Ah, I just found some more videos I took in India that I just HAVE to add. Here`s a snake charmer:
Here`s some good musicians and a dancer at a little side show:
And now, on to the sacura! Perhaps you`ve heard of the famous Japanese cherry blossoms? They are a symbol of life to the Japanese, beautiful, but short. They only bloom for a few days. One of the best places to see them is ancient Himeji castle, a world heritage site. As with most Japanese castles, it was built almost entirely of wood. Completed in 1346, it is the only castle in all of Japan that has never burned down. Only, it`s closing for the next two years on account of renovations! This was my last chance to see it. So on April 10th I went with my friend Li to have a look. What a spectacular place! Here`s some pictures of sacura:
Here`s me at the very top of the castle; you can see how the inside really is made entirely of wood:
Here`s by far the best picture (I can`t take credit for any of the ones I`m in, of course; Li took them):
Here`s a video of “sacura rain.”
After that, we went to the Himeji zoo. Not much there, but it was fun to watch the penguins play. Then we went to the famous Himeji castle gardens. Gorgeous! Here`s some pictures of that:
The next day after church, I went sacura viewing with Pastor Toshi and his family around Shorenji Lake. Here`s some of the sacura around there:
Here`s me, Pastor Toshi`s father, Pastor Kumi, and Aitan on "Sacura Street."
And last of all, here`s Pastor Toshi, me, and his daughter Aiatan:
And now you`ve seen the best of Japan`s glorious spring! And in less than a week, I get to see spring in my home, Oklahoma! I`ll be visiting during “Golden Week,” the week of Japanese holidays, then heading back to Japan for another sixteen months. I`m so excited!
Prayer requests for this week: Safe journey home! It`s not going to be a fun journey; two transfers, one through Tokyo Narita, and over sixteen hours on the plane. But it will be more than worth it! While there, I`m going to attend a writers conference in Oklahoma City and already have some appointments scheduled with agents and publishers. Please pray that good things come of them! I have three books I`m trying to publish right now, Dargon the Human Slayer, a humorous middle grade fantasy, Treasure Traitor, a serious young adult fantasy, and “Twas the Year of the Census,” a children`s rhyming picture book about the first Christmas. Actually, my dad wrote the last one and I just edited it, but it`s a really good story and I believe in it, so I might as well try. Tomorrow I will know if Treasure Traitor made it to the next round of the 2010 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Contest. Other than that, I`m also trying to publish “Tapestry of Time,” an adult sci-fi short story. So far nothing but rejection letters…but some of them were nice…
Oh, I nearly forgot to mention my Thursday night English and Evangelism class! With a new school year starting (it begins in April for Japan), it`s my prayer that many new students will start attending! Also, Pastor Toshi is starting another round of advertising, so hopefully that goes over well!
Until next time, keep reading and keep praying,
Laura (L. J. Popp)