I have finally arrived in Japan! After months of preparations, and one last night of panic and frustration, I have made it. Even though I brought less than half of the clothes I own, I feel like I still brought too much. My host family has generously provided me with about 6 hangers. Seriously, they did give me several drawers as well, something I reserve for socks and underwear only at home. Already there are differences!

I am no longer nervous, and I’m not sad. Yes, I’m sure I’ll still miss everyone terribly, but it’s ok. While I was miserable on the flight to San Francisco, I was fine on the flight to Osaka. Johanna asked me to try to remember what emotion I felt as the seatbelt clicked, and I’d have to say that it was excitement. All the time spent in prayer, talking to others, packing…all of it was necessary to prepare me for this and was worth the effort.

Some observations: I’m not that short here, chairs in a family room are rare, houses are extremely close together, most products have an anime character assigned to them and characters are frequently found on billboards and signs, proficiency in charades is a must in order to communicate until I speak Japanese, and I feel like I need water constantly.

I’m so glad to be here!