Monday, May 21, 2012

Sunday, May 20, 2012 Day Two of the Fair, and at the City Beach Kids Play and We Pray where Terror Struck One Day

I meet the other Christians from Reach Global:
Andy and Lorna and their intern Ann, and also the other Jonathan and Katherine. Our booths and tables, drinks and supplies go up like a well-oiled machine.
Boxes of new clothes donated by department stores arrive for a clothing give-away--set up like a store but with no charge--so the BeOnes, the Buddhists, and the Boy Scouts help unload by forming a human chain from the street up the stairs.

The face/hand painting and the shaved ice are huge hits;
so huge that in five hours Beth says she hardly had a chance to look up and see what was going on around her;
and someone has to make two trips to the store for more ice, cups and spoons.
We hand out cold coffee, tea and carbonated orange cider (my job) as fast as we can put ice in the cups and pour them. Age seems to make now difference-- older women love to have their hands painted too.

A fifteen minute break for lunch and then back to work. Chad, it seems tries to talk to everyone that comes by.
A group of deaf ladies in sitting across from our booth and Lorna finds that the sign language is similar (it helps that one reads lips). Tsuchiwa-san shows up to pitch in with the rest of us,
and then surprise, so does Aoki-san, who gives me a hug and says a bunch of stuff I don't understand, and then shakes my hand. He says old Japan had its samurai; the American old west had its cowboys, and he thinks I look like Wyatt Earp. Okaaaay. I learn that Aoki-san plays baseball on an adult team, and that he's a carpenter which keeps him very busy these days even though he seems old enough to be retired. So now both of them are pitching in,
and Josiah looks dangerous hammering with the ice saw, and I snap pictures between filling drink cups.
Five hours is a long time, but at least we're mostly in the shade, and then things finally start to slow down, and it's three o'clock and we break down the folding canopies, and the facepainting is still going on even after we fold up their booth.
Boxes of clothes back on the truck (quite a few less now) and we have six cartons of flavored ice concentrate to take home until???

We meet at the beach. It used to be a favorite picnic area and even surf spot; but now a lot of people stay away. The kids run out to the end of the breakwater, and then come back to wait on the wet sand for the water to come up their ankles.
We almost have the beach to ourselves as we sit down to contemplate, then sing "have you ever stood at the ocean..."
and then pray for the people we met at the fair today, and for the Memphis team who are leaving at 4 am. I drive Tsuchiya-san home, and Joyce (who lived in Yugolavia through the Balkan war and the fall of the iron curtain) back to her apartment, and then back to the guest house. The Memphis guys are out trying to find some varieties of Japanese food they haven't eaten yet, and for the moment I'm by myself, and by morning, I'll have the guest house to myself.

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