My Snow Trip

I’m a man with a weak memory. Without these photos, I might have forgotten my joyful moment. Thanks you so much for reminding me my happy time again. 🙂

Who is better in JUMPING? 🙂

(Photo by Seng Cesar)

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First Shrine

Japan is different from other countries to count down during New Year. You may find in Sydney or Hong Kong, London, they celebrate new year with thousands of fireworks rising in the dark sky to welcome the coming year, but in Japan, people will go to the shrines or pagodas to count down with the light of candle in hands. We went to visit the first shrine of the year at the middle of the night. We howled the bell for the happiness of the year. I remember that was the coldest night I have felt so far. Smoke came from my mouth, my breathe with enjoyment. We drank Amazake (sweet rice wine) to warm our body. I didn’t like its smell much, but It helped me to stay in the middle of the coldest night. Wish you happy this year!!

New Moon!!

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Another Joyful Day With Kids

We decided to spend one whole morning with primary school students during our holiday, but it would be good if we could have something to share with them. We had decided to teach them about the movement of sound and we would do experiment together. Now let’s start with the question. Do you know what is necessary to convey sound? That’s the question we asked them. The multiple choice would be given (1. magnet, 2. light, 3. air). Can you answer which is the right option? Heh, you would be shame if you choose the wrong one because almost all our 2nd grade students could answer it. They are so smart and funny. They shared me smile a whole morning. They just made my day. They reminded me garbage picking children in Cambodia I used to volunteer to teach English. They are the same, strong, healthy, smart, funny, and cute.

We had to teach 4 classes, and each class took 45 min (one session time in Primary school). We could have only 5 min break from each class. More than expected, we could handle it very well. Everyone enjoyed it, and at the end of the class we told them now it was a break time,… you know they said, “No, no,… I don’t want to end”. Guess, they did enjoyed our class. Me. too(^^)/!

During lunch break, we were divided into four classes to have lunch with them. As I entered the class, they ran to me asking me a lot of questions. One who have American father said he wanted to talk English with me. He seemed to be a little isolated from others, I felt. You would be surprised to hear their questions. I really couldn’t finish my lunch because they just kept asking me….interesting. “Are you from space?” They asked. ” No, I don’t come from space”,” So you are from the earth?”. ” No, not either”, I answered them. ” I’m from the moon”. They laughed…and asked more. “So how big is the moon?” “Oh! it’s… (I’m thinking)…. it’s my head size” I told them while illustrating them the size of the moon. They just kept laughing… and laughing. One said cutely,”Needn’t to ask how size of it, don’t you see at night….it is small”. They said they wanted to go to the moon. They also asked if I knew moon language, how to live them if the moon is too small to stand on,… can space people speak Japanese?

Then, “You have a girlfriend?”, one asked. “No,….”, I smiled and said. I just predicted they would continue like,”You tell a lie,… I don’t believe you”, but actually they didn’t say it to me(disappointed!!). They love playing pop rock-paper-scissors. “We are good at it”, they told me. I found I couldn’t win them cos you know,.. if they put scissors; Me- rock, they would change to paper. I followed them I changed to scissors cut their paper,…and then they put rock,…we just repeated it again and again, but we loved doing it.

Time was short while spending with them. I receive one rose and dog paper from them when I said to goodbye. They are cute,…I love them. Here they are…


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Our Lady of Sorrows

It is a music, no it’s not a music, but I feel it is a story about one women who tries to tell us about her sad stories. Depression, sorrow, and her excitement simultaneously push my heart. She is whispering me softly….. When I open my eye, I find myself  in an orchestra hall.

(In fact, we are not allowed to take photo in the hall)…

Our lady is Virgin Mary.

Our Lady of the Seven Sorrows
Adriaen Isenbrant
O.L. Vrouwekerk, Bruges

The Virgin Mary, who believed in the word of the Lord, did not lose her
faith in God when she saw her Son rejected, abused and crucified. Rather she
remained beside Jesus, suffering and praying, until the end. And she saw the
radiant dawn of His Resurrection. Let us learn from her to witness to our
faith with a life of humble service, ready to personally pay the price of
staying faithful to the Gospel of love and truth, certain that nothing that
we do will be lost.
— Pope Benedict XVI, Angelus – September 13, 2009

♥ Stabat Mater (Poulenc)

  1. Stabat mater dolorosa (Très calme)悲しみに沈める聖母は涙にくれて
  2. Cujus animam gementem (Allegro molto–Très violent)  嘆き悲しみ、苦しめる御子の魂を
  3. O quam tristis (Très lent)  おお、神のひとり子の
  4. Quae moerebat (Andantino)  尊き御子の苦しみを
  5. Quis est homo (Allegro molto—Prestissimo)  これほどまでに嘆きたまえる
  6. Vidit suum (Andante)  また瀕死のうちに見捨てられ
  7. Eja mater (Allegro)  愛の泉なる御母よ
  8. Fac ut ardeat (Maestoso)  わが心がその御心にかなうべく
  9. Sancta mater (Moderato–Allegretto)  聖なる母よ
  10. Fac ut portem (To. de Sarabande)  われにキリストの死を負わしめ
  11. Inflammatus et accensus (Animé et très rythmé)  おお乙女よ、審判の日に
  12. Quando corpus (Très calme)  肉体が死するとき

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“Come In” is better than “Go out”

1 year and 1 year pass away quickly. We can’t catch that time. Only 1 more week, there will come our spring holiday. Some go home, some go traveling, but once we return back, our members will decrease. Yeah, they graduate and get jobs. It’s right that’s a simple thing, but we will be hard to meet each other again.

My dorm will become quiet, I guess. We can’t go out or drink together anymore (although I can’t drink much:( ). It might be the best time to gather and do sth together in this 1 week. Farewell to them!!

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Waiting for you to get up again,

Cities which were once lively with light and sound of people became quiet with fear in everyone’s eyes in a blink. I was so shocked as I heard about this news flowing via all media. It was one day after I took a plane to Cambodia. Yeah, I was a lucky guy, but I really couldn’t see such a terrible disaster haunting them in dream.

The 2011 earthquake of the Pacific coast of Tōhoku was a magnitude 9.0 (Mw) undersea megathrust earthquake off the coast of Japan that occurred at 14:46.

I was struck with fear, but one thing wandering around my head was “help”, “They need you now”, so I decided to volunteer via ACC21 organization. We left to Ishinomaki City(石巻市), about 50km from Sendai City(仙台市), Miyagi. It was one of cities which was worst damaged during Tsunami. A total of 3,097 deaths had been confirmed in there due to the tsunami, with 2,770 unaccounted for. Approximately 29,000 city residents lost their homes.

It was 6 months after tsunami. No more people lived there because they were afraid of tsunami coming again. Only the sound of wave were heard.

It was told that the tsunami was over the white 4-floor building. We could imagine how frightening it was.

That was a primary school in the city burnt due to the earthquake. The slogan written on it is ” grow up healthily both mind and body.

The library was damaged with everything burnt and smash of glass.

I found a photo of a kid near the library. He may have been a student studying there. Hope he was ok.

After a while, there came a mini car and a women got out of it. She stood still and looked at the school. She told us that her children had studied there, but they were all ok( Thank gods!). Now the school was moved to the mountain, she told us.

I came across with an award. It is written Booby prize, Bowling Tournament National Health Insurance Division, S56, 9,19 (1981, Sept, 19th). Who the owner was, where he or she was now, were all buried with questions in head.

Cars became toys.

We could see the sea at the opposite side. We stopped over there nearly 1hour seeing the the big waves. I could smell the smell of fish carcass from it. That was not a pleasant smell.

We started doing volunteering work the next day. Our task was to move dirt, mud struck in the small tunnel of fishing village. They couldn’t start their fishing factory again if the water couldn’t flow from that tunnel. It was the hardest job to me until now. It took us 2 days to finish it.

We were all tired, but we were all happy of what we were doing. It worth doing. It was a great moment, a fantastic experience in life. We come from different countries, we have different languages, culture, but we have one thing the same. It is a volunteering spirit to help others. We like helping others.

At last, we could see the beautiful sea from our bus windows back from work. I’m waiting for you to get up again, Tohoku. I’m supporting you. 東北、頑張ろう。(Tohoku, Ganbarou!)

You may see these for more information: Sitting silent in their classroom, the 30 children whose parents have not come to collect them after tsunami swept away their town

Replica Statue of Liberty all that’s left standing in town where 10,000 people are missing as rescuers warn Japan earthquake death toll is set to hit 25,000


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Boarding Time!

We took a night bus to Nagano Pref, about 260 km west from Tokyo.

We arrived there at about 6:oo a.m.

Then we took a van to the mountain. Everyone was waiting for me…. Guess, I was stuck in the toilet after a night bus trip. I rushed after an announcer calling my name as it was like in the supermarket when parents asking to find out their kid… Yeah, I’m their kid. 🙂

We called our van ” Refrigerator”. We were carried by a refrigerator(hahaa…….). The inside temperature was colder than the outside(Maybe they don’t have heater inside, or it was broke, haha…). The sound of our refrigerator’s glasses was buzzing!

Luckily, the weather was clear with mild snow. We could see the sun this time! Better than last year ( We were snowboarding under terribly big snow).

The view of our ski slope from the top (it is a beginner course)! Isn’t it beautiful, is it?

An handsome guy when he was slipping… Great Shot! I like seeing this.

Luckily, they couldn’t take a photo of mine (Telling you the truth, I was worse than this:) ).

A Second Day

We were all tired, and I didn’t think my bottom and hands could stand with this hard ice anymore (it’s a little bit soft, but when it is over your limit, you’ll think it’s ice, NOT SNOW anymore), so we decided to walk around and took photos only.

Beautiful flowers under the snow!

We were eating ice. 🙂  That’s free….

We made it… Yeah!

Sleeping under snow… RIP (a message from my friends)

Love it…..

That was an awesome moment…

Thanks to our cameraman (SENG CESAR) for his good shots!

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The highest point of Japan(Mount Fuji)

I was eating lunch at cafeteria when one of my friends asked me to join a trip to Fujisan with him. “That`s a great idea”, I replied, but “when?”. “Tomorrow!!”, he replied. “Tomorrow?” But I prepared nothing.

I packed my sack with clothes, a little food(I thought there must be something selling there). Our target was to see the sunrise in the morning at the top of the mount. Thus, we had to start climbing at night 8:00p.m. We prepared nothing, and it was also my 1st time to climb a high mountain, so I didn’t know much what to prepare, what to handle in advance besides bringing headache pills. My group of 3 people had only 1 light to lighten our path to the top of the mount(it was so dark but the sky and stars were so beautiful. You will see more beautiful sky when you are at a higher place). As we went higher, it became colder (actually, it was in summer; it was hot at the bottom). We found it hard to breathe (there was so no much oxygen as we climbed higher), so we easily got tired.

We could see the peak, but although we climbed and climbed, it seemed we stayed still. We stopped, we continued, we took a break, and we continued again and again. No water and our food was eaten all(too little food I brought…not enough for only 1 person). I just thought I might have died here (freeze to death). Water there was expensive. 1 bottle of water costed me 500 yen (6$), but yeah, at least, we wouldn’t die of thirsty(Money can sometimes lose its value comparing things we need the most, I guess). We reached 8 stage of the mount (10 stage was the top) while we lost all strength to continue.

So, we decided to go to ask the pub(there were only 1 or 2 pubs at 1 stage for resting) whether there were guesthouse’s rooms inside. Yeah, there were, but it costed 5000yen (60$) a night for a person without a proper bed(I started thinking…. sometimes money can also be a best deal). One night in an uncomfortable bed for 60$ was not a suitable price. Therefore, I decided to joined other groups sleeping outside the pub. It was colder, colder……as I fell asleep deeply on the ground unconsciously(maybe cos I was exhausted:(). As I woke up (it was at 4:00) when I saw I stayed alone,….where were others? I got up quickly looking for my friends. They went to stay near the pub. One of them got a terrible headache. Yeah, in such a condition, no one could help another besides taking a pill and trying to take a rest.

Our goal failed. I couldn’t manage to see the sunrise at the top, so we just stayed at 8 stage and saw the sunrise.

After seeing it,…it continued to the top. But this time we climbed scatteredly cos we took a rest at different speed, time. Terribly, my phone’s battery ran out of (I couldn’t contact them). What should I do? I had only to reach a top gate of the mount and waited for them there (I thought there was no other choices).

Eventually, I reached the peak (Hello Fujisan, I won’t lose you, guy!!)…. 2 of them followed me a hour later.

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