The Little Things

There are a couple of amazing things that have happened lately that I feel I must share!

1. Two days ago I had just peeled the shell off of my hard boiled egg and split it in half to remove the fatty yolk, and to my surprise… THERE WERE TWO YOLKS! That has never happened to me before. I felt, strangely, special.

2. After classes were finished yesterday, a girl from one of the second year classes hugged me! That is only like the second time EVER a Japanese student has hugged me. But the amazing, and sad, part was how surprised I was by it. I have forgotten to need hugs every day.

3. If you can believe it… I got myself out of bed at 5 am to go walking/jogging this morning. (My 4th day in a row!!!) The surprising part?? It was raining, but I did it anyway!

4. As of today I have 40 days until I come home and 8 days until my mom comes to visit! HECK YES!!!!

5. And finally… I looked out of my balcony window last night, just before the last turtle jumped off the buoy into the water. Usually I wait and wait for them to get off the buoys… there is just something fun about watching a turtle dive, little head first, into the lake. But last night I didn’t have to wait. It just happened. Pretty cool.

It is the joy in the little things that makes my world go ’round.

Death should not be taken lightly….

I was almost finished with my last post, when the phone rang here at school.

I could tell it wasn’t a normal phone call. Usually conversations on the telephone at school are even toned and pleasant, if not happy.

Something was wrong. The teacher hung up and explained to the other teachers in the room, who equally gasped and started trying to find the principle. Fortunately the English teacher made eye contact with me, and I asked “What happened?”

He explained that a teacher, Mrs. Sumida who teaches home-economics, had been driving to another town about an hour away, when she was in a car accident.

I was waiting for him to say she was injured badly and in the hospital, and that doctors said she would be ok.

What I was waiting for, didn’t come.

Mrs. Sumida died today.

The rest of the teachers are coming into the office now… each one being told the news. Each reacting a little differently. The shock is what is preventing tears. And for me, it is only the fact that I can’t cry here. Mrs. Sumida didn’t speak English, but she was always very friendly toward me. Last summer when I first arrived, she used to bring platters of freshly cut fruit to school and offer me some, since I was too shy to take it on my own. Two weeks ago, the 1st years had a field trip to a wonderful rose garden. It was she, who walked with me admiring the roses. She loved them too. I even have a picture of her hand holding a particularly pretty one which is on my cell phone display.

I didn’t know her well… but I knew her. And the reality of the frailty of life has, once again, been reminded me. Life can be gone in an instant… she was just driving to another school.

My heart hurts for her today… and her family… and for the students who took classes with her.

The students don’t know yet. They continue to enter the darkness of the teachers’ room with the light heartedness of ignorance.

The air in this room is very heavy… it hurts my chest to breathe.

Death by Taco Salad… almost.

Yes. I was almost killed last night.

It was a dark and dreary night. (Well, actually it was one of the most summer-like early evenings we have had yet! Sun was shining brightly as it set , turtles were sun-bathing… fresh-cut grass wafting gently in through the windows….. ahem.. sorry.)

I was feeling WAY undernourished, my hand trembling and my body weak. (Which shouldn’t have been possible, since I had eaten 4 fully satisfying meals on my new healthy eating lifestyle plan.)

I suddenly craved red meat, like a lioness who hadn’t eaten in a month. (Which makes a little sense, since I hadn’t eaten any meat other than chicken and tuna in about a month.)

I braved the elements as I trudged to the store. ( I unlocked my bike and rode 2.5 minutes DOWNHILL  to the grocery store.)

I foraged for red meat… killing everything in sight. ( I calmly purchased 500 grams[1 pound] of ground beef, a half head of lettuce and the tiniest block of cheese I could find, which was roughly the size of a string cheese.)

I ran home and tore open everything I bought and threw it in a large bowl and ate it raw. ( I put my purchases gently in the basket of my bicycle and made my way home. I then opened the package of beef and cooked it, mixing the taco seasoning when it was necessary. [the foreign food “section” of the grocery store recently started selling El Paso taco kits… pretty great.])

The contents I threw in my bowl were eaten in record time… as though a ravenous wolf were eating it’s prey. ( Actually…. no, that is pretty much how it happened.)

The impact of the three taco shells with a cup of beef, tomatoes, lettuce and small pieces of cheese, taken as fast as I ate it…. proved to cause an upset stomach and even weirder dreams.

The end.