Nov 7 Best 10

My eyes were stinging and I felt a seasonal bug coming on but the day had a few nice surprises:

1. K. (our oldest member: 26?!) reported that he got his motorbike license!! This is a vicarious Best 10, to be sure, but he has been trying to get this for more than 2 years! In fact, he's set it up in his mind that until he got a license, it would be impossible to get a job, part time or otherwise. This is a giant step for a man who, despite getting his high school diploma at age 21, hasn't moved forward much, since.

2. Akiko, who tutors at I CAN, interupted Kazuki and my driver's license celebration with news about a part time job opening, sorting and packaging educational materials that seemed right for I CAN's older members. Kazuyuki, to my surprise, says he wants to interview for the job. (He's on a roll)

3. The Rotary Club lunch featured some incredible smoky-mushrooms-and-tofu dish that I have never imagined. Great to notice the flavors. As a bonus, today's speech was about the history and making of miso, that staple of the Japanese palate. We all got free samples:)

4. My meeting with the manager of the health club (they have "Curves" franchises in the US, right? Here, too) did not result in a new sponsor for I CAN. On the other hand, I had another great, informative learning experience just by listening to him for an hour. Quite possibly more valuable than a measly donation...

5. Despite the above meeting ending just as the banks were closing at 3 on Friday, the two banks I CAN uses to receive student payments allowed me to submit my accounting sheets authorizing the bank transfers after they had just closed their doors today. Don't get me started on the banking system here, but if you want to read a former rant of mine, check this old blog.

6. After the bank run, I stopped by the English Conversation School for a cup of coffee and found wife Emiko there, doing the same thing. She apparently locked herself out of our house in a mad rush to her classes this morning. Nice to enjoy a cup with Emiko and Yuko and the staff there, as it rained outside.

7. Third night this week with dinner at home. Children were relatively non-wild and we had a (nother!) pleasant meal together

8. Returned to I CAN where Akiko was tutoring Hirofumi. She had more ideas for I CAN, including making wood block prints and calling a calligraphy teacher. Sometimes she gets overly enthused about ideas that don't work, but these seem to have potential. She also introduced a kitchen facility open at night where the older girls from Wednesday night could try some cooking. We've been wanting to do that for a long time, but our meeting times have been too late to rent any city facilities. Until now. Today I am thankful for Akiko!

9. I got home again just in time to wake my kids up at 9:30. This can have disasterous consequences, but tonight their futon-warmed hugs and calls of "Daddy! Daddy!" were the highlight of my day.

10. Writing this and being in bed before midnight!

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