06 October, 2015

Lots of talking and listening

The four of the last five days have been busy and involved lots of talking and listening.

Thursday I drove a van full of women to a day of prayer, worship, and fellowship. I listened and talked from 8.20 till 4.15. Phew! But so much fun and blessing. These were some of the people I missed during our year in Australia. We are almost all living cross culturally, and though our backgrounds, ages, life stages, and nationalities differ, the bond of living a cross cultural life is strong. 

Friday David and I met our "boss" and her husband, our Japan field leader, for our two-year review. We spent three hours talking about how life and ministry was going. They have four boys of similar ages to ours, so we have much in common. And again, the bond of living life cross culturally. 
The beautiful setting for our fellowship and worship
time on Thursday.

On Saturday I went to our middle son's cross country race with another couple I've met through school. I don't know them super well, but we spent more than two hrs in the car talking, getting to know each other, plus chatting with them and other parents during the races, and afterwards I had lunch with them and two other couples. 

Yesterday, as I mentioned in my blog post yesterday, I caught trains to the other side of Tokyo for our mission's monthly prayer meeting and fellowship time. That felt a bit like my "home coming" in Japan, in terms of being with "family".

I'm an extrovert with a strong introvert shadow. I love to spend time with people, especially one-on-one. So these days refreshed, stimulated, and encouraged me. Here are some topics covered in the last five days:
  • The regrets about education-related decision (future blog post).
  • Frustrations with our children and their schools.
  • Weird cultural observations (common topic with people living cross culturally).
  • Heard about children's weddings, study experiences, one boy changing schools, 
  • I explained why Australia was originally settled (to some Americans).
  • Explained a bit of Australian climate, geography, food... "Where's Brisbane?"-type conversations.
  • I learnt more American geography and history.
  • Comparing Australian and American food, starting with bacon!
  • Discovered Americans with Japanese descent in Hawaii are different to those in mainland us (due to wartime experiences).
Some topics are a bit different to those covered when I got together with friends in Australia. But some are just substitutes: the ones about Australia are generally substituted by questions about Japan when we're in Australia. But then other topics are similar, like talking about our children and their struggles and experiences.

However the "strong introvert shadow" in me feels a bit socialized-out. But now I have a pile of non-social work on my computer that needs attention.

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