Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Wednesday morning in Kisumu and Jack is awake!

Early morning call from Jack on the Satcom.  Yesterday they had breakfast at the hotel, then off to see the local bishop.  After that the trio visited two different churches and met lots of great great people.  

Seems Jack is a bit tired, to be expected after the long long trip and by the way, NO AIRCONDITIONING in the hotel.  Jack is not used to being hot while he tries to sleep.  In addition, while there is WiFi in the hotel, it is not actually hooked up to the internet, so it is USELESS.  

More church visiting today, hopefully more sleep tonight.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Tuesday in Kisumu and Jack is awake!

We got a Satcom call from Jack about 0700 Africa Time.  He had gone to bed at 1800 and was pretty well rested. He was happy to learn his bag had been found and was enroute to him.

He is meeting Bishop Jerry and Betty for breakfast.  Then, off to the local bishop's home, then to a couple of local churches. Hopefully the bishop's son can point Jack to the Safari.com store to get a SIM card.

All is well in Kenya!

Bob is LIVE

As you can see, Bob - the GPS Satellite transponder in the right side bar, is LIVE.  Here is Jack on the East end of Lake Victoria!

The case of the missing bag, which once was lost, but now is found - AMAZING GRACE

Got a call from Jack on the Satcom this morning at 0700 Pacific Time, 1700 Africa Time, they still had not found the big suitcase which went missing before Nairobi.  He was concerned, but more than that very tired from his trip.  We told him that we would work it from this end.

The good news is after querying Delta and KLM, they found the bag and it is on its way to Kisumu!  That is good as it has all the Church Basic Course materials and the Satcom charger.  Anyway, hopefully Jack will get a great night's rest and all will be great on Tuesday!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

On the ground in Nairobi, Kenya!

KL 4141 has landed safely in Nairobi. Now for the intrepid trio to get though Customs and Immigration, then find a SIM card and on to the next flight. With luck, we should see some posts from Jack soon!

Turns out they got through Customs no problem, but Jack's big bag did not make it.  The good news is Bishop Jerry's phone works great.  We will check on the bag first thing in the morning.

On the African Queen!

Jack, Jerry and Betty survived their stay at the Yotel in the Amsterdam airport!

Heading for Africa!

They boarded Kenya Airlines Flight 4141 with non-stop service to Nairobi, Kenya.  About four hours there, then off to Kisumu!

Right now they are feet dry over Africa!

Saturday, June 14, 2014

KLM 622 Coasts Out

It is getting late here. Actually we'd be asleep, but we are waiting up for Roy Morales-Kuhn and family. So, here is Jack coasting out by Maine! Wonder if we will be awake when he leaves North America for the North Atlantic? Sadly, probably!

KLM 622 - Airborne!

KLM 622 is airborne.  You can track them HERE!

The Kenyan Travel Group!

Onboard KLM 622

World Traveler lands in Atlanta!

The Journey Begins

Departing San Diego!
World Traveler departing San Diego, California

World Traveler onboard Delta 2267

Friday, June 13, 2014

Kenya Bound!

Those of you who follow Jack know he is the youngest minister in the Anglican Orthodox Church, for now anyway.  He and Worldwide Presiding Bishop Jerry Ogles and Executive Secretary Betty Hoffman are heading to Kisumu and Nairobi, Kenya to welcome the church there into the Anglican Orthodox Church Worldwide Communion.

They leave on Saturday 14 June 2014 and return on Wednesday 25 June 2014.  Watch here for details!

Where is Kisumu?
Kisumu is a port city in Kisumu County, Kenya at 1,131 m (3,711 ft), with a population of 409,928 (2009 census). It is the third largest city in Kenya, the principal city of western Kenya, the immediate former capital of Nyanza Province and the headquarters of Kisumu County. It has a municipal charter but no city charter. It is the largest city in Nyanza region and second most important city after Kampala in the greater Lake Victoria basin.

The port was founded in 1901 as the main inland terminal of the Uganda Railway and named Port Florence. Although trade stagnated in the 1980s and 1990s, it is again growing around oil exports.

Kisumu literally means a place of barter trade "sumo". The city has "Friendship" status with Cheltenham, UK and "sister city" status with Roanoke, Virginia and Boulder, Colorado, USA.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

The Rodent Returns!

Mary and Jack at Naha Airport
Naha to Narita

Narita to San Diego

Out the back door - Jack is coming in to land


Closing in on the runway

Powering off to land

The Rodent has landed!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The End of the Journey begins!

Mary Thomas brought Jack to Okinawa's Naha Airport:

JAL 3098 departed about 30 minutes late at 12:54 JST headed for Narita Airport near Tokyo.  Right now he is expected to be about 7 minutes behind schedule on arrival at Narita.  No problems, that was built into the schedule by Current Operations.  He has a 2+45 layover in Narita which allows for plenty of slippage.

So, once he is on the ground in Narita, he will make his way to Gate 81 joining up with Denise to board JAL 66 for San Diego with a scheduled 17:25 departure, which has slipped as of this writing to 17:35 JST.  Then, once airborne, due to winds, they will be on a southerly route with a currently planned 9+50 flight time to San Diego.  Stand by for an update!

Monday's Activities!

Yesterday we had our usual breakfast and coffee routine! We decided to go to the Yomitan Pottery Village and then go to Zakimi Castle with Denise to show her the castle and possibly locate any geocaches that would be nearby!

With these two locations, we would not be straying too far from home! Our first stop was Yomitan Pottery Village. It was a nice scenic drive through the town to the Pottery Village! The Pottery Village is a series of pottery makers who also sell their goods. They had some beautiful blown glass at one place, and a lot of gorgeous glass and cups and bowls!

The next stop was Zakimi Castle! It was still just as amazing as the first time! It turned out that there was a geocache near the Castle! After we toured the castle again, Denise and I went on the hunt for the geocache!

It turned out to be quite a hike through the steep hills outside of the castle wall, until we finally found the cache by looking around!

After we found it, we returned back to the house and hung out around the house and relaxed! For dinner, we had egg rolls and rice, which was yummy! I went to bed around 2115!


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Sunday, April 13, 2014

The Emperor's House at Shuri Castle

A relaxing Sunday

Sunday was a pretty relaxing day. I woke up in the morning and got dressed then headed upstairs to have breakfast. We did not have anything planned for the day. I had cereal and coffee and then I had the Order of Morning Prayer Palm Sunday Service, and then came back in and had toast for breakfast. The rest of the day, I did the occasional studying, reading and relaxing. Mary and Denise left the house in the evening, and I stayed home and hung out with the girls and watched Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2, and had some Chow Mein noodles for dinner. When Denise and Mary returned they brought us some nigiri, which is the seaweed and rice wrap that I have talked about earlier. This time,instead of tuna, I had two different favors, one with something dark liquid inside, and another a lighter color. I am still not quite sure what flavors they were! I turned in early and went to bed around 2100. It was a wonderful and relaxing day with the Thomas family!


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Saturday, April 12, 2014

Whale Shark at Aquarium

A relaxing day!

Yesterday was a really laid back day, compared to the past couple of days. We did not really do much other than I stayed home with the girls,while Mary and Denise got their hair done. I mostly did a bit of studying, read some books, and played the Wii. After Mary and Denise returned, we went out to check a geocaching spot, only to find that we had missed low tide! Oh well, perhaps today sometime! We had some cool ice cream treats that Denise bought us. Mine was an ice cream cone, in a protective plastic cover! Dinner was the delicious seaweed wrapped rice and tuna that we often get as snacks! All in all, it was a terrific day!


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Friday, April 11, 2014

Bull Shark

An awesome day at the aquarium!

Yesterday was an awesomely epic day! It was again an early rise for me, as I was getting up early in preparation for our trip to the Okinawan Aquarium on the northern part of the island. We had oatmeal with blueberries mixed in for our main breakfast, then we finished getting ready, then we all piled in the Goan and hit the road at 0815!

We took the scenic route up the coast, and boy it was a pretty view! It reminded me in many ways of Hawaii! It was definitely less populated than the southern portion of the island! It would be about over an hour drive from the Thomases house to the aquarium, but it would be well worth it! Mary had packed PB and J and PB and Nutella sandwiches for lunch! which were very delicious! Along with some BBQ flavored Pringles, it was very yummy!

After only one pit stop, we finally made it to the aquarium and parked in the parking garage. We then rounded the gang up and headed to the museum, but first stopped at the net to let the kids okay their energy off and have lunch! We met up with Mary's friends Angie and Greg and their son.

After lunch we headed into the aquarium, which was absolutely stupendous! It had a wide variety of fish, and the highlights of the aquarium were the large tank with the whale sharks, sting rays and dolphins too! After looking at the fish and other aquatic creatures for a while. We stopped at the cafe, and we ordered some taco balls (a taco rolled into a nice crusty ball basically!) and the kids had ice cream floats and I had a coffee float! It was absolutely yummy and delicious!

After the snack, we walked back to the shark tank, which had lemon and bull sharks! All very impressive! We then headed out and parted ways with our friends, and went over and saw the sea turtle exhibit, which had an underwater viewing area (via a tunnel for access), hand then saw the dolphin show there, which reminded me of the shoes I saw at sea world! The dolphins did awesome tricks, such as jumping high, diving down and twisting their tails above water, moving hula hoops on their tail!

After the show, we headed back to the playground and let the kids burn off their energy before we headed home, which would be an hour long drive, which while pretty, seems long to all of us, due to the 60 m.p.h speed limit! When we finally left, I was impressed with the Okinawan Aquarium, which was different from our aquariums back home, with the large water tank for the whale sharks!

We left the park around 1700 or so and arrived home at 1805, where I relaxed and watched a movie before headed to bed, to conclude my epically awesome day!


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Thursday, April 10, 2014

Taco Rice and Soup for lunch!

Palm Trees and Castle Wall

View of Naha from Shuri Castle

Sundial at Shuri Castle

At the Emperors House

An extremely long and epic day at Shuri Castle!

Today was a superbly epic day! I got up around 0615 and got ready for the long and awesome day ahead! Today was the day that we would be going to Shuri Castle, which, though it is only 13 miles from the Thomases, is an hour long drive, thanks to the max speed limit on the Okinawa Expressway of 60 miles per hour, and busy and crowded city streets! We had a breakfast of scrambled eggs which were very delicious! We were scheduled to depart for Shuri at 0800, with a brief stop to drop off Kristyna, then meet up with Mary's friends Angie and Greg and their son Peyton! then we would head to Shuri!

After we got all situated and met up with the group, we headed to Shuri! It was a pleasant hour long drive through the Okinawan countryside, with tombs galore, dotting the countryside! There were old and new tombs whichever ranged from thousands of years old, to brand new tombs that cost approximately $10,000! Also I noticed a bunch of farm land along the way for a good portion of the drive, before we arrived at the Shuri Castle/Heights.

Shuri Castle was the Imperial Japanese Army headquarter's during the battle for Okinawa, and the sight of some fighting, though the IJA had retreated from the castle by the time U.S Forces arrived in May of 1945. We got parked in the parking structure, by the Japanese parking structure guiders. They have people back into parking spots, in a double single row arrangement, which I thought was rather interesting. We arrived at 0915 and left the house at 0806, which meant an hour and six minutes.

We then made our way to the Castle, through the visitors's center to acquire maps of the castle. It is a large and impressive, starting with the walls, made of coral! We made our way through the gateway, which led us on a path, which took us towards the Emperors house, which was an impressive large red house with Japanese styling! We could have entered the house for 820 yen ($8.20) for adults and 320 yen ($3.20) for children! We also made our way to various overlooks, which gave impressive views of Naha and the surrounding areas, and reminded me why the IJA used this location as their Okinawan headquarters.

After a couple of hours touring the castle and acquiring ice cream (iI had a tri colored ice cream, cherry, vanilla and ube (sweet potato), we decided to head to lunch. It was at a traditional Japanese restaurant, where you could either sit kneeling or Indian style, like a Japanese traditional restaurant, or sit in a chair like a regular restaurant. We got a sorbe meal, which was beef with noodles, and also taco rice, which is like taco salad but instead of lettuce, we had rice!

It was extremely delicious! After lunch, we said goodbye to our friends, and we headed to Camp Foster and went to the Post Office and the PX, and then returned back to the house for a relaxing evening with Wii games and quesadillas with chicken! It was absolutely delicious! It has been an extremely epic day! I will get pictures up from the past couple of days tomorrow! Tomorrow, we are going to an awesome aquarium!


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Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Yesterday's epic events!

Today was a lot of fun. I got up at the same time as usual, and I was back on my morning coffee routine with Mary, and now Denise joined us for the morning routine. We sat and had lively small talk on the porch. For breakfast we had cinnamon rolls, which were very good,and we discussed our plans for the day. We would be going to a new park that had mostly roller blade slides. It was exciting! On our way to the park, we stopped at Camp Foster to get Denise a visitor's pass, and to check the post office for mail.

Unfortunately, the Post Office is closed on Wednesdays! Oh well, perhaps tomorrow! So we then went on to the park, which was a lovely 40-45 minute drive. The park itself was near Urasoe Castle Park, which some of the castle walls ere nearby the playground. Like almost everywhere else on Okinawa, it was also surrounded by tombs!

The slides were to put it in on single word "AWESOME!". The one that was my favorite was a very long and tall roller blade slide, that required three flights of stairs up the old castle walls to get too! Once on, it was an awesome thrill ride, and once I learned to lean back! I occult go very fast! Landing was easy, I was able to catch myself in motion and stand. I did that slide about 15-20 times that day, even while the rain came down pouring upon us! I then joined the kids in the obstacle course!

Of course, by the end of our visit at the park, we were completely soaked! Mary's solution was to put towels on our seats, so that we didn't completely soak up the seats! We then headed home, with a stop at FamilyMarg to get some nigtti (tuna and rice wrapped in a triangular seaweed paper) for all of us.

We then arrived at home and ate said nigtti! Then we went out on a walk with the kids and Denise to try and locate some geocaches. All of the places we went to on our hour and a half long walk, we struck out! But it was a lovely evening walk, and I saw some cool sights! such as the Toya Fishing port, cats at the fishing port, what appears to be a Japanese pillbox at the fishing port, and at Sobe, a really ancient Okinawan tomb and a newer tomb, by the playground!

So, not all was lost! We then headed back home to a dinner of chicken! It was absolutely delicious! I then played the Wii with Nyah and Jaiden for an hour before headed to bed! We will have to get up early tomorrow, because we are headed to Shuri Castle!


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Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Denise's arrival

Yesterday was a pretty quiet and relaxing day. Not much happened, except for the arrival of Denise! She originally was going to arrive yesterday, but she got stuck in customs for an hour and thus missed her flight. She had to spend the night in Tokyo and then caught a flight that would arrive in Okinawa at 0610.

While Mary was off waiting to pick Denise up, I had some toast for breakfast and I hung out with the girls and watched them play a bit of Wii. I read some books, did a bit of studying and generally relaxed the rest of the day. Mary and Denise returned around 1030 or so and after we got introduced, we relaxed with the girls the rest of the day.

I played some Wii games with the girls, and we watched the Princess Bride a bit after our dinner of chicken, mac and cheese and cauliflower, and after our dinner we walked to the local FamilyMart and got ice cream Popsicles, green tea, and cookies and cream! And I had the cookies and cream one, which is very delicious!

After the movie, I headed straight to bed at 2100! While it wasn't a very busy day, it was very nice and relaxing!


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Monday, April 7, 2014

Cool horse statue!

Yesterday's wonderful adventures

Yesterday was an absolutely wonderful day! I woke up and had a drink of water and then later some eggs that Mary made. Then a friend of Mary's called and told her about this awesome playground that we could take the kids too, they had big slides that I could slide down on too.

After Mary made our lunches and packed them, and Jaiden came back from her sleepover, we got ready and got ready to go to the park! On our drive there, we made a stop at Navel Kadena, and got "sleds", which are like chair bottoms with handles, so that your clothes are saved from being all beat up from sliding down the slides.

Once done with that, we headed back to the car and resumed our journey to the park. When we finally got there, we were met by the sight of several flights of stairs up the hill! Then we figured it was on the other side of the hill. We crossed over the hill and down another flight of stairs and finally arrived at the park. There were several slides, a big blue roller slide, a giant white slide, and a smaller green, red and a bigger red slide. We got there and met up with Mary's friends and I had my ham sandwich and goldfish for lunch.

After lunch, I got up and got one of the sleds and slid down the white slide. Which was a really fast slide! My legs got kind of beat up on the landing. I then slid on the white slide again, and the landing was easier this time!

After hanging out for a couple of hours, we packed up and headed home. For the rest of the day we just hung out. We watched Disney's Hercules, which I had not seen for a long time! We watched another movie, then we had spicy chicken nuggets with Japanese ranch sauce for dinner (Rango), then another movie (Monsters vs Aliens.) I went to bed around 2045. It was a really wonderful day!


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Sunday, April 6, 2014

A relaxing day (short update)

Yesterday started off the same as the various days. The only difference is that Kurt and Kristyna are gone for a few days. The day was mostly a relaxing day, which was a nice change of pace from the previous days activities. I had church out on the balcony area again, reading the Order of Morning Prayer, then after I finished! I had breakfast of scrambled eggs and coffee. The rest of the day I just pretty much read books and relaxed. In the evening we watched The Legend of Hercules. Which was a pretty good movie, I thought! After the movie, I got ready and headed for bed!


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