I was an exchange student in Japan in high school. I studied Japanese for four years in college. It's the first place where, apart from the Philippines, where I had to confront my American identity. I'm sad to see the devastation. I just hope this doesn't detract from whatever else is going on in the world.
I was really only there for two days. I'm glad I had a longer visit two years ago. I visited with a family who'd spent a year in the same congregation, and went to my favorite department store. Otherwise I slept.
International Women's Day
It's like Christmas, Hannukah, and Ramadan all rolled into one - it was crazy to deal with right after my return from Bangkok. I actually subbed for Ambassador G at the annual CARE conference. The Exponent ladies from AZ blessed me, cheered me on, and provided friendly faces in the audience.
We visited NYC for 24 hours, after being thwarted twice (last year's snowstorm, and my ER trip this year). I'm really glad we took a tour and hit all the highlights in one go, except for the U.N. which we visited the following morning before taking the bus back. I definitely recommend the company - the bus waited at each stop, we got free water, and the tour guide had a lot of helpful info. Plus the tour was broken up with a water taxi ride to see the Statue of Liberty followed by lunch. I have to admit the transport system in NYC was superior to that of DC's, especially the taxis and the 24 hour subway. We had dinner at Grill 21, the only Filipino restaurant in Manhattan, and stayed at the Marrakech Hotel, which was not very Moroccan in the end. Photos forthcoming!
sleep lab, part 2
I went for the second round on Friday night, to try out the different CPAP masks. Unfortunately my first choice was really painful and uncomfortable, but I was so exhausted that I slept anyway. I woke up sometime in the early morning and changed masks. I couldn't tell if the quality of my sleep was improved by the mask but it was definitely a lot easier to bear.
I really enjoyed The Cookbook Collector, a clever update of Sense and Sensibility . I actually read it on my iPod and it didn't feel awkward. I finished At Home by Bill Bryson (on the Nook) during my time in San Salvador, and liked it a lot, probably because of his humor, and as a former history geek I love the popular take on home life.
As faithful readers may recall, I've been struggling with family history. I finally got together with the ward's family history consultants, who walked me through the website and reassured me that, with my grandmother's handwritten family tree, I was *way* ahead. Now I just have to find the time....
I would love to do the geneaology of my family (is that the correct usage?). No one seems to have really kept any real records of my crazy lineage. I'm especially interested in the mental health aspects of my family. I've heard some stories that have helped me piece together the reasons behind my own brand of nuttiness.
But I'd also just like to know who my people were. I make a joke about being so white I'm bland. But I have Iroquois Native American family that I would love to meet (if they're still around). If I have proof I can be inducted into the tribe (that sounds so tacky) and I think that would be so freaking awesome.
Any suggestions on where to start? I honestly only have first names of my grandparents to begin with.