Sunday, May 10, 2015

Golden Week, Akita, Zoo

My sister's husband found this oldie.  It shows me and two of my older sisters getting a taste of Japanese culture.  Our brother was stationed in Okinawa and sent us some gifts.  What a brother!  Little did I know .....

This past week was "Golden Week".  It is a celebration for the Showa Emperor, Greenery Day and Children's Day.  The banks and post offices have been closed.  The factory at Kakuda was closed too, so we did not have to go out there for English.

Many people put these fish flags out to commemorate their children.  This shows how many people are in the family.  The big fish are for the parents and the small ones for the children.

The Tagajo Ward celebrated by having a "Garden Party" barbeque at the Sakamoto's.  We stopped by for a little while after our staff meeting and on the way to Akita.

Love Elder M's shirt "Trust Me, I'm a Super Hero".  It's the Marvel Characters.  He asked if I know Captain America.  Well, yeah!

One of the reasons missionaries love serving in Tagajo!

When we had transfers last week, we lost two elders and picked up two.  We were expecting to pick up another sister for a three some at Tagajo, but as things worked out, we ended up losing our sisters.  Now I am the only Tagajo sister!

A sister serving in Akita was supposed to transfer, but she became ill with appendicitis and was unable to travel.  One of our Tagajo sisters went to Akita to go help her companion.  (The other two went to Hachinohe.)  The logistics were a bit complicated!  The Smiths and the senior couples have taken turns going up to help as well.  One of the young sisters spends the night in the hospital and then trades off with a senior sister during the day.

One of these sisters just arrived from the MTC.  She's had an interesting first week!

We were happy when Sister C was able to begin eating again.

And the Akita members have been very helpful and thoughtful!

This is a view of the rice fields outside the hospital.  They are flooded to prepare for planting.

The sister's refrigerator was not working, so Sister A helped Elder A move it outside.

She's awesome!  The elders had an extra refrigerator to move into its place.

Akita's big summer festival involves a parade of people balancing these lanterns.  We found this little model near our hotel.

This is a photo from the festival I found online.  People carry / balance these large poles with lanterns

On our way back to Sendai, we stopped at the beach!

It was mostly deserted.  The sand has piled up high around these empty buildings.

But we enjoyed a little bit of beach time!

Don't they say, never turn your back to the ocean?

On our way home, we noticed how fast the trees have gone from bare to blossoms to green!  Living in a place with four seasons is very interesting!

This beautiful bush is right at the mission home.

And the neighbors have an amazing assortment of flowers.

They're building a new subway station and offices up the street from us.  We had heard that it was supposed to open in the spring, but now they're saying December.  When this opens, it will make transportation for the missionaries to the mission home so much easier.

On Saturday morning, we walked up to visit the zoo.  It's just up the street from the mission home.

Lots of animals and cute kids!

And, Babe Ruth came here once.  It used to be a baseball park and he hit a home run!

So, they made a statue for him.

The Babe and Me!

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