30 August 2007

Arrived in Hiroshima

Here we are in Hiroshima... the place I'll call home for 12 months! Hard to think I'll be here that long. Many things will happen... many things will change.

Sachiko-sensei (director of the English school) met me at the train station. She took me to the school and showed me around here. I met the pastor, director of school and quite a few other staff.

On this building location (in the heart of Hiroshima), there is the Hiroshima SDA (Seventh-day Adventist Christian) English school, Hiroshima SDA Primary School, SDA Kindergarten, Japanese Church (weekly), and English church (monthly). I can look forward to worshipping God in Japanese!

Haven't been to my new home yet or met my flat mate. His name is George and is from Papua New Guinea. Look forward to meeting him! He also teaches here. Our apartment is about 5 min bike ride from the school.

Grabbed a bite to eat and will head out for dinner with the director. Many things to learn. Lunch tomorrow with the staff. Church on Sabbath. Sunday? Monday... probably preparing for teaching, and then Tuesday it all begins.

On the Shinkansen

Here we are on the shinkansen. We made our first stop at Nagoya just a few minutes ago after 1.5hrs and about 300 km. We left Yokohama (about 50 km south of Tokyo, but still part of Tokyo) at 10:32 am. It's fast! About 300km/h. The buildings wiz past, and by the time you see something you want to take a photo of, it's almost too late because you've already past it!

The train tilts (but it doesn't feel like you are tilting) and sometimes you look out the window and the ground looks like it's sloping... only because the trian is tilted. The weather is warm and humid (like usual), thin cloud overcast weather with the odd bit of drizzle.

Since leaving Tokyo, there's been pretty much houses and towns continuously along the way. There are patches of crops and some unbuiltup areas, but mostly populated. Many Japanese style houses (about 2 storeys) built close together with taller apartment and office buildings scatterred throughout. Plenty of powerlines and mobile phone towers. Have seen some mountains in the distance and one or two large rivers flowing quite well. The vegetation is quite green here, compared to dryer areas of Australia.

Before the next stop at Kyoto, we head inland and through some mountains. After that, the next stop is Osaka (where Jermaine and Joseph get off). Then Kobe, Okayama and Fukuyama before arriving at Hiroshima, where I stop at about 2pm. After that, the train goes to Shin-Yamaguchi, Kokura, and across to Hakata in Fukuoka prefecture on the island of Kyushu.

It was just raining before and the water drops on the window were dribbling almost horizontally. The crop fields are becoming more frequent as we get further from Tokyo. When the train staff enter or exit the front of the carriage, they stop, bow and keep going. The ride is quite smoothe (a cup of water would not spill if it was on the edge of the table). You don't have to worry about things sliding or moving around (eg. laptops on tables). Take off and braking is quite gradual too. There's a fair bit of room in front of me before the next seat. Air con is good.

Unfortunately, the scrolling text telling us where we are, what station is next, how fast we are going etc is all in Japanese. Occasionally a sentance is in English (usually close to a place the train stops). The train is mostly full (or at least this carriage). Us 3 people are the only non-Japanese I've seen on the train so far. After being surpised at the amount of English writing and speaking in Tokyo, the further we go from Tokyo, the less English we'll see. Prepare for culture :-) Looking forward to it.

Have gone past a large solar panel park, wind generator, many brand buildings (Suzuki, Toyota, Toshiba, Yamaha, Mitsubishi). There are many tunnels... some up to 10 or 20 km's long! Sometimes in the tunnels the air pressure changes and my ears build up pressure. We've just stopped in a tunnel to let another trian pass.

On the train there are toilets, telephone, vending machines (food, snacks, drinks), smoking or non-smoking cars, a green (luxury) car (more expensive seats, larger seats, foot rests, more leg room, better service), and a lady walks up and down with food to buy every now and again.

Mobile phone coverage has been very good. Coverage pretty much all the way from Tokyo to Osaka and even coverage in the tunnels. There are some patches where there is no coverage though. Also, in all trains and buses I've been on, you have to turn your mobile phone to silent mode and you can't talk on it while you're on the bus or train! Pity.

29 August 2007

Leaving Yokohama

We just finished our last day of training at Yokohama and tomorrow head to Hiroshima on the Shinkansen (bullet train)! Can’t wait to ride it. It’s really smooth and speeds up to 300 km/h. Looks like there’s a few tunnels along the way, so it should be good.

Joseph (from Canada) and Jermaine (from Jamaica) and I are travelling together. They are beginning their 12 month English teaching term at Osaka and get off the train before me. It takes about 4 hours to get to Hiroshima from Yokohama (Tokyo).

Well it finally started to rain today, but didn’t give us a break from the hot weather. It was cloudy last night and didn’t get to see the lunar eclipse last night :-( Did you see it?

In Japan, you do a lot of bowing your head. It’s often done when you meet someone, say goodbye, during conversation etc. Also, don’t wear your shoes inside! Take them off outside and leave them facing out (not just in a big jumble to shoes). The cars drive on the same side of the road as they do in Australia.

Hmmm… not much else to say. Arrive in my apartment in Hiroshima tomorrow. It’s on 7th floor and close to the centre of the city from what I can work out. Church on Sabbath and it’s an English church, so that’ll be good. Work begins Sunday!

27 August 2007

2 Days in Tokyo

Good evening! Presently, I'm Japan Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists (headquaters for the SDA Church in Japan) about 17km from Yokohama, within Tokyo metro area. We're staying here until this Thursday when we finish training and go to our various English schools. We had training yesterday and today, and will continue tomorrow and the next day.

The training is quite good, and helps us get ideas for lesson plans for teaching English to Japanese kids, school students and adults. It sounds a lot of fun, but for me it will take some effort to start the cogs turning in the creative part of my brain. I anticipate that it will be difficult at the start, but after a while, once I get into it, it will become more natural and enjoyable.

There are about 7 new English teachers from UK, US, Canada, Jamaica, Phillippines and Jamaica. We are all staying in Yokohama for about a week during training. We'll be sent out to various SDA English Schools in Japan including places such as Tokyo, Osaka, Hiroshima (where I'll be), Kagoshima and another place on Kyushu. We'll be teaching English and also Bible classes. We teach English in a safe, positive, fun environment, and give students the opportunity to know God through Bible classes. Having known the benefits (peace, security, purpose, acceptance) of knowing God is real and that He cares, I have a desire to share that with people, and this presents an excellent opportuinty to do this.

Other reasons for coming to Japan include giving me a broader perspective on life through experiencing a brand new culture (compared to western-Australian culture); the opportunity to really understand people from a different background, which will help me learn more about myself; perfect chance to learn a new langauge (which is fun so far); able to share my faith as part of my occupation; chance to develop the more creative side of myself and to develop teaching skills; learn what it's like to be a "gaijin" (foreigner) and away from home... ultimately, it's to help me learn more about God, people and myself.

By the way, there's an eclipse tomorrow! On Tuesday, 28 Aug, there'll be a partial/total lunar eclipse in areas of Australia, Asia etc starting from sunset and I'll be able to see it from Japan! More info at the NASA website.

Man alive! Tokyo is biiiiigggg! Akashi-san arranged for Rachel (from our group) and I to take the bus from Narita airport, across Tokyo, to Yokohama. We drove through past a LOT of city. About 20 minutes after leaving the Airport on the bus to head for Yokohama, we got to the edge of Tokyo. The industrial buildings are large; apartment buildings began appearing. And from then on, the buildngs just got bigger and closer together, until there was endless buildings. We drove about 1.5 hours on express way (some parts slowed down because of traffic, not during peak hour), and almost all of it was in Tokyo, and surrounded by buildings. Again, Tokyo is big. It makes Melbourne look very small. Tokyo is overflowing with industry, commerce and business. I have to say the parts I saw were not that attractive (industrial looking, since it was all along the highway), but, Japan, overall, for me, has been quite nice.

After finally arriving at Yokohama, we met some colleages and ate some lunch (interesting asking questions when you don't know the language... just point and count using fingers!) Being vegetarian is a fun challenge in Japan, especially when you can't talk the language and ask questions! Nevertheless, we settled in here in Yokohama, spent Friday night together as a group of new arrivees in Japan, and got some well needed rest.

Sabbath morning at church was nice. A small English church meets in Yokohama here. Good Sabbath School and excellent sermon! I thank God for the message because it really spoke to me, encouraging me to be committed, and experience the power of God in my life.

We headed into Tokyo proper on the train Sabbath afternoon (after a nice lunch), changed trains at Shibuya, visited Tokyo Central SDA Church in Harajuku (including the International church) and met a few members there. Caught another train to Shinjuku, which is one of the busiest train stations in the world. Once there, we then went up one of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government buildings for a free view of the city! (I recommend doing it if you are on a budget in Tokyo). The view was incredible... endless buildings and city. HUGE! Shinjuku is a trendy, fashionable, and youthy suburb, with also many commercial buildings.

We ate out at La Pausa (I think the name was) which was a pizza place on the 29th floor and great views of the city, tasty food and nicem cheap price too (about 800yen for large pizza). Walked the city a bit, took a few photos of Tokyo Tower after arriving at Roppongi station (where there's a large spider statue). We also went through Yoyogi station. Finally made our way back home.

Pictures from Tokyo: http://picasaweb.google.com/bradwarden/JapanTokyo

Reflecting on the Tokyo tour, it's not a small place. Plenty happening, plenty to see and do, plenty to get distracted with, never-ending, plenty of people (quite squashy on the train, which is apparently not that bad comapred to peak-hour during the week), plenty of lights, plenty of stations, trains, ads, shops, food, entertainment, distractions from the things in life that matter. Well over 95% of the people are Japanese, compared to a much more multi-cultural mix in Australian cities, or Singapore. But, the people have been quite polite and haven't had the "cold shoulder" or anything like that.

I'm also really surprised at the amount of English in Tokyo! There's English everywhere! Almost all of the train signs have Japanese and English. Many brand names are only in English. Many restaurants have English menus. There are "Kornu Fulairku" (Corn Flakes) for breakfast. English is clearly becoming the International language. Many Japanese know or are learning English.

The weather here is not really pleasant. It's been about 25 to 30 degrees (maybe a bit more) and high humidity in Tokyo since we've arrived. It doesn't cool off a lot at night, but it a bit nicer. No real rain so far, but not really clear skies. There's clouds, but then I'm not sure if I'm seeing smog, haze, fog, clouds or dust. Hmmm, I think it's a comination of cloud and pollution. Not terribly blue skies though. I hear that winter gives clearer skies. I haven't worn more than just pants and shirt-sleeve shirts since Australia... Singapore and Japan are having the last couple of weeks of summer.

It still does not seem like I'm in Japan! It's just like I'm visiting another city in Australia and they've changed all the writing to Japanese, as well as there are many Japanese people. Toilets are a bit different here. Bathrooms are smaller. Seats have less room. Everything is a bit more compact. Yen is used, not dollars. Roads have slightly different signs (but same general idea). Some houses bit different. I see some differnt types of trees every now and again. The sun is in the southern sky, not the northern sky (like it is in the southern hemisphere). The moon is upside down. The stars are not as visible. It's hard to communicate at restaurants and shops. Phone calls back home are more expensive. TV is a bit differnt too.

Well, the differences will become more apparent as I begin to mix more with Japanese people after our training. We've pretty much had mostly western food and been surrounded by westerners so far, so it will hit home soon once I get to Hiroshima and have been there a little bit. I'm looking forward to learning more of the language. Watching Japanese kids TV I think will be a good idea (I'm not kidding :-).

It's quite exciting and new at the moment. I'm enjoying the different environment, the fun of being in a totally different place, meeting new people, and trying to get myself to realize that I'm really in Japan! For now, there a bit more training, a few days to settle in after arriving in Hiroshima this Thursday, and then... into it! Teaching starts this Sunday!

Man, the Internet here is fast!

24 August 2007

In Japan

Arrived! The plane touched down 7:30 am and got through quarantine, immigration and customs with no dramas and met Akashi-san who will help me get to Yokohama today. We're just waiting for another person to arrive and both of us will travel by bus. So, what do you do when your waiting, but... shopping!

So, I bought some long-awiated jeans, couple of postcards and a bit of bread. As you would expect, the shop keepers speak Japanese and I don't really know what they say, but I just say "arigato gozaimasu" (thank-you) and "hai" (yes).

I'm thankful to God everything has gone well. After getting served a snack at 1:00 am on the plane, settling down, and then being woken up about 5:00 am for breakfast by the flight attendant, it left me with about 90 minutes sleep (interrupted by a view of a city of the Phillippines on the horizon).

Yes, it's Japan, and fun so far. The time will come when I miss home. For now, I'm here for a year. To teach English and serve God. I pray He gives me the ability to do this. I'm looking forward to Sabbath tonight.

Reflecting on Singapore

Up in the air again on the way to Narita (Tokyo) from Singapore. It's just gone past mid-night tonight (Singapore time) so I can offically say I'll be in Japan today! And I suppose I should change my computer's timezone from Singapore to Tokyo.

We're cruizing at about 900km/h. About 5300km flight taking between 6 and 7 hours. We took off from Changi Airport going west, but did a quick U-turn to the south and travelled East for a bit. The view of Singapore was nice, seeing all the lights including the city, but didn't last long. We'll fly across the South China Sea, between Phillipines and Taiwan, across the East China Sea, and then up to Tokyo.

changi Airport (the airport in Singapore) is very nice. Modern, clean, tidy, well signed etc. To get onto the plane was rather painless... immigration was straight forward and security checks not too much of a rigmarole. And... there's free Internet! There are some computers setup for anyone to use for free, and if you have your own laptop (and network cable), you can plug in the use free Internet (but Outlook wouldn't let me send emails, but I could receive). So, that was great. I uploaded a stack of photos and did some emails, checked news etc.

Japan has started to make itself known to me. I hopped on the plane (with not much time to spare after spending a bit much time on the free Internet at Changi Airport), and noticed the flight attendants looked more Japanese (compared to my previous flight with singapore Airlines). They spoke Japanese, the flight info is in Japanese, they hand out Japanese newspapers and I'd say most of the people on the plane are Japanese, but thankfully, everything is in English as well, which help me. There's no one sitting next to me (I'm next to the window), but the person on the other side of the spare seat is a Japanese man from Kyushu. I introduced myself to him in Japanese, but had to quickly let him know I don't really know that much Japanese, and reverted back to English. It was nice talking with him.

They (flight attendants) just gave me a vege-tuna and lettuce roll (nice). The attendants are a bit more energetic compared to last flight. I think it's more the Japanese way. I look out the window and can't see a thing (pitch black). The ride is a little more rocky and mildly bumpy than the flight to Singapore... not rough though.

And now to reflect on Singapore...

Well, it's more Asian than I thought. I'd say more than 95% of people are Asia. Major groups of people include Chinese, Malay and Indian. Public notices often are written in 4 languages (English, Chinese, Malay and Tamil (India)).

I thought Melbourne was multicultural, but I think Singapore wins... There is a Chinatown, Little India and Arab Street, not to mention the English/Western influence and Malay. I am in the East, so I could expect to find a greater amount of eastern religion, and that's what I saw. There were many places where once could burn incense in front of an image. There are also many Muslims and many Indians dressed in their traditional clothing. Walking down the stree (or in an apartment), you'd smell a variety of different cooking odours (rice, oriental etc) and/or incense, plus other things.

Ten to 20 story apartment buildings seem to be the way people build residential buildings in Singapore. They are not confined to the city (like in Australian cities) but spread right throughout the city.
Vivocity carparks have sensors which detect if I car is parked there or not. This determines if a green light will show above the carpark for drivers to easily find a vacant park. It also allows signs to tell drivers how many parks are available ahead or in different turns.

There wasn't one public toilet that I went to that wasn't clean and didn't have automatic flush. Some pedestrian crossings tell you how many seconds you have left to cross the road. Some drinking fountains detect if you are near it and then turn on. I appreciated this kind of stuff.

One word that you might want to learn before you come to Singapore is "alight". It's used often to mean "get off the train". So, to "alight at the next station" means to "get off at the next train". Most people probably can work out what it means, but I just haven't heard it used that much in that context before.

The pace of life here seems to be relaxed. Often walking to or from the train I see people just walking casually along. In the city it's more moderate pace. People seem to be quite well behaved and neat, tidy and well dressed. People seem to keep to themselves and not cause much disturbance, but just go about whatever they have to do. It's quite nice to be in this kind of environment. There's a "safe" feel about almost all of the parts of Singapore I went to. Although people aren't super-friendly, they are generally trusting and will chat with you if you show an interest in them. I also see many families doing things together.

I notice the music played around the city seems to be "lighter" and more musical, in general, compared to Australia. Easy listening/pop seems to be the way, rather than rock/metal. Almost public place indoors is air-con, to escape the very predictable 25-30 degrees with moderate to high humidity. The shops are very nice. Clothes are cheaper than Australia. Public transport is cheaper. Meals are cheaper ($3 or $4 for a good meal). Harder to find vegetarian meals, except in little India or Arab St. Electrical things are cheaper too.

Today (actually yesterday), I went to the Bird Park at Jurong. When I got off the train (MRT) to catch the bus to the park, I met a Korean lady who's husband is in Singapore for work. Turns out she is a Christian and does Violin tutoring, so it was nice to spend time at the park with a new acquaintance, rather than just walk around like a loner.

The Bird show at 11am was excellent. Pelicans, toucans, macaws, doing tricks, flying through hoops, catching things etc. That was the highlight... and the lady in front of us paid for both of our tickets! I don't know why she did, but that was very kind of her. And then my taxi fare back to the city was paid also! I'm quite thankful for the generosity.

Spent the afternoon the walking around the city near Suntec City. Saw the world's largest water fountain (but unfortunatly it was not the right time of day to see it working). Saw Raffles Hotel, War memorial, Little India, Arab Street, Orchard Rd, and many, many shopping malls... they're everywhere! Headed home, had a quick swim, showered, packed, gobbled some dinner and headed to the airport.

Well, 2:30 am (UTC+9) now... can just see some stars outside now that the lights inside the plane are out. Will settle down... try get some sleep, and wake up to...

The sun rising over the land of the rising sun! ... the far, far east.

Ja mata...

Pics from Singapore


23 August 2007

Last moments in Singapore

I'm about to leave...

Singapore... nice!

After being here a couple of days, you start to get a feel for the place and begin to know how to get around. I have to say I like Singapore. Things are done very well here. It's very clean, tidy, organized, structured and aesthetic. I can feel the regulation and "red-tape" oozing out of the city here, but it's worth it, because it makes it one of the nicest cities I've been to. I haven't come across a "grungy" place yet.

Today I'll be headed to Jurong Bird Park which is one of the world's best. I'll cruise around the city for a bit and then fly out to Tokyo tonight, arriving 7:30 am tomorrow. Yesterday I spent on Sentosa, a resort/holiday island just to the south of the city. It's the southern most point of continental Asia. There was a cable car ride across to the island (great views of the city). Went up the Sky Tower, to Underwater World, Butterfly Park, walked along the beach, Dolphin Show and Songs of the Sea. There was so much beauty in all of that! A very well designed island. Plenty of nice things to see, natural surrounds, and relaxed feel.

21 August 2007


So here we are at Singapore! Well, its a very nice airport at Changi and the weather is humid and varies between 25 and 30 degrees during the day. Cloudy at the moment and expected showers/storms on and off for the 3 days I'm here.

Lolita met me at the airport and we caught the MRT (train) to a friends place. Staying on 12th floor, so have a good view of the suburbs. The building colors are quite light (creams, oranges, browns etc) compared to Australian cities, and there are many more apartments compared to suburban houses.

Slept and woke up early (because my body thought it was still in Australia... 2 hrs ahead). But worked out well because I needed the extra sleep.

Off to the city after lunch today... look at the shops (Orchard Rd), see Chinatown and Little India. Might do Night Safari tonight and Sentosa Island tomorrow. Nothing definitely planned yet. Nice to know my Telstra phone works here.

I'll duck out for a swim in the pool and walk around outside now...

Pics from the flight last night and of view from where I'm staying are here: http://picasaweb.google.com/bradwarden/Singapore

20 August 2007

Brisbane to Singapore

Good-bye Australia! Just caught my last glimpse of Australia as we cross the coastline near Darwin. Won't be seeing Oz for a while. Been flying for about 4 hours, which means we're halfway from Brisbane to Singapore on our 8 hour flight of about 6000 km.

Australia is a biiiiiiig country! We left overcast Brisbane and made our way above the clouds. Clouds cleared and we flew over Longreach, missed Mt Isa, flew over Katherine and passed to the south of Darwin. There are some awesome land formations over western Queensland and Northern Territory. Rivers, hills, mountain ranges, rock formations, and you can see how the water and floods have sculptured the landscape of Australia's centre. It was quite I sight for me since I haven't seen a lot of real inland Australia. We'll be heading over parts of Indonesia and Malaysia before reaching Singapore.

Well, after having mostly flown budget domestic flights, I have to say I was impressed with Singapore Airlines! The first difference I noticed was that the plane is about 50% larger (more seats, larger wings, longer to take off). There was relaxing music when rather than pop/rock, which was a nice change. More leg room after moving the blanket and pillow supplied. Meals included, plus afternoon tea, refreshments and complementary drinks (which I found out after asking how much an orange juice was!)

They gave us a hot towel to freshen up before the flight, then toothbrush and paste later. You can watch TV and listen to radio of all sorts (movies, documentaires, travel videos, news and everything in between). Play games, learn a language through their interactive programs, read news/weather and find info about cities right round the world. Also can watch a map and track the plane flight telling you that we are crusing at about 11km above sea level at about 850 km/h and temperature of -50 degrees C outside! As an aside, you can also make phone calls (if you want to pay 10cents per second!)

I'm practising my hiragana and katakana (Japanese), trying to interpret some of the info booklets in the plane. If I can learn all the characters before I get to Japan on Friday, I'll be pleased. I've got some already learnt from when I learnt some Japanese in primary school.

Plenty of things to do up here in the plane. The staff are well presented, nice and friendly. For now, I'll write a few emails, practice my Japanese (eat some dinner when it comes out), and relax!

Cairns to Brisbane

Here we are cruising at about 35,000 feet... on my way back to Brisbane after a few days in Cairns. Stayed with Richard (my bro) and Beckie (his wife). Unfortunately, it was cloudy the whole time I was in Cairns! Nevertheless, we saw some nice sights up around Port Douglass and Daintree area. Very relaxed up in Cairns. Didn't feel like winter at all. And, not dry at all... the air was moist (unlike Toowoomba) and temperatures probably 20 to 25 degrees for the whole weekend.

Off to Singapore today! Flight leaves about 2:45 pm from Brisbane and arrives in Singapore 8:45 pm Singapore time (2 hours behind Brisbane). Got up at 3:13 am this morning to get the flight from Cairns, so it'll be a loooong day. Mum, Dad and Jared will see me off at the airport today, which will be nice.

Didn't get to see any crocodiles in Cairns, but better that than getting eaten :-) You have to be careful up here, but you don't have to freak out about them. Just don't go silly places. It's quite cloudy all the way from Cairns to Brisbane today. Of course it's fine weather up here. we're about to start heading down to Brisbane soon.

During my time in Cairns, we spent time at home just catching up, went to church on Saturday, and drove around a few places. Lots of sugar cane and cane trains. Also lots of rainforest area and plenty of water (even thought it's apparently the dry season!). Went across the Daintree river on the car ferry, looked at one of the lookouts, and walked along Cow Bay Beach. Plenty of windy roads and have to make sure you don't get car sick.

Last Thursday was my last day at home. Managed to pack everything into one (not two!) suitcases, plus a backpack and laptop case. Was some task to sort out all my stuff before I left. Some for storing in the garage and some to be gotten rid of.

Spent some nice times with Mum, Dad and Jared before I left. Ate out at Chinese restaurant (Marco Polo) in Toowoomba. Went for some walks around home. It's hard to think I won't see my neighbourhood for over a year. I'll miss the rolling hills, the gum trees, quite, spread out housing, the back yards, and I'll probably even miss the dry.

So, for now it's off to Japan with a 3 day stop in Singapore. Be interesting to see what Singapore is like... I'm expecting it to be quite hot, since it is about 200km from the equator.

The reason for going to Japan is to teach English. It will be at Hiroshima Seventh-day Adventist English School, which is a Christian school which holds English classes. I'll also be teaching Bible classes at the school.

12 August 2007

Finish Work at USQ

Last Friday was my last day of work at USQ. I really enjoyed working there and made a lot of good friends. It gave me a good start to my IT career. I'll miss my colleagues and work there.

Have plenty of things to do before I go. Sort out money, insurance, finalise accommodation, sell my car (what to buy it?), contact details etc etc. Just a brief overview of the plan from here:

Thu 16 Aug arvo: Fly Brisbane to Cairns
- spend time with bro in Cairns
Mon 20 Aug morn: Fly Cairns to Brisbane
Mon 20 Aug arvo/night: Fly Brisbane to Singapore
- tour Singapore
Thu 23 Aug night/morn: Fly Singapore to Tokyo
- English Teacher training
Fri 31 Aug morn: Tokyo to Hiroshima (tentative)
- begin English Teaching for 12 months

06 August 2007

Preparing for Japan

Less than 10 days to go! Plenty of things to do before I leave for Japan. Been quite busy the last few weeks. This is my last week of work at USQ. It's been great to work there.

Last Friday I booked flights with Singapore Airlines. Fly out of Brisbane next Monday (20 Aug) for Singapore. Stay there for 3 days and fly to Tokyo to arrive Friday (24 Aug) morning. Looking foward to Singapore... never been there before. I hear the "Night Safari" is worth going on, so I'll have to do that.

I'll be catching up with Richard and Beckie in Cairns from next Thursday 16 Aug to the Monday. It's going to be really nice to see them. It's been about 9 months since I've seen them. The weather and scenery in Cairns this time of year I'm expecting to be really nice.

Had a cold the last week or so. Took some days off work which gave me some time to sort out a few things!

Spent the weekend before last with Jared in Brisbane. Caught up with friends (some from >10 years ago from school!) from all over south-east Qld at Ben's place where they had a youth program... all unexpected! Went to Eden's Landing church and shared some of the experience I had in Melbourne. Caught up with Suki and Tina (also from Melbourne), and was a highlight to hear their stories and their perspective on the 6 months we spent there serving God through mission work. Serving God is a privilege, challenge and a rewarding time!

Got my car to sell, medical check-ups before travelling, final arrangements, store all my stuff I'm not taking to Japan, pack the things I am taking, catchup with people etc. It'll be a busy few days... but... I'm really excited!