New layout

I was getting tired of how drab the other one was. It kind of disappoints me any time I look at a design and wonder what possessed me to come up with that one to begin with…I guess there’s just a line between “mellow” and “dull” and I stepped over it.

Anyway, this is a photo I took (well, two that I pieced together) of the largest temple in Ikeda, Rengenji–not one of the major Shikoku 88, but from an alternate 88 (which I can find absolutely no information online about). I’m still ironing out a few bugs, but here you go. (And as soon as I post this, Amber and Rob, I will indeed start on your Omiko Beach Clean-Up poster and requested changes to the Waki Library site, respectively. Sorry!)

So you know how I, in my cold-induced stupor, tripped and skinned my knees on Thursday, and how the teachers applied some antiseptic and band-aids and everything? Well, the school called the BOE to let them know I’d taken a spill, so on Thursday and Friday, my current and former bosses were checking up on me anxiously to see how I was doing, and they heard that I’d “injured myself.” It was surprising, and really sweet. I was being a wimp (as I always do for even the most minor of scrapes/injuries) and kind of limping around so my knee wouldn’t keep stinging when I straighted/bent it, and I think that heightened their worry.

I also don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned this–last August, at Ikeda’s Awa Odori, I went with some other ALTs and we ended up sitting next to an older woman and her husband. The woman was really friendly, asking us about ourselves and just being warm and really sweet, and her husband was as well. A couple of days later, Hannah and I ran into them at Daily Mart while we were trying to figure out the difference between several different kinds of laundry detergent, and the woman totally helped us out, and then let us know that if we ever needed any help, we should feel free to ask, because anybody would be more than happy to help us. That was one of the early comfort-establishing moments in my time in Ikeda–we’d been there for only several weeks at that point, and hearing that really helped to put my mind at ease.

I’ve run into the woman a couple of other times since then, and she and her husband ended up being right ahead of Joe, Julie, and me when we were lining up to get into the Beethoven concert on Friday. She always looks really happy to see me, and she’s always quick to grasp my arm or take my hand in both of hers. We chatted a bit then, and again on our way out. And yesterday, when I was walking home from running errands, I took a side street I’ve never taken before, and ended up running into them again. She told me that she really wants to have me over to eat or drink something sometime. It only hit me after we went our separate ways that I don’t think either of us knows each other’s names–but that’s easily remedied, as I’m sure I’ll run into her again before long. One of the great things about this town is that the people who recognize me are quick to smile and greet me–I actually get greeted by quite a few people I myself don’t recognize. That’s one of the perks of living in such a small community–I’m going to miss that when I move back home.

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