With the changing of the month comes many other changes at ARI. For one, volunteers rotate groups, so I (Jenny) am now in Group 2 (the pig group) in the crops and vegetables section, and Doug is in Meal Service. This means he cooks breakfast for morning FoodLife Work and cooks dinner for evening FoodLife Work. With me working in the kitchen during morning and afternoon activities, that means there is a Knight in the kitchen helping to prepare all three meals each day!
Other changes include the changing of leaves, the demolition of Old Koinonia, and the participants' preparation for upcoming Western Japan Study Tour. You may recall that in August, the participants left ARI for two weeks for the Rural Community Study Tour as part of their curriculum. Well this is a similar tour in which the participants will travel all over Western Japan visiting different farms and organizations related to their study. It will be another quiet 2 weeks on the farm for us staying at ARI.
|Bye Bye Old Koinonia!|
Bazaar in Tokyo
As we mentioned last week, last Sunday we headed to Holy Trinity Episcopal Church in Tokyo for an annual bazaar (market/festival)! ARI was selling a few goods there and we went to represent ARI and show our support and appreciation for The Anglican Episcopal Diocese in Japan, Nippon Sei Ko Kai. They are the ones who granted us our Certificate of Eligibility for our visa, so we are very grateful for all of their work in Japan and in the world.
We navigated public transportation and miraculously found ourselves in the right place and the right time, to meet up with J.B. (remember? Past ARI staff, director of AFARI). He showed us to the church where many, many people were already busy preparing themselves for the crowds lining up at the gate. There were all kinds of food: curry, oden, yakisoba, pizza, biscuits, yakitori. The three of us feasted on just about every kind of food there. We met many people associated with the Church and otherwise, and overall had a wonderful time at the bazaar.
|Inside the Sanctuary|
|Sam, he works for the Diocesan Office, he made pizza!|
|Emma, from Uganda, on the bus!|
Last weekend, the participants also traveled to Tokyo for their “home-stay program.” Members of Tokyo Union Church volunteer to host participants for an overnight stay. So they had all gathered at that church Sunday morning to worship and have fellowship. We were not sure what time they were all headed back to ARI, but in the hopes that we could save time and money, we decided to try and find the church to hitch a ride back to ARI on the bus. We hurriedly followed J.B. through train stations and busy, crowded Tokyo streets. We saw many families dressed up for Halloween, and many people just dressed up (for Halloween or not, we are not sure!) We seemed to have walked for some time, we had not idea how far we would be walking, but all of a sudden, we came upon a group of people standing outside this assumedly office or shopping building. Shouts of “Doug!” “Jenny!” “J.B.!” rang out and we realized we had made it, and on time as well! The participants were all waiting outside for the bus to arrive. It was a joyous reunion, the participants had no idea we were coming and hugs were shared all around. I think we all slept at some point on the bus ride home. :)
A Week with Chickens: 4 Things
- Well, it was only a matter of days after I had the opportunity to butcher chickens that Doug was given the opportunity as well! This past week, the farm volunteers afternoon work was to butcher the remaining broilers (34). I also took a break from kitchen work to help and to document. Here are a few photos from the work.
- Before switching out of Group 4 (chicken group), I had the opportunity to help vaccinate the chicks. We administered two different vaccinations, one was through an eye drop and the other through a wing prick (not technical terms). It was very interesting to have just butchered broilers, at the end of their lives, and to witness the chicks at the beginning of theirs.
- I wanted to personally and directly justify my actions of butchering chickens. So on my day to make main dish for lunch, I decided to honor the chickens by making a dish from our culture: chicken and dumplings. I had never made chicken and dumplings (southern style dumplings, no biscuits!) before, but I would say my attempt was a raving success. I will definitely be making more of this cold-weather comfort food in the near future!
- One last thing, and this is only a teaser, but Doug and I have been getting in the holiday spirit in a hallmark kind of way, so prepare yourself! Enough about that.
Doug and I have taken the next step with our personal field! After removing all the grass and oil cakes (oil had been disposed of in some parts), we spread bokashi and rice-husk charcoal over the plot to provide nutrients to the soil. The next day, we planted garlic and wheat! Nothing has sprouted yet, but we are patiently awaiting.
|Doug sowing wheat|
|Seeds are sown and plot is mulched, now we wait.|
I want to leave you with this song, it has been in my head this past week. We sing it often at St. Peter's Episcopal Church in Conway and it's lyrics have really come to life for me here at ARI.
For the fruits of all creation, thanks be to God. For God's gifts to every nation, thanks be to God. For the plowing, sowing, reaping, silent growth while we are sleeping, future needs in Earth's safekeeping, thanks be to God.
In the just reward of labor, God's will is done. In the help we give our neighbor, God's will is done. In our world-wide task of caring for the hungry and despairing, In the harvests we are sharing, God's will is done. (I found this 2nd verse in a hymnal here at ARI, we only sing the 1st and 3rd at St. Peter's)
For the harvests of the Spirit, thanks be to God. For the good we all inherit, thanks be to God. For the wonders that astound us, for the truths that still confound us, most of all that love has found us, thanks be to God.
We hope everyone has a wonderful week! Please keep our participants and accompanying staff in your thoughts and prayers as they begin their tour this week!
Fellow servants in Christ,
Doug and Jenny