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A day off! (Fri., Sep. 28th, 2001)

 Friday, September 28, 2001 (click to see all posts from this day)
  • Stations: None
  • Other places visited: Nearby Temple
  • "Prayed" at: My Room!
  • Slept at: Hamanako Youth Hostel, Araimachi
  • Kilometers covered: 0
  • Total kilometers so far: 281.2
 The Old Tokaido

Well, I've walked--sometimes a little, sometimes a lot--every day since September 12th. So today, I took a day off and caught up on my website, my e-mail, and my trip planning.

Oh, I still walked--about 4 kilometers round-trip to a restaurant for dinner. But mainly I stayed "home" and did some work (and took a little mid-day nap for an hour!).

I woke around 6:45. At 7:00, it sounded like WW III was beginning. The school next to the youth hostel has a cannon, and they fired it to announce the beginning of their annual Sports Day. After that, it was starting guns, cheering, bullhorns, and applause all day long. I picked a great day to stay home and write!

But I caught up on my Logbooks, went back and made a few badly-needed revisions, and made headway on the Journals backlist. I also made several hours' progress on creating a Site Index; look for it early next week.

Around 4:00 I headed out for dinner. No bag, no camera, no hat, no stick. Just your prayer requests. At the bottom of the hill, I met another teacher! Before yesterday, I hadn't had any long conversations with a native English speaker since I left Tom and Yuka's on September 10th. Now, I've had long chats two days in a row! And with teachers besides.

Peter is in his mid-30's. He's from Minnesota, and has been teaching here for a few years. My friend Tomoko--with whom I stayed in Shizuoka on September 18th--is one of the best English speakers I've ever taught. And she always says that her inspiration was a good junior high teacher. Well, now I've met one.

In the time we talked, dozens of students walked past. And virtually every one said "Hello" or "Goodbye" to him. Some stopped to joke, or to take his hand. He is clearly well-loved. It was touching to see. He goes home once a year, and travels a bit on holidays, but it's plain to see that basically this guy is 100% dedicated to his students and the small-town community in which he lives. It's not just a job, it's a calling. Gambatte, Peter-san.

Interestingly, Peter knows Mr. Ichiro Asada, whom I met yesterday. Small world indeed.

Well, I moved on as the sun set, and stopped at a nearby temple to say your prayers. Then I found a restaurant for dinner. Of the 40+ people in the place, I was the only one who was 40+. Or even 20+. The place was packed with high school students, mostly from Kosai city (which one kid referred to as kusai, which means "stinky." Har, har, har.)

I stopped in a bookstore for some simple Japanese study books, then came back here to write.

Not an exciting day, but a great one. A badly-needed rest-and-catch-up day.

Tomorrow? To Toyohashi--and beyond!

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Posted October 2, 2019

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