Friday, March 18, 2011

Okinawa, Japan March 2011

We left Thursday Feb 28th for Okinawa Japan. A very long flight with layovers in San Francisco and Tokyo. From the time we left our home until we arrived at the home of Martin and Marie it was 25 hours.After some much needed sleep the first thing on the agenda was a birthday party for 8 yr old Ruth. What a bunch of screaming kids. Grandma Jennifer decorated the cake-in pink of course. The following day was Sunday and that afternoon we headed to the beach for Ruth’sbaptism. While there we saw a warning sign for poisonous snakes. Army took note. If you are bitten by this snake you must leave the island as a 2nd bite is fatal.

We met Dan Brock(counselor in Branch Presidency) & his wife Sarah
(Primary Pres) They know Philip Todd and his wife. Of course we have the Brocks sending a big hello with Army in hand.

Army was able to have his picture taken with 2 snakes inside a bottle of sake. It’s for good luck. He was just glad to be at the side of the sake and not in the bottle.

We visited the Shurijo Castle and then stopped for dinner at McDonald’s at the cost of $45.00 with Martin, Marie, Paul and

Jennifer & the 3 kids. Menu does not include as much as here. Big Mac’s were OK. Chicken Nuggets and fries are always the same. Everyone was happy but Paul’s pocketbook.

Army was able to spend an hour at gymnastics class with Ruth.

The staff at the Pineapple park really liked Army and were so excited to have a picture taken with him.

We visited Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium. Best Aquarium I have ever been to. Army along with Jennifer are seen inside a shark’s jaw. Must have been a huge shark to eat these two. We then spent the night at Okuma- a recreational

facility for military people and families. Paul and Marie did the buggy bike with Leah on the front seat. There is a golf course, put-put golf, all kinds of water activities. You can also rent cabins, tents, camping equipment etc depending on your needs and wants. We stayed in rooms with beds and showers.

Over all we had a great week celebrating with friends and seeing a part of the world we never thought we would see. Army did not look forward to the long flight home but was thankful (along with Paul and Jennifer) to make it home about 48 hours before the earthquake and not be stuck for who knows how long or where.. It is easy to see how missionaries fall in love with the people they serve. After 10 days we fell in love with Japan.

(Martin Hansen worked here at Missionary Medical. He fell in love with Marin-France while they were both attending LDS Business College. Marie grew up in France. When Jennifer started working at Missionary Medical, Marie was working in England. Martin would ask how to say things in French and Paul would help him. This started a friendship that has lasted. Martin and Marie are both converts, served missions (Martin in Japan & Marie in France, and their families do not show interest in their Mormon religion. They adopted us as their Mormon Grandparents for the kids.)

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