It’s true. I’ve been asking myself that question on and off for a week now.
Have I really been living in this foreign land, turning not-so-foreignly into my new home for an entire week?
It’s been a very full and very long week. Filled with lots of excitement, lots of new things. A bit overwhelming, some stress, and plenty of exhaustion.
We arrived Monday morning (which was previously our Sunday evening) to a crowd of new friends and Sq family. To say that they were extremely helpful and amazing is a huge understatement! They helped us get our first things squared away and stocked our TLF room with food for the week, among many other truly generous things. Monday being a holiday, we spent some time getting to know a couple in our Sq and grabbed both meals in the city. Misawa is a city of about 45,000 and there are surprisingly a large variety of food choices in it. We had ramen and Mexican that first day, both very tasty!
The remainder of the week was filled with doing the run-around. Pages worth of in-processing checklists to complete. Numerous trips to the BX and Commissary. Lots and lots of errands. Plus stress and exhaustion as we made the 14 hour time adjustment. (We are 14hrs ahead of Eastern Time).
AND, best part was we were blessed to be able to move into our new home on Thursday of this past week!
This is our new home!
Right now we have rented furniture and necessities while we await the arrival of our stuff in mid February and early March.
How have we been getting around? What a great question you ask!
This is the lovely Sq van (the DoJo) we’ve been driving around all week.
It has been a literal life saver for us and I truly am sincerely thankful we have it’s wheels…
However, when you’re thrown behind the wheel of this neon-clad beast last minute to drive it for the first time in a snow storm, on the left side of the road, sitting on the right side of the van, scared stiff, knowing that everyone knows who you are as you drive it during the morning commute, you may have mixed feelings about it. Everything went just peachy but if you were in that van with me (or really, just passing by) you would have seen me gripping the wheel white-knuckled and repeating out loud, “left side, left side, left side..”.
Trial by fire anyone?
It seems as though we already have our whereabouts on base. We live in North base, which is a drive from the Main base area around the runway. Here’s a view along that rolling, snow blanketed drive…Yes, it’s snowed almost everyday since we’ve been here and there is at least 2ft of snow on the ground….more in the drifted places.
Saturday we were able to do some serious exploring of Misawa. Roads aren’t marked, very little is in English, so it made for a very fun afternoon of figuring things out! We ended up at what we believe was an Indian restaurant (haha) for dinner.
And we made ourselves look very American as we grabbed hot coffee, hot milk tea, and mochi from a local Japanese grocery store.
Today we went to the Base Chapel and were very encouraged to meet several other couples and families that are in our Sq (14th Fighter Squadron, the Samurai). We are excited for the possibilities this holds for a church family and solid relationships!
So far, I’ve picked up two Japanese words. Doumo (pronounced dohmoh, thank you) and Hai (pronounced high, yes/anything affirmative). Hoping to take the intro language class offered on base soon to add a few more!
There are days when it’s so evident that I live in Japan and others where I just forget and this place starts to feel like normal and our new home. We have lots of adjusting to do ahead of us and plenty of life to sort out and through, but we are excited to be here and already see so many positives in this culture, country, climate, and Sq.
I’ll be posting more pics as they come and as our house starts shaping into a home!