July 17, 2010

First Week at Yokosuka


We left Zama today in a nice big shuttle. We arrived at the Navy Lodge at Yokosuka a little over an hour later. We made our way to the second floor to settle in a bit in our two joining rooms. The lodge at Zama had just been redone so it was all new and nice inside and the air conditioning worked great. The lodge at Yokosuka was much older and not as nice but it would be fine for a short time. The only thing we missed from Zama was good air coniditiong. The AC didn't work that well and that was a big bummer. We took our first trip to the commissary today and we were all grateful for the easy access of the shuttle bus. It was humorous as we carried our many grocery bags on the bus. It stinks to be carless.

Not all was horrible today though. We felt so blessed to be welcomed by such great people when we got here at Yokosuka. Mike's new ENT partner's wife, Courtney, left a really nice basket full of goodies, essentials, and activities for the kids. After getting settled in at the lodge one of the ladies from church called to let us know that they had arranged for us to get a ride to church the next day.


Since our church building is being fixed to accomodate our growing branch they have been meeting at the building in Kamakura which is 30-40 minutes away. It took three sweet families to get all of us to church. It ended up taking us an entire hour because the traffic was bad but I was just glad to be in an air conditioned car and not taking the train in the humidity. The younger three fell asleep on the way to church and were all a little sleepy when we walked into the church. Emma was not happy and just cried because I was holding Abby and wouldn't hold her. Mike was sweet to take her out while I tried to keep everyone happy during the Sacrament. Afterwards I went to relieve him and we finally got everyone to be happy. Since we were meeting in a different building we only met for 2 hours. Wish it could be like that every week! I have to admit 2 hours was much easier than 3 hours. On the way home one of the ladies driving got split up from the rest of us but she did end up finding her way back to the lodge. Thank goodness! That night we had a fabulous dinner with Mike's new ENT partner, Shawn, and his wonderful family. I was able to finally meet Courtney for the first time. We have been writing for the last two months. I can tell that we are all going to get along which is such a relief!


We didn't waste any time and started our week long AOB (Area Orientation Brief) course today. We were so thankful to Shawn and Courtney who were able to get us signed up for this course right away with all of our kids being taken care of either through camp or daycare. The boys attended a summer camp which they seemed to really love. During AOB we learned about everything from the Japanese culture to things to do on and off base to learning how to drive here. After our class on Monday we realized that we had better divide and conquer so we could start looking for a home.

Even though we celebrated Andrew's birthday before arriving in Japan we decided to celebrate today on his real birthday by going out to dinner followed by cake and ice-cream. We walked across the street to Chili's to have dinner. It was so weird to eat at an American restaurant knowing that we were in a completely different land. There was no Chili restaurant here when I lived her so long ago. After a very American dinner we went back to the lodge for some dessert. Mike had gone to the commissary and bought a cake and had them write "Happy Birthday Andrew" with Andrew's name in Japanese below. It was such a cool cake. Everyone wanted one of the outer pieces with the cool colorful frosting. Happy 9th Birthday Andrew!


I went to the course today while Mike went to the housing briefing. After that we were finally able to start looking in the books for possible homes. It was a pretty boring morning for me but after lunch Mike and I met up and went outside of the base to meet a real estate agent to see some houses. After looking at two houses we ate at an Indian Restarant called Go Go Indian. I had the Butter Chicken and Naan and Mike had the Curry Rice. Both were so delicious.


Since Abby was having such a hard time at the CDC (daycare) we opted to keep her and Emma with me at the lodge for the morning. Mike went to AOB and I stayed behind and did laundry. Using the communal laundry room is kind of a pain especially when you need quarters to pay. I was able to get all three loads done but not without taking some of them to the third floor to use the dryers because the second floor dryers were full.

Mike met with a lady about a car today. We found a car that we are thinking might be the car for us. It is a silver 2001 Nissan Presage. It seats up to 8 people. It reminds me of a smaller minivan.


Today was the field trip to Kamakura for the AOB course. Since the whole point of the field trip was to learn how to use the trains we opted to not go because we already felt comfortable with taking the train. After dropping off the boys at camp and Emma at the CDC we kept Abby with us and went to put a deposit on the Nissan Presage and then went to do some more house hunting. It was dreadfully hot today. As long as we pass our drivers test tomorrow we will be able to have a car to drive. We need a car so bad because it is so HOT here.


Today was our driving education day. We spent the first couple of hours reviewing for the written test. After lunch we took the written portion. I was sure that I had gotten 100% but I missed two questions. Mike also missed 2 questions. Those that got 100% were awarded by being able to take their driving portion the same day. We knew that in order to drive our car and possibly get ourselves to church on our own this weekend we needed to take the driving portion. After everyone left I put on my sweet face and asked the sweet Japanese driving instructor if he could make an exception by letting Mike and I take our driving portion. After hearing our excuses for doing so he agreed. The driving portion was such a joke. We drove for 2 minutes, made two turns, and stopped at a stop sign. It was that easy. I think they just wanted to make sure that we knew how to turn the correct way, stay on the left side of the road, and use the blinker. Since the steering wheel is on the right side of the car the blinkers are on the right and the windshield wipers are on the left. I think all of us put on our wipers by accident thinking that we were putting on our blinkers. So funny! We passed and got our official Japanese drivers license cards. Lucky for us the VRO (Vehicle Registration Office) was right across from the lodge. We paid the lady for the car, went to City Hall to get temporary license plates, bought personal insurance, and registered the car all before the office closed at 4:00pm. We felt blessed to have gotten everything done today so that we could drive our new car. I could see how much we were watched over this week as we strived to get so many things done. We were so blessed this week!

No comments:

Post a Comment