Anyway, basically it means that most students had Tuesday through Thursday off from school, and most people had time off from work, either just for the Golden Week holidays or for the whole week. As for us at the Center, the English school was closed for the week, but instead of classes, we had a conference with all of the NAB missionaries in Japan. It was here at the Center, so Becky, Carol and I didn't have to go anywhere. Literally, the conference room that we met in all week is on the other side of the wall from my bedroom.
On Day 1, everyone arrived in the afternoon, and we had a meeting about the current state of NAB. After that, we went to dinner at Pure-na, an all-you-can-eat Japanese place. In the evening, we all gave our missionary book reports, which was really interesting. It's cool to hear about all the different kinds of people who have come here over the years, and what they've done. When the book reports were done, several of us played Rummikub until pretty late. It was a lot of fun! It's always great to be able to hang out with the other missionaries I don't get to see often.
On Day 2, we went to McDonald's for breakfast. It was my first McGriddle in Japan. So good~ We then spent basically the rest of the day having meetings about the future of NAB missions in Japan, and some of the issues we're facing. I did a lot of listening and I learned a lot about the difficulties that we're facing here because of the ways that Japanese culture doesn't line up with Christianity and the problems that causes in the church.
Anyway, in between meetings, we ate at a place called Viking for lunch. For some reason, the word "viking" here means all-you-can-eat buffet. Yeah, I don't know either. This place was amazing though! There was yakiniku, where you get strips of raw meat and cook it on a little grill at your table. It was SO GOOD. You could also grill veggies and stuff, and there was tons of other food to choose from too, not to mention dessert. For dinner, we ended up going to Gusto, where most of us ordered salad because we were so full from lunch! I decided to cut out of games a bit earlier since I was so sleepy because of staying up so late the night before when we had breakfast so early in the morning. (7:30 is like the crack of dawn for me. D:)
On Day 3, we had breakfast at Yoshinoya, which is a gyuudon place. Gyuudon is beef over rice, and Yoshinoya is a chain, which, like other similar chains, sells super cheap food. So yeah, I don't usually eat there, but they have a breakfast set with salmon, which was pretty good. After that, we spent the rest of the morning and the first part of the afternoon talking more about the future of NAB missions in Japan, and we had a light pizza lunch.
After spending so much time inside having meetings, the rest of the day was really nice: we went to Nabana no sato, which is basically a flower park, and then a nearby onsen, or hot springs. A few of us actually went into the onsen, while some just checked out the outlet mall, and then we all met up for dinner. So here, have some pictures!
The tulips were kind of on there way out, but I really liked these.
So many colors!
I guess they put the flowers that fell off into this pool. Cool!
Me with Becky and Yuri! :D
Shan! Look how big those flowers are!
Becky is SO EXCITED about the flowers!
With Yuri in the middle of these awesome purple flowers!
Cool view from above.
Don't these look like trees that would've been around in the time of the dinosaurs? That's what I thought anyway haha.
Cats' whiskers! Isn't this cool?
Here we all are for dinner!
Outside after dinner. I'm waaaaay in the back haha.
At dinner, some of us shared our memories of the Woykes, who are retiring this month after serving for more than 40 years as missionaries in Japan. I've only known them for a short time, but many of our other missionaries go way back with them. This time of sharing continued back at the Center, where we also had a slide show, and cake and ice cream to celebrate them. There were laughter and tears, but it was important time for all of us. They will be missed by us and by the many people whose lives they have touched over their years of service.
Anyway, I stayed up to play games for a while. The next morning, we had pastries and eggs at the Center, and then we had our final meeting. After that, we had lunch at Yaoto, a little Japanese restaurant that Becky, Carol and I frequent. It was delicious! After that, everyone left, although some people lingered longer than others. I had planned to take a nap, but since I was feeling pretty energetic and wanted to get outside, I decided to go do some shopping. I spent the rest of the evening watching tv and relaxing, which was nice after such a busy week!
So that was my Golden Week. :D