We’re here!

No, I haven’t fallen off the face of the earth.  I haven’t done much updating for the past few weeks because we’ve been spending as much time with our family as possible…  but, after a very long trip, we are in Japan!  Our flight left Wichita Sunday morning at 6:55 and we didn’t get here till after 7pm Monday night.  Of course, that is with the 15 hour time difference, but it was still more than 24 hours of traveling.

We flew from Wichita to Dallas, Dallas to Tokyo, then took a bus to a different airport in Tokyo and flew to Okinawa.  The bus part actually wasn’t as bad as I expected.  We got off the plane in Tokyo and had to go through immigration, then customs, then pick up our bags, buy bus tickets, take a 90 minute bus ride, check into a new airport, check our bags, go through security…  and we only had three hours to do it, but we got to our gate in plenty of time.  Amazing…

After we arrived in Kadena, our sponsors here took us out to dinner at a local restuarant, CoCo’s.  Apparently it is very popular.  The food is mainly curry – Curry Chicken Cutlet, Curry Pork Cutlet, etc.  I wasn’t in love with it, but I think curry is an acquired taste.  After eating some of it, I find myself craving more, so we will probably go back.  Since then, we have been eating our meals on base – Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, A&W.  Maybe after we get a little bit more adjusted I will be brave enough to go try some local cusine.

Our hotel is…  well, it’s actually pretty nice compared to what I expected, but a little different from American hotels.  I was going to take some pictures this morning but I ran out of time and only managed to get this one as we were driving out of the parking lot:

Our room has a fridge and stove top, three bedrooms, a shower/bath, a washer (but no dryer?), and a cute balcony with a really pretty view.  The funny part is there was no alarm clock. The first night, we had to find Matt’s watch and set the alarm on it, but we weren’t sure what time it was locally, so we set it one hour too fast and were ready way too early in the morning.  Also, the pillows were really uncomfortable, so I went and bought new pillows and an alarm clock on Tuesday morning.

On Tuesday, we had our Drivers License test first thing in the morning.  It was way too easy considering we will be driving on the opposite side of the road.  I’m not sure that I am looking forward to that.  We also bought a car.  It is a Mitsubishi Dingo.  It was one of the few cars that didn’t have cigarette burns or a smoky smell, and that the uphosltry wasn’t overwhelming.  So many of the cars here are so ugly!  Anyway, it doesn’t have third row seats like I wanted, but after seeing the roads here, a small car is probably better for me.  And I think it is pretty cute. 

We won’t be able to pick it up till Saturday though, after they put on new tires, install a CD player, and take care of the JCI and road insurance.  We used Payless Motors, and they gave us a great discount for paying in cash.  We still haven’t found a car for Matt, but we should be able to take our time finding one now that we have the first car out of the way.

We also got new Japanese cell phones yesterday.  We went with SoftBank because Matt and I can talk to each other as much as we want for only $10 per phone.  We did have to buy the phones though, which we weren’t used to coming from the states – and they were pricey.  Oh well.  I feel much better now that I have a cell phone again…  too bad I can’t use it to call back home 😦  One thing I though was funny is at the place on base where we went to buy our phone they had big advertisments up on the wall for SoftBank with Cameron Diaz and Brad Pitt in them.  You’d think they’d use local celebrities or something…

Today we are at an all day Newcomer’s brief, but I am skipping the boring parts to update the blog while we have internet access at the community center – I don’t know how long it will be until I’ll be able to get back on.  On Friday we’ll get to go to our housing brief and find out how long it is till we get a house.  I’m hoping we’ll walk in and they’ll give us keys to some of the newly rennovated quadraplexes…  I can always dream, right?  Once we get a house, we’ll be able to get internet and set up our Vonage phone so we can talk to the family again – and I’ll be able to update the blog more frequently.

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12 thoughts on “We’re here!

  1. How are you all? Hope Madison is adjusting better and you both are getting your sleep schedules figured out. It is really sinking in that you are gone now that I am at home. Now that I am home it is really sinking in that you are gone! Little reminders of Madison everywhere. It is going to take many days of adjusting. I found three rocks in my purse a few days ago-wonder how they got there? Is that a bat in the palm tree? Snails – Yuck! I had my fair share of them in CA and WA. I love you.

  2. Hey Amy! Remember me? It’s been months since we emailed.

    Anyway, Welcom to Japan! Glad you finally made it here! I haven’t read any blogs in forever (and haven’t really updated mine in as long) and just happened to think about you guys and decided to check and see if you were here yet. And you are!

    Call me if you need anything or just have questions or whatever about housing or anything.

    from on base it’s 633 4203.

    Kelly

  3. Hi there, I stumbled on your blog looking for timeline ideas and see you just moved to Okinawa! We just left there last year.
    I miss it so, and know that soon you will be adjusted and out having a blast.
    Have fun with there! There is so very much to do and see, not to mention the wonderful friendships you will form.
    Blessings

  4. I was wondering about you! Glad to hear you guys made it there safely and without alarm. Sounds like things are starting to settle as well. I am so excited to read about all of your adventures, so be sure to keep your blog updated!

    :0)

  5. Good to hear form you! Glad you made it sfaely and are getting some kind of settled!

    All my friends who have lived there have LOVED it…so I know you will too!

  6. Welcome to Okinawa! You may remember me from the blog-o-sphere, we have commented on each others’ blogs, at least once. We are homeschooling here on the island, too, having just arrived in April.
    Your trip sounds like it went very smoothly. What a relief! We live off base, but are pretty comfortable driving around, so please let us know if you need anything – although I remember my first few weeks here I didn’t know what I needed or what to ask for! If you can, get a Peace phone book, or two or three (one in each car, one by the phone.) I think you can get them at Schilling Community Center on Kadena. The maps in the back are extremely useful.
    Hope all goes well with housing for you!
    Jackie Lewis

  7. Wow – it’s so interesting to hear about all the very basic things you have to do to set up a new life in a new country. I can’t believe you had to travel for 24 hours while pregnant and with Madison. You’re brave! When is your first dr’s appt over there? Glad everything’s going smoothly for you! Talk to later! Cameron

  8. Wow! Has it been that long since I checked in here?? Oh y gosh! What adventures!! The car is cute! I bet it will be strange indeed to drive on what we consider the “wrong” side! hehehe

    Glad you are all safe and had pretty good travle…. I look forward to another update!

    Love ya! Lisa

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