Weekend Update

[Taylor]

We had another eventful weekend in Noheji. On Saturday morning, Julie began a language exchange with a friend of ours who helps Julie at one of the local elementary schools. She teaches English privately and wanted Julie to help her brush up on a few things. They spent about 40 minutes going over English and another 40 minutes after that going over Japanese. It was a practical lesson for both of them and they’ll be able to use their newly acquired knowledge at work this week.

After the lesson we drove to the town of Rokunohe to visit some other friends. Julie works with a person who plays classical guitar. We sometimes meet up with him and his wife for conversation, food, and music. When we visit Julie brings her flute and we watch her and the husband perform duets after lunch. It was a lovely afternoon. This time we also got to meet the family’s daughter who was visiting from Tokyo. She’s awesome and, as it turns out, the same age as Julie.

On Sunday morning we went to the local church in Noheji. The previous week it was revealed that one of the members found out I liked to play Go and was interested in challenging me to a game. I brought my board and stones in my backpack and we played a game during coffee hour. While we were playing, Julie set up another language exchange with a different friend who also goes to the church. With this person’s help, she also figured out most of the names of the people in the congregation (an arduous, but obviously very rewarding task).

In the afternoon I went to Go Club and had some decent matches. The stronger players in the club seem more willing to play me now. The third game I played was particularly memorable. I ended up losing by 6 points but had a huge comeback in the middle of the game. I managed to cut off my opponents stones in the middle and forced a KO battle that nearly saved a group of my stones on the left that I initially thought were all but captured. Of all the games of Go I’ve played here, that one was probably the most fun.

All in all, a great weekend. We again seemed to find a nice balance of activity and relaxation.

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