The PacRim 2004 voyage is now over. Most blogs start with now and scrolling down takes you further into the past. We've reversed the order here so you can read from the beginning to the end. Or click on the categories to the left to skip directly to what you're interested in.

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

OC/Cascade Pac-Rimmers loses a heart breaker: Danny Kratzer

imageHubei University of Economics takes its foreign soccer matches very seriously. This morning we were each presented with our own school jerseys and shorts for the afternoon soccer game. OC boasts an enrollment of (fill in the blank); today over 2000 students of the Hubei University of Economics came out in the 90+ degree weather to see us play their soccer team. We are all out of shape and only two of us have ever played competitive soccer before, yet with the amazing skills of MVP Adam Potter in goal we managed to keep the score to 0-3. After an exhausting game everyone still had a smile on their face; and even though we couldn’t speak with our opponents, everyone felt honored to be able to play with each other.
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Thursday, September 30, 2004

Local Time now available

The local time in the PacRim group’s current location is now available at the top of the left column.

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Friday, October 01, 2004

PacRim photos now online

PacRim ‘04 photos from Beijing have been posted on photos.oc.edu. Click here to view them.

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Monday, October 04, 2004

Hiroshima:

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Our first trip in Japan was where the first atomic bomb was used in wartime. This was one of the most heart wrenching places I have ever visited.  It’s hard to understand how so many people died because of one man-made thing.

I began a conversation with an old man who told me “I was supposed to be in the city when the bomb was dropped.”  He continued by saying it was his class’s time to help make fire lanes in the city, but his teacher changed plans and had them pick potatoes for the harvest on the outskirt of Hiroshima.
He was still burned by the bomb, even though he was 2 miles from them hypocenter (ground zero). Talking to this man who was well in his 70’s made the experience even more real. To see what happened to the Japanese through their eyes and to walk where so many people died made history come alive for me.

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Golden Pavilion and Nijo Castle:

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I really enjoyed this day because we were able to see a city that has a ton of history and Japanese culture. Both these site are in the city of Kyoto which was the capital of Japan from 794 until 1868. During WWII it was saved from being bombed because it was considered a point of significant world heritage.

The Golden Pavilion was one of the most peaceful and beautiful places we visited. The Pavilion is the center point of the grounds. While there we were able to sit and take in everything.

The other place we visited while in Kyoto was Nijo castle. It felt like I was going back in time with the huge castle walls and the moat surrounding the castle.  As we walked through the castle it was very peaceful. The Japanese built a huge garden with a stream going through the castle.

Overall the city of Kyoto is a very modern city with a ton of culture and history. It was a great day and glad that we were able to experience this city.
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Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Tokyo!!!

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After a few weeks of non-stop traveling we finally got a few rest days in Tokyo. While in there we were required to see a few sites such as the Imperial Palace, and the Miji Shrine both very beautiful and really old.
The Imperial Palace is where the Emperor and his family still live. The Emperor has no power in Japan but the people love him so they keep him as a diplomat. The Imperial Palace has a huge garden that we visited.
The other place we went was to the Miji Shrine. This Shine is a very holy place to the Japanese. The place is surrounded by trees and feels like you are walking into a forest.
In Tokyo we stayed at a youth hostel which was on the 18th floor which gave us an awesome view of the city.
One night I ended up playing cards with people from Israel, Italy, Switzerland, Scotland, and US. I will always remember this night because even though we were not all the same and didn’t always understand what each other said, we still had a great time and laughed a ton.
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Thursday, October 07, 2004

Arrive at Ibaraki Christian & Omika Church of Christ:

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When we first got to Ibaraki the staff and our IC buddies were there to greet us until our families got there. When all the families finally arrived we headed to our new homes for the next month.
The next day we all met up with the Pac Rimmers and went to Omika church of Christ. After the service the Church prepared a Hamburger lunch with home-made ice cream. The church fed us well treated us with great respect.

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First Week at Ibaraki:

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We have been at Ibaraki for one week. This week has been fun but very busy. We started are Japanese language and culture classes. This has been very challenging and a lot of fun.
In between classes we are meeting up with Japanese students to help them with their English, we use the “Let’s start Talking book” so we are also teaching them Gods word in the process. Pray that through this that the students have a better understanding of the Bible and learn about becoming a Christian.
This week’s activities contained a Karate demonstration, a welcome party, and learning to play the Koto (traditional musical instrument). So far we are adapting well to life in Japan and looking forward learning and growing while here.

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Earthquake:

A moderate earthquake occurred at 14:40:39 (UTC) on Wednesday, October 6, 2004. The magnitude 5.8 event has been located in NEAR THE SOUTH COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN. (This event has been reviewed by a seismologist.) 
In Ibaraki we felt about a 4.0 we are all ok. Just thought you might like to know.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Japan uses the Shindo earthquake scale rather than the Richter scale. A four on the Shindo system would be very frightening for students who have never been in an earthquake, but is not serious.

Japan consists of four main islands, from north to south: Hokkaido, Honshu, Shikoku, and Kyushu.  The capital, Tokyo, most major cities, and Ibaraki prefecture are all located on Honshu. Ibaraki Christian is central Ibaraki Prefecture, directly northeast of Tokyo.

Most of Ibaraki prefecture is located in a relatively safe earthquake zone. It is considered unlikely that Ibaraki will ever suffer an extremely dangerous earthquake. In any case, Japanese authorities are well prepared for such a contingency.

More info on today’s earthquake is here.

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Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Weekend Retreat:

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We had the opportunity to get together with a bunch of IC students for the weekend. The weekend stated with a traditional Japanese BBQ, and a time of fellowship. The food was awesome and very filling.

After dinner we got together and played a game that was very challenging for us because we were not aloud to talk to each other. They game was like Spades with a twist everyone was given a different set of rules for the game. After the game Batton Sensei told us that when you are in a different culture you need to be aware that people have a different set of rules which they live by.

The next morning we had the opportunity to see a Japanese sunrise, but I was so tired from staying up late I didn’t get up.

That morning was a special time for us Pac Rim group because one of our own deiced to get baptized while at the coast. McKayla Brooks was baptized on Saturday October 2nd around 9:00am. So congratulations to McKayla, our new sister in Christ.

I thought that this was a great way to end an awesome fun filled weekend.
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Thursday, October 14, 2004

Photos From Ibaraki

This Blog will have a bunch of Random photos from Ibaraki.imageimageimageimageimageimageimageimageimage

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Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Busy Week Two: Stephanie Coil

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We got the honor of being invited to attend a Rotary Club meeting as their guests.  Although very few of the members (mostly business men) could speak English, we had a great time.  We had lunch and took turns introducing ourselves.  We experienced a true Japanese tradition:  gift-giving.  We each received a small gift from the Rotary Club, which was much appreciated. 

Also this week we visited Omika elementary school.  We were split into groups and got to spend time with different grades; playing games, sports, and singing songs.  We had a great time eating lunch with the kids and, of course, at recess. 

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Busy Busy Busy Week 3 at Ibaraki

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Our culture class this week was over the Japanese Haiku.  We got to experience an age-old traditional Japanese style of writing, called “oshuuji.”  Our teacher translated our names and haikus into Kanji, and after some practice we wrote them on strips of paper and hung them on a bamboo shade.  Here we have Danny, Stephanie, and Isaac; who took first, second, and third place for their haikus (our teacher was the judge).

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This week was completed with a trip to the Oarai aquarium, or Aqua World.  The aquarium is right on the beach, and complete with everything from sea lions to clown fish.  While at the aquarium we also got to watch an amazing dolphin show.  The same day some of us attended a Halloween party, put on by the English Bible Class.  We carved pumpkins, ate pumpkin pie, and laughed at each other’s…costumes.
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This past Sunday, October 17th, Hiromi Yamada was baptized at Mito Church of Christ.  Hiromi is a junior at IC has been studying the Bible for the past four years.  It was touching to see Hiromi’s baptism this morning, knowing how much of a struggle she went through to get to this point, and in a country that’s less than 1% Christian. 

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McKayla’s Web Page
Stephanie’s Web Sit


Above are links to Mckayla Brooks and Stephanie Coil’s personal websites, with their own thoughts and pictures as we journey through the Pacific Rim. Feel free to check them out! 

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