In my opinion, books are the best accessory.
I had a very special long weekend visit to see a teacher librarian friend, Joyce, who was stationed in Okinawa, Japan. She is returning to Oregon to her prior position after being in Okinawa since last January. We enjoyed catching up after a few skypes and many emails over the past year. I squeezed in this visit because I knew that there wasn’t going to be another opportunity to see Okinawa through Joyce’s eyes.
So… ready to go on our Okinawa adventure?
Here we go:
So imagine sitting at the airport after visiting a book store and running from one gate to another due to a switch. After you’ve settled in with an audio book, you realize that boarding has been delayed by an hour. Once you do board the plane, you find out that the plane is grounded and 28th in line for takeoff once the problems with the communications tower were straightened out. Well, good that you have some terrific reading material, right?
Once you land, you go through infared check to make sure you don’t have the flu, go through a long customs line, and then are grateful to not have a bag checked. You meet your friend who didn’t get messages until she was at the airport so she also waited for three extra hours.
Then, you learn that even though Okinawa, Japan is small, there is ridiculous traffic and a long drive to anywhere on the island. Thank goodness your lovely friend enjoys driving! Unfortunately due to the late arrival, you are unable to get a day pass to enter the US base in Okinawa, so you never got to visit the inside of Joyce’s school or help volunteer in the library. Once the flight finally arrived, we were able to stop off at her gorgeous apartment and then have a delicious dinner.
So, after having a fantastic conversation, you go to sleep to the gorgeous city lights and then wake up to a beautiful sunshine view and some terrific morning noise. You also see a large fruit bat swoop past your window and settle on a shrub nearby.
You get moving quickly as there is an appointment at a fantastic coral dyeing business called: Shuri Ryusen. What a fun adventure! First you pick what project you are working on: an apron, scarf, square of silk, or bag. Then you are told what to do and not to do. Then you decide on colors you want on your item and begin the project! You use ancient beautiful coral, rubber bands, and ink and carefully plan out what your design will be. *I love art projects.
After coral dyeing, find an interesting restaurant and be brave trying new foods plus cooking your own food! Then drive over to Shurijo Castle Park and learn about the rich history of Okinawa and see the restored castle.
After touring the castle, go visit another delicious restaurant and settle in for another wonderful conversation.
Are you ready to visit some beautiful Okinawa beaches? Ready to go to one beach and walk through coral and a different beach and walk through rocks? Are you ready to get close down to the ground and watch tiny little crabs crawling around? How about bumping into a local person who collected some beautiful shells and then receiving the gift of a full bag of his shells? What a random act of kindness this was. Lovely surprise!
Also, are you ready to visit a delicious, beautiful restaurant? This one is lovely! Natural and delicious food presented in a most gorgeous fashion in a fantastic setting that included beautiful patterns on the wall made with local shells and rocks.
Finally, you wrap up the days with one more restaurant and a little more time in Joyce’s beautiful apartment. Hope you are able to relax and enjoy a peaceful, lovely end of the visit.
Coming home you can reflect on old friends, library programs, new jobs and expectations, moving, life changes and many more tumbling thoughts before you refocus on reading your book. The flight will be much smoother and you’ll anticipate catching up with family again! (The rest of the family went to Chimelong, China and toured, went on a safari, and enjoyed their own adventure.) Thank you Joyce, I felt really lucky to have this time to adventure, explore and relax with you!
Tech tip that came up with my friend while we were chatting:
1. When you use your iPad, try to use every strategy you can to avoid hitting the enter button. Those do wear out. Here’s a great list of ideas I recently came across: http://mediaspecialistsguide.blogspot.hk/2013/05/30-ipad-tips-and-tricks.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed:+blogspot/MyihI+(A+Media+Specialist’s+Guide+to+the+Internet)#.UZzgz5X3UVs
2. If you want to avoid Google reverting to the country you are living in- for me, it sometimes reverts to Chinese- you do this: Go to the main google search page. When I go to it, it adds in a .HK when it opens. What you do is delete the .hk and replace with a .ncr – seemed to solve the problem for me!
Visit other Hong Kong updates here: http://thestylinglibrarian.com/hong-kong-life-updates/
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