Saturday, September 7, 2013

October 9

By Al

Today Amy and Drew started their journey back to the US.  We missed them immediately.  The rest of the Rotarians also left for the US.  We missed them too.  Sally and I were scheduled to spend one more day in Nagasaki, which was good.  In 1998-99 we had an exchange student stay with us from Nagasaki.  Her name was Naoko Sato.  She was one of our favorite students.  We had not seen her since 1999.  We have had occasional email contact with her.  Before we went to Japan, we asked Shige Nakamura if he could find out where she was living.  It turned out that she had been living in Tokyo, which we knew, but had had some health issues and was back in Nagasaki.  We had hoped to see her yesterday, but she was not feeling well, so she had to cancel.  Well, she was better today and we met with her and her mother.  We had met her mother in 1999 when we visited Nagasaki, but Naoko was not there then. 

It was wonderful to see her again.  One of the high points of our trip.  When people talk about hosting exchange students, they always talk about emotional attachment you develop for them.  That is very true.  It was great.

Shige had told her mother that Sally wanted to look for quilt fabric while in Nagasaki. She and her mother had visited most of the fabric shops in Nagasaki to find out which ones had quilt fabric. So, that was too be our day. First, they took us to lunch and a very nice traditional restaurant. Naoko's mother owns a traditional restaurant, but they were not open for lunch so we went to one owned by one of her friends. Of course, we had great food and great service.

Sally, Naoko, and her mother at the restaurant.

This was our food.  Good quality and great presentation.  In Japan, presentation is have the job.

We pause for a photo opportunity.

Interestingly, the fabric stores they took us to were back at the same mall.  The second and third day of the Kunchi festival, the different groups go around the city asking business and citizens for donations.  This is a major fundraising event for many of the temples.  Anyway, here is a group going through the mall.  You run into them all  over town.

Another group in the mall.

And another.

And another.

Some ladies quilting in one of the fabric stores.

Sally looking around in a fabric store.  She got quite a bit of fabric.

Lion dancers canvassing for money on a typical Nagasaki street.

We were scheduled to leave Nagasaki early the next morning, so we spent the evening packing for our trip home.

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