystal, after my sister Crystal, comes in. Originally, I was supposed to be in a different apartment but there was some water damage from the air conditioning unit. Thankfully, God was working it out for me. He knew my desire to have a clean and empty apartment (think minimalist). He also knew all the things I would need to accomplish this immediately upon arriving. And guess what?! Krystal left EVERYTHING! And by that I don’t mean trash. I mean everything that would be essential and useful for me, the next tenant.
Cleaning supplies galore, hangers, laundry detergent, fabric softener, laundry basket, dishes, pots, pans, plastic drawers, bath salts, everything that I needed. It was while I was looking around my apartment that it really sunk in that God uses people to be a blessing to us. Krystal was all that and more. I’m very grateful.
Day 2: No wifi (28 08 23)
I went to sleep feeling disoriented. Is it normal to still feel as if you’re being shaken? I still felt like I was on the plane. I stayed awake as long as I could the night before but eventually I slept. As a result, I slept for a few hours and woke up twice. Once at 2 am. Finally at 5am.
The bus was set to leave the complex at 8:10 am. Above all else I really wanted to talk to my mom. But…you guessed it. I had no wifi. This begins a test period for communication abroad. Learning the hows and whens. Time zones and fees are important to observe. There are sweet spots in the day that must be respected.
For instance, right now it’s Wednesday, 1:31 pm here in Himeji, but it’s Tuesday, 11:32 pm in Chicago. This is what you call a “sweet spot” that I mentioned earlier. I’ll be sure to write about it once I’ve gotten it all figured out.
Ok. I think the timezone bit was a tangent. Wifi. Ok. So after a day of intense paperwork, intense because it was all in Japanese (more on that later), the bus took me back to my apartment. Here is another instance where kindness was key!
There was a note left on my door by Jessica. She offered to allow us to use her wifi until we got our own. I was so excited to talk to my mom that, combined, we sent 102 text messages! Bruh! Why she was up at 2am, I still don’t know but I’m appreciative.
The amazing thing about Jessica, and a clear indication that my God provides, is that her apartment is directly beneath mine. Which means that I can access her wifi from my apartment! This is clutch! I’ll use it until I can get my own. Hashtag favor is real and mine. Hashtag goodness and mercy follow me. Hashtag happy.
Day 3: Banking (28 08 24)
Another early morning. Up at 5:30am.
I almost forgot another blessing. Her name is Jessany. She walked me through turning my air conditioners on. When I arrived, it was hot as firrrrrre! The heat had been left on for who knows how long. And while I can recognize hiragana and katakana, I can’t read it and comprehend. Yet! She also walked me through using my water heater for showering and bathing.
Anywho, she’s awesome.
The bus came at the same time. We went back to city hall and met with our supervision to finish completing paperwork. With Mr. Kamata’s help I set up a bank account. I’m grateful that I didn’t have to do this alone. If I’d accepted the other Teach abroad position with the JET program I think I would have.
In short, nobody can tell me anything contrary to what I’ve come to know are facts about the only true and living God.
I’ll leave you with a picture of the first lunch that I bought. For ¥520 I got all of this. From right to left: Top right-eggplant and a tofu-y bready thing. Rice. Miso soup. Egg filled with awesomeness. Salad. Spaghetti. Meat?