I know very few people are willing to follow an infrequently updated blog, but I thought I should at least reward the loyalty of those few who are still reading with an update on what I’m doing at the moment (ie: here’s more excuses for my lack of writing).

I’ve been working hard on a new, as-yet unreleased blog called “UTS in Yamanashi”. This blog will, when ready, be a comprehensive source of information for future In-Country Study students from my institution coming to spend their year in Kofu. I am basically hoping to provide answers to all the questions that I myself could not get answered before coming here.

I’ve resumed practice of Aikido by joining the university club. Not only have I become very fat, I am also slow, weak, and horribly out of practice. I know they were going very easy on me too, but having started almost ten years ago it feels absolutely terrible to be the very bottom once again. Aikido has also brought up an issue raised in a previous post (namely Catholics showing the traditional reverence to the kamidana, a heathen shrine placed in every dojo). I’m going to have to take another look at this, probably seeking the opinion of someone with actual competence.

My photography continues to develop, though I’m still thoroughly unschooled in the ways of post-production. All of my shots from the first day in Japan are blue (because of incorrectly set white balance) so I will need to sit down and manually colour-correct each of the fifty-odd shots before I can share them. If anyone knows a way to do this as a batch on iPhoto or Photoshop, please let me know!

This week I hope to visit the university Brass Band for the first time, and perhaps even join up. When they heard that I used to play Clarinet at school, as well as in a marching band, they offered to lend me an instrument. I’m looking forward to it.

Most importantly: I’m trying to retrain myself to observe the full daily prayer obligation. This means I also need to start rising and sleeping at the proper times (can’t say Lauds at 0600 if you don’t wake up until 0800). I could really use your prayers for this, since it’s the hardest change and it’ll have a distinct impact on the rest of my life.

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