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Here is a photo from our last day in Kochi.  We were sitting in the airplane on the runway when we got a call from Joji.  He told us to look at the observation deck of the airport where we could see all of our friends waving to us.  It was very sweet!

And here we are in Pittsburgh.  On our first day we went to a park near the University of Pittsburgh where they have set up a new carousel.  It was a sunny and beautiful day.

Sorry I haven’t been posting much.  We are still exhausted from our travels and jetlag.  Saya is sick now with a high fever, and to make matters worse she got scratched across her face by Peaches the cat.  We have also been keeping busy looking for a place to live…  More updates soon!

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Tomorrow night we will be in Tokyo, and the night after that we will be in Pittsburgh.  We have been super busy this past week as I’m sure you can imagine.  All week I have been saying that we are almost done packing, but all the little things we have to do just seem endless.  I think tonight is going to be another late night.  On Friday we had our pottery sale, and it was a big success.  Thank you to everyone who came.  I hope you enjoy your pots!  Here are some photos I took before the sale started…

We transformed our living room into a small gallery.  Maya was our helper for the day.

I wish I could say that Saya was a good helper too, but babies and pottery don’t mix well.

(Saya painted the little ladybug.  I put it on the shelf to bring us good luck for our sale 🙂

And here is some cuteness for you…

Our friend Ai stopped by on Saturday.  Her children’s hamsters had babies, and she brought one of them over to our house for Saya to play with.  Saya loved that of course!

This is the last time that I will be writing about our lives in Kochi, Japan.  I won’t go into how sad I am about leaving Kochi because it is just too difficult.  I have said too many goodbyes and shed lots of tears this week.  Tomorrow there will be at least 15 people seeing us off at the airport.  I am just praying that I will make it through that in one piece.  Please keep visiting to see what is in store for this little family of ours.  All my love to everyone in Kochi.

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happy baby (I can still call her my baby right?)

Our first rest stop on the way to our campsite.  We stopped as soon as we saw the sign that said ocean park.  We found these tide pools that were perfect for an early morning swim.  They were filled with all kinds of cute little fish.

Rest stop number two.  Saya and her good friend Sakura.

We ate shaved ice.  The flavor is yamamomo.  So good.

Jellyfish are so cool.  They had loads of these little guys for sale at the udon shop where we ate lunch.  I was tempted to buy some, but thank goodness Junji talked me out of that.  We definitely don’t need to be buying more pets when we are a week away from moving :).

Saya and Sakura watching the jellyfish.  We can’t take our eyes off of them.  They are so beautiful.  (Isn’t it these little discoveries along the way that make life so much fun?)

Touch.

And finally, the beach.  There are no fancy restaurants or resorts here–just a bunch of surfers and campers enjoying the white sand and clear water.

The shoe queen.  Wherever there are shoes to be found, there is Saya trying on every pair.

The kids.

Our campsite.

Saya relaxes while everyone else works to pack up the cars.  Good times in Kochi.

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It’s a packing disaster…

…at our house this week.  (But we are getting things done, and handling the moving stress pretty well.)

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Friends

We spent the day at the beach with some friends who have a little boy the same age as Saya.  I couldn’t stop taking pictures of the two of them.  They are such a perfect match.  It is amazing how similar their behavior is. They were doing everything together all day.  For a while they were just sitting on some camping chairs and chatting with each other.  How lucky is Saya so have such a good friend!

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We had a lovely weekend as usual, but this week has been a rough one for us–we are just swamped with work and a big translation project that we have to finish.  (Plus all of the moving stuff that we have to think about.)  Junji and I have divided up some of the moving tasks that we have to do.  I am in charge of buying plane tickets, booking an international moving company, and figuring out how to bring our pet turtle into the U.S.  I have almost completed these three tasks, so I am feeling good about that.

Last weekend we went to one of our favorite river spots with Junji’s brother and some other friends.  We had such a fun time.  We swam out to some good jumping rocks, and tested our courage by jumping/diving/flipping into the river.  It was so much fun.  I played so hard, just like a little kid.  I got way too much sun, but it was worth it.

Our favorite swimming spot happens to be in a paper-making village, so I bought some tosa washi (Kochi handmade paper) while we were there.  Some of the paper was so expensive.  I saw a nice sheet of paper that I thought would make a pretty lamp cover, but it was 10,000 yen (about $100)!  I only bought a few sheets of this butterfly print paper.

The next night I took Saya to play with clay at Junji’s pottery studio.  She has been there before, but this is the first time that we actually let her play freely with clay.  (She is past the age where she puts everything into her mouth.)

Our friends’ kids also went to the studio that night.  They are Saya’s good friends.

Maya is the oldest, and she takes very good care of Saya.

I guess it’s back to work on the translation.  blah.  Hope everyone is having a good week!

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I haven’t posted much recently because I have been so busy.  We are in the midst of a big transition in our family.  After much thought and discussion Junji and I have decided to return to the States.  We are moving back at the end of August.  We are really busy with all of the details involved in an overseas move.  There really is a lot to be done.  We are still unsure about what the future holds for us exactly, but we are excited about all of the possibilities.  It should be an adventure for sure, so I hope you’ll stick around to see how it all unfolds.

In Kochi we are living in a very small apartment.  It is actually the first floor of a family home, and it is very lovely, but tiny.  My new hobby is fantasizing about our new home–wherever that may be.  When we move I want to be very intentional about the kind of home that we create and what we bring into our home.  I can spend hours looking at Japanese design magazines, and trying to figure out what I like.  One of the many things that I have gained from my time living in japan is a more clear sense of what I like in terms of design.

I recently bought two great books about sewing with linen.  They have lots of really nice projects in them, and I have been inspired.  (I wanted to give you the links to the Amazon Japan pages, but I am having trouble putting in Japanese links, so I will have to try that again later.) I made this bag for Saya’s toiletries (comb, nail clippers, sunscreen etc.).

I also made this little wall hanging for Saya’s new room.  (Everything I make seems to be for my daughter.)  I want my dad to help me make a cool wooden frame for it.

Sometimes I don’t know what to make, but I have lots of ideas floating around in my head right now–mostly for Saya’s clothes, so I hope I can find time for sewing amidst all of my moving duties.  Wish me luck!

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