Thursday, February 21, 2008

**Don't disappoint my pictures**

This past week I went to Okinawa with my friend, Megumi. It was my first time to see tropical beaches. Too bad the weather was more like spring so we couldn't swim... but we experienced a lot of Okinawa life. They have a saying to live "slowly" when in Okinawa so Megumi and I definitely enjoyed relaxing and goofing off there. Mazamo (it looks like an elephant)
We went to Pineapple Land... yeah, Pineapple Land.
We saw so many beautiful things in Okinawa. Everything is decorated and designed so intricately. Even the sidewalks are fun to look at.

And the seaside. I really enjoyed these "wave protector-thingys" :). The cross shape really caught my eye and then the blues, greys and green really worked well together. I happen to be a fan of fun patterns.
The narrow streets...
Megumi and I each made a "glass" by glass blowing and shaping. My glass is blue but it was SO hot it looked orangey-red.
Here I am shaping the "lip" of my glass. It was so much fun.
Megumi shapes her glass.
We watched a live show of original Okinawa music. It sounds a lot like Hawaiian/Regae/Asian wailing of some sort. It's really pretty so wailing is not the best description... There is even a dance from Okinawa. It's part hula and part waving your arms in the air...
we found seashells...
we enjoyed beauty (ikei beach my favorite)
we acted silly and made all the locals question our sanity...
we tried to...
.... make a heart.
So SO many good memories with this beautiful girl.

I love being outside. You can't keep me caged indoors for long. I love the sun. The way your skin smells when you've been in the wind and sunshine. The way the ocean looks, the calm and peace of it begets your heart to become calm and peaceful in return.
So actually it's the "joanna interpretation of calm and peace"...
what can i say? I live life uniquely.
We ate AMAZING food. This is umi-buro or sea grapes. It's really good. Not sweet like fruit but more like a salty yummy snack. mmm mmm mmm taco rice. (minus the shells plus rice)
my favorite? the avocado burger we had at Seaside Jet City Burgers. it was AMAZING!!!
Okinawa is not only a fun place to relax and enjoy. It's also full of deep history and culture. Okinawa was actually separate from Japan until the 1800's. So the language, writing and culture is slightly different. Okinawa is also a culture that carries a sadness from WW2. Here the General of the Japanese military set up a tough defense. I read online that it was said he knew he could not defend the entire island but he wanted to make the allies pay for every yard advanced. They stubbornly defended their country, although they could not win.
I found this sad because so many civilians (over 100,000)were said to have lost their lives because of the intensity of the fighting all around them.
Here is a picture of Himeyuri Monument
Himeyuri was the name of a girls school. During WW2 the government requested that the girls be trained in first aid to help the military with their wounded. When the Battle of Okinawa occured they were subjected to so many horrors of war. They thought they would be in a hospital instead they were placed on the front. After 90 days working in a cave, the army dismissed them with nowhere to go. Over 200 of them died... go to this link for more information: here
This is the site where the Battle of Okinawa was fought.
It was crazy weird to stand where my Grandpa had stood as a young man in the Army Air Corps.
This was the coolest part of the "Peace Park". This is a sign for peace. If you look closely the triangle is actually "okinawa" on a map. See Japan above it? (it's not the best photo) but from the triangle Okinawa flows water "into the world". This is a symbol of peace beginning in Okinawa like a stone dropped in the water, it ripples out and reaches far into the world. (see the ripple type stones in the sidewalk?) I liked this.
For our last day we went back to the beach just to sit and enjoy...
I was SO ready to be home after four days of traveling.
I loved my time with Megumi. Thanks everyone who prayed for safety. It was a great trip.


Sarah G said...

Do you have any pictures of your glass--the finished product? That is SO WAY COOL!!!

Joanna Kay said...

we had to have the glass mailed to us because it takes several days to finish it. but megumi emailed me and said it arrived so i'll post pictures as soon as i get them.

Jordan said...

Joanna? Are you still there?