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02 March 2017 @ 11:40 am
"Because it is biscuit and a peanut, I call it is BISPEA"  
Hi everyone!

There's been a lot going on at work and I haven't written here in a while. Maybe all of winter...

So I decided to share some winter stories with you:


The sun reflects on the white powder that the morning storm strew across the hills. The city never saw it, but I knew it must be there and I asked Yossi to take me to the snow. The sight of rice fields, brown and dead the night before, are now shining and white, connected like a river flowing down between the trees toward the town. The sky is clear on one side, but still dark with clouds on the other. For the moment, we're in the sunny part. It's not a silent day of frosty air, it's noisy with birds picking through the things that have fallen from the trees and the drip dripping of snow melting from the edges of things and falling down. I'm sitting on a hillside, taking pictures. My husband is sitting in his car, trying to get it to move. It's stuck. I didn't ask him to get the car stuck in snow, I just asked him to take me to see the snow. I don't really know why his car is stuck. I've driven through worse in Colorado. If he just turned the tires that way, then that way, and then floored it, I'm sure he'd be fine. But I'm willing to let him figure it out on his own because I'm enjoying myself talking pictures.

We made a snowman at the side of the road. What is the point of making a snowman? He's not real, he'll melt anyway, he makes your hands cold and your breath comes out in heavy white wisps. The point of making a snowman is to make other people smile. So as they turn around the bend in their warm cars, their children will point at the window and say 'Hey look a snowman!!' Maybe they'll be inspired to make their own snowmen. Maybe it will remind someone of their childhood. Maybe they'll be impressed by the tall hat we gave it. In any event, it will surprise people and make people smile to find a snowman where they least expect it. That's why we like making snowmen.

Another story:


Speaking of things you'd least expect, let's say you're going on a short hike with some friends on a frosty February morning. It's a steep slope and just as you start wondering if you should have brought something for energy, you round the bend and find a large group of people pounding rice in to mochi and stirring up zenzai soup. Only 100 yen per bowl! We weren't sure whether we'd try selling it to outsiders or not, but the happy faces of some of these people were priceless. At one point, a field trip of softball players showed up, and their coach let each kid have a bowl of zenzai. Seeing the soft, young faces of the teenagers, some of the older ladies started giving out our mochi for free. One each. Part of me was touched, the other part of me thought it was a little unfair. Why do only young people get free mochi? What about all the other people walking up and down the trail? But I guess the kids must have inspired some motherly feelings among the older ladies in my hiking club.

I love Kobe because of events like this. Look at what can happen when people come together to create something! You can get someone to work hard by handing them money, or you can get someone to work hard by giving them a sense of community, duty, responsibility and rewarding them with smiles, laughter, and some food.

Another story?


Did you know strawberries are self-pollinating, but if bees don't do the work, the fruit ends up misshapen and deformed? Yossi's boss took the whole company on a trip to Kochi and one of our activities was strawberry picking in a greenhouse. While most people were busy eating strawberries, I was busy chasing bees around trying to get them to pose for photos.

Laughing and eating with the women at Yossi's company, I realized that his boss is succeeding in making a sort of community out of his business. With the money from the company, these people's lives are flourishing. Kids are growing up and going to school, one person hosts a barbecue, another person buys a house. . . Yossi's boss looks at all these people smiling together, pulls out a cigarette and steps to the side to watch. He's created something here. I didn't ask to be part of this community, but somehow all of us are here on a road trip together. I may not agree with everything his boss says, but I have to give it to him for creating something more than just money.


(Subject from the wrapping of some kind of wafer with sesame seeds in it)