Thursday, March 12, 2009

Japan or Bust!

First of all, let me thank all of you who supported Spencer in this trip through your generous gifts! He/We appreciated it so very much and he will be sending Thank You's upon his return in 2 weeks! Your kindness, thoughtfulness and generosity touched our hearts deeply. We have the best friends!!!!!

We've been busy with trip prep and packing lists and getting him ready to go. It's always so stressful for me to get my kids ready for one of their class trips or field trips, but this topped them all! Getting your 13 year old ready to go to Japan for 2 weeks just about killed me!! Such a relief to know he is gone and has landed safely in Japan and he still has his baggage and his passport in his possession! I can relax now because my part is done. There is nothing I can do for him now!
We dropped him off at PDX (Portland) at 11:30am yesterday to meet up with his 3 teachers and 17 classmates (6th, 7 th, 8th graders from the Middle School Japanese Program at Catlin Gabel). Spencer (8th) has been taking Japanese since he was in 3rd grade. How awesome to be immersed in the culture and to share this experience with his classmates!Ben and Jake, two of his 8th grade buddies, will be hanging with him, hopefully keeping him in check!! (and hopefully reminding him NOT to forget his luggage/passport/train pass etc!)The hardest part was watching him walk away....
There plane left PDX at 2:55pm Wed, March 12th. It arrived in Narita, Japan and then they flew to Nagoya about 3am our time Thurs. morning. Here is the email we got from the teachers:

I wanted to send you out a quick email telling you that we have arrived at our hotel. The flights were fairly long but the kids were happy with the movies on the plane, and immigration/customs took a whole 15 minutes...not bad for 20 people. We are now in Nagoya for one night and will be going down to Fukuoka via bullet train tomorrow, where we will begin all of the fun activities we have planned such as the photo-scavenger hunt,and many others.... No bags lost, no passports lost, (knock on wood), so a very good travel day.

By the way, your kids are awesome!!! Not only are they excited, but they have followed instructions excellently, considering that we are all tired. I will email you all again when I can with links to the picture/video gallery as soon as we have pictures.

It's really nice to know that my son listens to someone and follows instructions when given by someone else! LOL

On their agenda today:

Fukuoka: scavenger hunt will take them to Dazaifu Tenmongu (Temmongu Shrine, Koymyouzen-Ji, Kyushu Museum), Ohori Park, Fukuoka Castle, Hawk's Town,
Tenjin, Canal City, (Sega-Land?) Fukuoka Museum. They will have dinner in Tenjin or Canal Citym walk around and experience city-life. After dinner they will debrief, upload photos and have an early night. They may go see a pre-season professional baseball game!

Exciting huh???

I will share the link to their blog when I get it and I will keep you updated as I hear. We are not allowed to be in contact with our children individually. Only through the teacher, because they want them immersed in the culture! What a great experience! I am so excited for him!

And I hate to say this, but I miss him already????

I have so much to catch you all up on! Our trip to Seaside for the Hoop tourney etc!

My nasty chemo starts on Monday. Blech. Pretending that's not happening.

For any of you relatives/friends that are interested, there are some spectating opportunities this weekend!

Kaelin performs her "Topsy Turvy" Elite Acro Routine on SAt. March 14 at 9:30am at Parkrose High School.

Classic soccer games to watch:
12pm Sat. @ Lake Ridge High School
9:15am Sun. @ Beaverton High School

Have a great week!!!


Paris said...

You are a great mom to let him do this... what an adventure. Life changing!! So thrilled for him. I'm sure you do miss him already!! Have fun w/all your activities this weekend. If Nat gets better, ours will be full of lots of horsey stuff. Sorry about Monday :( You will be in my thoughts as always... and please let me know if there is any way I can help. Love you. xoxoxo

Anonymous said...

Can I come and watch her do acro? JK, I can't wait to see the girls do their stuff. We're there forever that day/evening.

Thanks for being the make-up queen. Smooch!

Let me know what I can do next week to help...please!

Yeah for Spencer!!!

Anonymous said...

I don't know what's less easy - watching them grow up and away or sending them off to somewhere far away knowing they are old enough to handle it. I have done both and it isn't easy either way, Shauna. What an experience he will have.