As usual I woke up around 0600. My body is so used to my work schedule of waking up at 0512, going to work at 0600, and finishing at 1800 that it has adjusted. I ran over to the Mokuteki cafe to meet the group at 0730. Jake and Gellegoes showed up a bit later and they started to eat some breakfast. Finally, Abigail came to pick us up to bring us to her church off base.
Bible study started right away. It was a great lesson and everyone seemed to enjoy it. During the break my friend Jelani came over to sit next to us and Abigail left to join the choir. We sang for a long period of time. All members were enthusiastic and energetic. One person even ran around the whole congergation. A women clothed in a white dress danced at the front to the rhythm of the music. We clapped our hands, people shouted, and swayed to the beat. The preacher came and took over once the music died out and talked about the fast the church was about to begin. The fast was going to start Wednesday March 26th and he was preparing us all for it. Again, people were really excited. Random people would shout and stand up to interact with the preacher. After his preaching he had me convinced and I decided to join the church in the fast. My friends were getting tired because the serman was really long (4+ hours!). I was also thinking that 4 hours was way beyond my limit and we left the church.
Panchana, Will, and Lara met us at the BX and we all drove to the outskirts of Misawa. We were hoping to do some strawberry picking at a local greenhouse, yet the season was over and it was closed. Instead, we walked around the stores, ate ice cream, and observed all the fresh foods that were selling on the market. One section of a store was full of flowers and we all couldn't get enough of it. The oders and beauties of the the plants captured my attention and it was difficult to walk away. I love plants and I hope to start growing some plants of my own in pots soon.
Lara and I wanted to make "apple, apple pies," so we stopped at the Universe grocery store to buy apples. Free samples were everywhere (Gellegoes and I took full advantage of them!). We saw the green tea Kit-Kats in the candy section and Gellegoes bought 2 large bags of them. Green tea Kit-Kats are said to be the best flavor, however, there are many varieties that come with the seasons.
With our supplies in hand we drove to a friend of Panchana's and Lara's to hang out (they temporarily are staying there because they are married and the military has not given them a house on base yet). When we walked through the door Lara's cat came running by. The little black cat is truely the cutest cat I've ever seen! The breed is really peculiar and reminds me of a ferret. After playing with the cat for a while Lara and I were about to begin baking when we realized we didn't have any butter! 2 of the guys went out to buy it. Once they were back we began to scoop out the inside of the apples. We mixed the guts with white and brown sugar, cinnemon, and honey before putting it back inside the apples. To top it off, Lara made dough to cover the opening (giving the recipy its name of Apple Apple pie).
While the Apple Apple pies were baking in the oven Jelani, Lara, and I made sugar dough cookies on a skillet (delicious!). All the while the guys were playing cards against humanity and video games. Time was running out and everyone still wanted to go to the Onsen. I placed the Apple Apple pies on a plate and we all drove to Sukiyas (Japanese fast food restaurant equivilant of McDonalds). My friends and I had a quick dinner, enjoyed our Apple dessert, then drove to the Onsen in town inside a hotel.
We were about to enter when I realized Lara was not beside us at the counter. She was over by the gift shop because she couldn't go inside for personal reasons. I felt like it was only right to stay with her. The Japanese were putting on a show in the main area. Lara and I watched the performance as people sang, played instraments, and acted.
Even though the day didn't go as planned I had a great time! I have to remember that control is an illusion and even when you make a plan it doesn't always goes as planned (which is the best part)!