The whole middle of 2011 in one shot... here we go!

(It's long but mostly pictures so just scroll down, if you like. I understand.)

You've twisted my arm long enough.... ok, no one has said anything, but that's ok, because I wasn't thinking about it either... obviously.

I started building a new website that would incorporate this blog, but Sho was not in love with how it was turning out and then the summer got crazy busy and I haven't touched it since. Our photography has been semi-busy too. Sorry. Anyway, here's a sum up.

First I went to Japan for work. It was a LONG and HO~T month to be working mostly outside in Japan. But it was a great experience. The student run conference that I manage went really well. I am just amazed at the level of dedication and ability of the student leaders. They became very good friends and I hope they remain so.

One of my jobs during the conference was to get a lot of good material for my organization's new website. I did all of the photography and videography on the site. I am actually pretty happy with it all. The videos are... alright. I'm working on it. Even simple interviews are a pretty big production if you want them to look  right... so they don't all look right. Anyway, pictures from the 63rd Japan-America Student Conference (JASC).






Chairs RT meeting






Did I mention that this conference is kind of a big deal? Especially in Japan. Anyway, these two were the chairs of the conference. They are unbelieveably capable and responsible. Far more than I am. I got to spend a lot of time with them, mostly carrying water for the rest of the delegation :) but I don't bemoan a minute of it cause they made it so much fun.


When the conference finished, I put the students on a plane back for the U.S. and I slept for about 40 hours straight.

Then Sho came. And we mucked around in Japan for a couple weeks.




That is Sho's mother on the left. She is amazing and amazingly fun. The friend on the right met us up north in the tsunami stricken area where Sho's amazing parents had moved for six months to do volunteer work through the LDS church. We tried to do our part by spending one day aiding in reconstructing their cities, and one day reconstructing their economy by doing touristy things. The people there were so grateful for customers. It was a pleasure to visit their temples and eat in their resturaunts.

Words canNOT describe what we saw there. It was just shockingly unbelievable. This used to be a string of pretty houses and a city on a bay. In the distance you can see what remains of the tsunami wall that the wave broke through.


Ichinoseki 2

This last one was taken no where near the ocean. That boat does NOT belong there.

Ichinoseki 3

We felt guilty that we had done so little to help. I didn't mean to be such a downer.. I just needed to show  a little of what we did. Let's see what else...

Sho got a haircut. She refuses to get one anywhere but Japan.


Then we did some work for some people in Osaka and Hamamatsu. Wonderful familes we did work for a couple years ago. They were so gracious in working with us again. I hpe they see improvment in our work from two years ago!




This is the view behind Sho's family home where she grew up. How amazing would that be?!


We ate a lot... mostly tasty meat.



We hung out with Sho's brother (Left of me) and sister (Right of Sho) and cousin (on the far left). That was really cool. We've never been able to do that before.


We did Tokyo Disneyland with our good friends. They have the cutest kids. I could play with them all day! I just don't want to spin in that cup anymore than I have to.


I don't think their little girl is quite ready for big costumes... or at least big noses. Maybe that's why she didn't like me too much either. She likes Sho a lot though. Sho has a small nose.



We went to a festival and danced with the locals.


Japan is just a really amazing place.


Complex, yet stunningly simple. Warm and considerate, but oddly able to permit everyone their space. I like it... I could live there.


Suzie Petunia said...

I am so happy you posted! I love hearing about your adventures with your beautiful wife. What a wonderful and unique experience you have with your job. You are lucky. And you are such a great photographer! I am proud of you.

Tell Sho that I don't trust American hair stylists either. :)

wendys said...

How fun! Next time take us with you!

Julie said...

I'm glad I checked back-- I visited your blog a few days ago and wondered where you have been! I love your photos-- amazing, truly. My sis-in-law is moving to Japan this summer (5 kids), I should show her your blog so she can get excited for how beautiful it is.

Abby said...

WOW! 1. You posted. and 2. Your post did not disappoint. I want to go to Japan too!! Can't believe that Tsunami damage. Amazing of her parents to be helping like that. I have some warm fuzzies from that. Sho you are pretty!

mo said...

A most satissfying post after a long dry spell. Makes me want to visit Japan and get my hair cut there!

michaelstubbs said...

What a beautiful place. I am glad that the conference was a success. You do great work. Let's still plan on being neighbors one day wherever you end up.