Wednesday, July 04, 2007

the end of school term is in the air. we are done. we are finished. we have one more day! arrrrgh.
to be fair, i don't have one more day. i am done today. i'm not coming to school tomorrow because i'm going to the airport to bid farewell to Gabrielle. She's leaving the island after five years on JET, and i am sad to see her go. really sad. but such is JET experience--friendships are made quickly and then one has to say "goodbye" until next meeting. because i don't believe i won't see Gabrielle or any of my other close friends again. i'll visit them or we'll meet up elsewhere in the world.

Saying all this doesn't make the prospect of separation that much easier to face.

i have a new keitai. it's a Motorolla Razr. i heard that in the States it's considered pretty cool, or maybe that was a year ago. I got it 'cause it was the 2nd cheapest option for me at the shop. The cheapest phone would have been nearly free but didn't have a camera but did have a radio. i declined.

the typhoon was actually a big hit. It canceled school on Friday and we ended up with a 4 day weekend, the first part of which was spent mostly indoors.
Before typhoon hit us, I picked Ben up Thursday night and it was already apparent then that his coast would get hit harder than mine. Whereas on my side the sea was still peaceful, on his side it was already throwing sand and debris onto the road across barriers.
Saturday, Ben and i went to check out the damage on his, eastern, coast.
The damage was minimal compared to other places on the island but there was lots of sand and roads were blocked off for clean-up. The kids had a blast, though, playing around on large sand piles pushed off the road by bulldozers. The houses along the road in Kawatta collected sand inside and out and we saw people spraying them down with water and sweeping sand off tatami. The kids told us that 4 cars that were in a parking lot across the road got pushed into each other by the waves and the wind, and one was even lifted up and crushed down onto a nearby tree. When we went to look, the cars were already gone, but we did see the broken tree.

Across the island people lost power. I was lucky that and Ben, Gabrielle and I only went without aircon for 5 minutes. We watched movies, and Tv shows, and cooked delicious food, drank chu-his and played boardgames. For being the first truly typhoon party, it was a success!!

i download the free NPR shuffle podcast and it's great. i love the variety and the unexpected turn the collection sometimes takes. i also like NPR's fresh air, although sometimes Terry Gross' questions strike me as overly simplistic, she feeds the answer to her quests through her questions. but not all the time.
anyways. i recently listened to a Fresh Air podcast about Victor Bout, the infamous arms dealer. His story is amazing--it's bewildering to think how many conflicts, genocides, revolutions, rebellions, etc.. he has helped supply with firearms. He has no identifiable ideology and the most fantastic of all is that his planes have flown arms and essential supplies for the UN and United States, most recently into and out of Iraq. The two men Terry spoke with, Douglas Farah and Stephen Braun, have written a book about him called Merchant of Death: Money, Guns, Planes, and the Man Who Makes War Possible. They spoke casually about their subject and every once in a while even laughed about the ways he has built his far-reaching business. At first, i was appalled by their seeming lighthearted approach towards the topic, but then i started laughing with them. This is the age we live in--and it's amusing to say the least. Here's one man who has found a niche and in the best example of capitalistic entrepreneurship has built himself an empire by selling weapons. But not only has he not be caught and stopped, his planes have been used by various "anti-terrorist" governments, most prominently the United States, to advance their ends in conflicts around the world. And that's how the world spins round. Ya gotta laugh.

and i'm awaiting the delivery of the new Harry Potter book. Should be coming to my door Saturday or Monday. Yipee!


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