November in a Nutshell

Hey guys! It's been a while. I've been in Japan for more than 4 months now (crazy, right?) and so much has happened. Like a lot of things. So I'm going to catch you up with what has been going on with me for the past few months. I'll start with November, because I didn't really talk much about what has happened since then. I'm going to make a post for each month I've been here, so the posts aren't too long. But I'm sorry in advance if they are a little lengthy.


November was a pretty eventful month for me, as I started getting used to life at the Asian Rural Institute. In my first few weeks here, I started finding my place in the community. One way is by branching out. So here at ARI, they have a choir called MINNGOS, and it's made up of staff members, participants, volunteers, and members of the local community. They have practice every Tuesday and since music is one of my passions, I decided to try it out, even though I can't really sing. The first time I went was a blast. Everyone was super nice, and very talented. After my first time there I started going regularly, and I got to perform with them at their concerts. Actually, the second week that I was there, MINNGOS had a concert where we performed with a Japanese Gospel artist, Miwa Shioya. She had an amazing voice!  It was a pretty awesome show too!

After the Concert. Miwa Shioya is in Pink 
There were some other pretty awesome things that happened also. One of them is that I got to record a song for a CD. Every year at ARI, we produce a CD called "Voices of ARI" with songs performed by staff members, program participants, and volunteers. It's really cool! Since I play trumpet, I decided to record a solo piece, "Sukiyaki" by Kyu Sakamoto which is a Japanese song from the 1960's. The experience was really great, and the finished product turned out really well. I'll have to upload the audio tracks so you all can hear them. This community is seriously talented.

This section is already pretty long, so I'm going to list out some other events that happened in November:
  •  Snow Day and Accident - About a week after I'd been in Japan, it started snowing one day, and it was pretty heavy. That morning I was working in the kitchen, and when we saw the snow outside, I and the other kitchen members decided to go outside and play in the snow a bit. Unfortunately, it didn't end well for me. As we were playing, I decided to grab snow off of a glass table so that I could make a giant snowball. I ended up sliding across the table and breaking the glass, cutting my thumbs in the process. I ended up having to go to the hospital, but there were no stitches, fortunately. 
  • Baking Cakes - One of the staff members had a class on baking cakes, and me and one of the program participants, a Nun from Kenya named Conso, made a peanut cake together. She was very patient with me, especially with my messed up thumbs, and the caked turned out to be pretty great.
  • Led Bible Study - The second week I was there, I led bible study for the first time. I was pretty nervous about it, but I managed to make it through. I talked about comparing yourself to others, and how we should focus on the gifts that God has given us. That is something I struggle with constantly, and I was glad that I could share with people about it.
  • Did Forestry Work - For our community event in November, we all went to do forestry work for a day in Bato Forest, which is a little less than an hour away from ARI. We spent the day making a path, which is in NO way easy work. At all. We spent the day digging  and making steps in the dirt, chopping logs, and placing them in a way for people to easily traverse the steep hills in the forest. It was really challenging, but fun.
That's all for November.
Again, thank you all for  being patient with me about these posts. I really appreciate it, as well as your support for me while I am here overseas. God Bless!


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