Well, it's been a busy couple of weeks for us here in the Hale Household. Last weekend we took the bullet train up to Nishinasuno, one of the areas Jared served in as a missionary. We stayed with Sister Nogami, a sweet lady that Jared met while he lived there. This first picture is of Jason with Sister Nogami's youngest son, and her grandson, Tasku. She kept us quite busy all weekend long, first taking us to a field day at the local school, where her grandson was competing in a race. Then we went to a nearby park, where Jason enjoyed jumping on all the rocks and examining the water wheels. Along with another friend, whose name escapes me, we visited the Nakagawa Water Park, which was an aquarium, fish farm, water park, and playground combined. We spent HOURS there, mostly at the water park. It was very hot, and Jason stripped down to his skivvies to play in the shallow pools. Later, we also enjoyed feeding the fish in the lake, and checking out the variety of fish at the aquarium. I'm still amazed when I think about the Amazonian catfish we saw. They were bigger than me!
We also visited a lot of Jared's old contacts while we were in town. We had dinner with the Namatame family, and they just loved Jason. Jason loved them, too, especially because Brother Namatame gave him rides on his back.
Back at Sister Nogami's house, she keeps a wall of all the missionaries that came through their area. We were interested by this picture. Apparently the guy in the middle's name is Elder Heder. I wonder if it was Elder Jon Heder, aka Napoleon Dynamite. After all, Jared looked it up and found out that he did actually serve his mission in Japan around the same time as Jared. Hmm.
Jason had an especially hard time saying goodbye to Sister Nogami. She didn't speak much Engish, but she showered Jason with both affection and new toys, and she was an incredibly hospitable hostess.
This past weekend, we stayed in Yokohama, but hiked up the hill to spend the day with Peter Withers (Jared's boss), and his family. We shopped in Motomachi, an outdoor mall, which I'm going to be visiting again as often as possible, and then went to their house for lunch. We had a gyoza party, teaming up to put together the gyoza before devouring it. It was delicious.
Jason also had a great time. Just a few days before our visit, he told me that he "needed a girlfriend." I told him he was too young, but he seemed to have found someone to his liking: Sophia, Peter's 12-year-old daughter! I guess he likes older women. Should I be worried?