New Japanese Friends

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It’s funny sometimes, the way that God works.

Many of you will know of the place that Japan and Japanese people have in my heart. After living there for 2 years post-Uni I definitely did not want to come back to Australia. But I did. And it was hard. Paul and I got married and lived and worked in perhaps the most Anglo town in Melbourne. And we moved at the end of last year, to a town only about 15 minutes away, which is not really very far. And the demograph is much the same, but with just a small difference.

Somehow, randomly, there is a small Japanese community in this area. And I have stumbled across it most unintentionally, and in such a beautiful way. πŸ™‚

Lately I have taken to popping Pippa in the Ergo, and just wandering around the local streets with Heidi walking and exploring. It’s less effort than getting the pram ready for just a short stroll, and Heidi burns more energy that way too. So we very slowly made our way to the local park. I could see a few ladies chatting with kids running around. And then I noticed that they were chatting in Japanese. Before I even had a chance to gather my thoughts together one of the ladies started chatting with me. And so began an hour long conversation, including information about the Japanese Storytime at the local library, and an invitation to her house in the next week or so.

I have since met with a group of 3 Japanese ladies and their kids, who live just around the corner from my place. It is a strange thing to be at home in Australia, and then walk a few minutes and step into mini Japan, talking in Japanese, eating Japanese food…my mind boggles.

Last Friday I went to the fortnightly Japanese Storytime at the Library. Wow. About 20 Japanese ladies with their kids, one other Anglo-Aussie lady (a Grandma), and me. And my neighbour just happened to be there too, to introduce me to about half of the group. I just couldn’t believe it.

As Japan looms nearer in my mind, heart and future, it seems that God is providing me with many opportunities to reconnect into a Japanese community. It helps with my Japanese language skills, my cultural shift and understanding, and is just great for meeting new friends too! I have been encouraged, and feel like I have done nothing proactively myself – it has just come about with no effort. I am very thankful.

So for now, またね!

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