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Showing posts from March, 2011

Forest Adventure (zip-lining and all around badass-ness)

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3/27/11

Despite the gloomy day, my experience at Forest Adventure couldn't have been better. That place is like Disney for adrenaline junkies! You start off by getting strapped into your harness (and by strapped in I mean these things squeeze you in areas you never knew could be squeezed so tightly, which only gets worse when you're on the course!) by the staff and sent to the instruction portion of the course. The instruction was minimal and not really in English. You quickly learn from hand movements and gestures what you are NOT supposed to do, and then hope that you don't die along the way. Especially since you signed your life away at the beginning!

It's a series of zip lines, rope bridges, shaking wood bridges with several planks missing, and other obstacles that you go through. Each increasing in challenge and skill level.

There is no braking device, so at the end of each zip line there is a bumper thing that your run into and a pile of wood chips. Let me tell yo…

Doctor Fish

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3/26/11

Doctor Fish. So I've seen this a time or two (NEVER in the U.S.) and have been slightly curious and at the same time horrified by the whole thing. Today I decided to give it a try on a whim. Wow. The whole process was rather intense! You slowly put your feet into the water and the fish instantly swarm and start to suction/nibble away at your dead skin (perhaps not so dead skin). I didn't expect the entire swarm of fish to gravitate to my feet when they entered the water so that was really overwhelming and intense for most of the time that I sat there. I found it better not to look at the fish or my feet for that matter. I tried to go to my happy place, that didn't work. So, I looked out the window at the beach and the waves crashing and still couldn't relax. Something about little carp descendants gnawing on my feet and legs just didn't seem right!

I kept waiting for the "pool attendant" to tell me that my time was up (it was 800 Yen for 10 minutes…

American Village

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3/26/11

Today I ventured off to American Village. Yes the place is actually called American Village. It's like a mega shopping plaza that is conveniently located along the ocean. Sunset Beach to be precise! Had the weather been warmer it would have been nice to stop and relax on the beach, but it was low 60's and chilly so a brisk walk was necessary just to stay warm!

I parked at The Beach Tower Hotel (only because it's the only landmark at American Village that I can find my way back to because you can see it from every place there!). Wow, this hotel is interesting. When you walk in the lobby they have an exotic bird (that is extremely loud). You go around the corner and they have two little monkeys and a large turtle in the same cage/pen/outdoor area. Then, outside they have two dogs in a pen together (I thought it was doggy day care but no, these are permanent guests and are even featured in the hotel brochure). Next to the dogs are two goats. It was definitely a surreal…

Okinawa World

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3/20/11

Sunday (which would be "today" had I actually posted this on 3/20/11) I went to Okinawa World. This place is amazing...and huge! Something not so amazing about it is the excessive amount of snakes and snake pictures that they have. I walked out of a building to see a big white python (that you could take your picture with for 1000 Yen...NO THANK YOU). I had to run through the brewery with my head down and eyes covered because they had the Habu Sake with snakes everywhere (dead of course, in a bottle...because who doesn't want to consume spirits with a venomous snake looking at you?!) Just typing this gives me the creeps. Ick, you get the point.

On to the good stuff! There are so many different sections of Okinawa World and it has a little spot for everything Okinawan. There is a crafty section where you could try out various crafts and purchase some of the ones already created (including Bingata), there is a tropical fruit orchard with the most delicious dried fr…

Oki Ambrosia

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3/20/11

Apparently I've been collecting pictures on my iPhone (sucky camera sucky camera sucky camera) and haven't hooked it to my computer in a while. Just add it to the list of things I've been slacking on! In the meantime enjoy the most RANDOM mix of photos!










Nail art

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3/19/11

I'm a little behind on the blogging. My apologies. Things have been hectic here in Oki, and I've been feeling the pressure of time winding down and not wanting to leave one stone unturned and one minute wasted! On Saturday I went for Pedicure #2 and wow, another amazing job. If this isn't reason enough to want to stay I don't know what is?!

And behind you we have...

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3/18/11

Went to dinner with a fellow Contractor and mid conversation I became distracted. I couldn't focus on what she was saying because of what was directly behind her head...
Perhaps some ancient God of Fertility?


The picture quality is terrible (it was dark and we only had an iPhone to take the pic with) but you get the point. Basically a huge penis sticking out of the little reptile/man's grass skirt (her head was right next to said penis. How is one supposed to focus on dinner conversation with something like that?! Oh Okinawa!
For all interested, this lovely statue is located at Sam's By the Sea in Awase.

Japan Earthqake/Tsunami

3/13/11

I was recently forwarded an email that contained some amazing photographs of the devastation that was caused from the earthquake and tsunami in mainland Japan. You can slide the photo across to go from "before" to "after". Tragic.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/events/japan-quake-2011/beforeafter.htm

Earthquake/Tsunami

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3/11/11

News link for Japan Earthquake and Tsunami

This will definitely be a day that I won't forget, and for sure an assignment that I won't forget! I had just completed my Crossfit workout and was going outside to do a cool down walk when I heard sirens (not like St Louis where they go on for a while followed by english announcements) These sirens were shorter bursts followed by nothing but Japanese speaking (obvi). It was about 5pm when I first heard them, having not had any internet access for the day I had no idea about the massive earthquake that had just hit Tokyo a couple of hours prior.



Driving home from the Crossfit gym I was able to listen to the American radio station (broadcasted from one of the bases on island) and was notified of the impending tsunami and the approximate time of arrival (30 mins or so away). I got home and instantly got out my camera. I have a room on the 12th floor up on a hill that overlooks the sea, I was hoping to capture some of this tsunami…

Origami...take 2

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3/8/11


Tonight I enjoyed another evening of Origami and wow have my skills improved. I made an amazingly beautiful box and all kinds of little baskets. As usual I was loaded with gifts before leaving class, this time receiving an Origami Shisa dog, and an origami purse with matching high heel shoes! I hope to be able to recreate some of these items at a later date, but we'll see! I've purchased a Japanese Origami book here in the event that I can't.


Books Read: 
Dress Your Family in Corduroy




If my feet could speak, they probably would sing (a broadway hit of course!)

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3/3/11

So finally after staring at people's perfectly manicured feet for far too long, I scheduled my appointment at Cocok's (the k is silent). This isn't your average walk in nail salon, you need an actual appointment. After all this place is legendary (and just so happens to be owned by the wife of the man who owns Crossfit Asia)

Basically this place ruined me for life. Since I do not have full time employment here in Okinawa and will ultimately have to return home (boo) I know that the many frills that I've experienced on island will soon dry up and wither away.

This was without a doubt by far the best pedicure I've EVER gotten. I mean, there are no words to describe this bad boy. I had a Crossfit workout the day before, my legs were tired, and the amazing oil massage (I got to pick the oil that I preferred) that my legs and feet were treated to was out of this world. Furthermore, they paint these little murals on your toes. It's like Picasso himself were gi…