25 June, 2013

One day into our conference.

Yesterday around lunch time we disembarked from our overnight ferry in Hokkaido. The 16 hour ferry ride is its own story (that I'll blog about later), but it went fairly smoothly and was enjoyed by all. 

After we landed we drove a couple of hours to the location of our Japan OMF Conference. Here's our 14th floor room:

Yes, we're all five of us sleeping in a traditional Japanese room. The hotel is out in the country a bit, right next to a fast flowing, but shallow river. Lots of gorgeous green trees. 

We're going to love this Hokkaido trip, I can tell. It's definitely more spacious up here, compared to the Kanto Plain, but I guess that wouldn't be hard to manage! A definite balm to the soul. It is always hard to put down the work we were doing to go away, but so important. This afternoon we had a Q&A session at the conference with OMF's International
Personnel Directors. One thing that came up was the importance of holidays. Yes! In order to be effective in our work in a cross cultural setting we surely need to take time away to recharge. 

I'm enjoying a few minutes of down time just now. David's taken the younger two into two-floor the basement "Lagoon" swimming complex. It's amazing down there. A whole maze of different pools, slides, etc. Kids can very easily get lost, however, so full participation of a supervising adult is necessary. 

At the same time, our eldest voluntarily took himself to one of the several luxury Japanese communal baths. He came back quickly, though, declaring that it was too hot to hang around there for long. I'm glad I didn't go swimming, so I was able to facilitate him doing this. More and more often I find my role is more as a presence and facilitator, than a director or supervisor these days. Maybe other parents of older children will understand what I mean?

Anyway, it's about time to go down for our buffet dinner. If it is like last night, it'll be a huge array of food, much larger than any restaurant I've seen. The difficulty is in choosing, and stopping our 8 y.o., who has eyes bigger than his stomach, from taking too much on his plate!

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