Monday, November 13, 2006

Friends from Hanamaki

My old college buddy Brenden Pitt has been teaching English here in Japan for as long as I have. Faithful readers will recall my visit to Pittmeister’s town in September. Coming down from his post in Iwate in the North, Brenden brought his friend Debbie Wong along with him.

Both of them were excited to see the infamous Fire Festival in Sukagawa that takes place on Saturday. At first Brenden and his friend weren’t sure if they could come. But after sending them a picture of last year’s festival, they quickly vocalized unbridled enthusiasm. Living in a remote farming village in the North (their town is like Helena Montana), both were eager to go shopping and sip lattes in the urbane, cosmopolitan atmosphere of Koriyama.

Being fellow Lumberjacks, Brenden and I spent a lot of time talking about our old professors at Northern Arizona University, especially Dr. Wilson, and Dr. Foley. We had plenty of entertaining stories for Debbie.

Coming from San Francisco, Debbie is a first year teacher in Japan. She seemed very nice, and was quite patient as Brenden and I related story after story of our antics and tomfoolery at NAU and Flagstaff, Arizona. Sill being quite new to Japan, she wasn’t speaking very much Japanese yet. She still seems quite impressed with all the cultural and social differences here in Japan, as I probably was during my first year.

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