Trip to Japan, November 4, 2002 - November 12, 2002:

What times these are for me. For virtually my entire life, I have been a student of Asian culture. Part of my interest always focused on Japan. Japanese culture has many concepts that have great appeal to me and my view of life. The concept of peaceful harmony - "wah" - is one. Within my life, I strive to find that kind of harmony that lets me function in happiness and interact with others without the blistering abyss of friction and conflict that seem to dominate these days.

At a community event, "The Wet Spot in Paradise," I became re-acquainted with the gifted Japanese translator, Maiyim Baron. Maiyim went to school in Japan as became a professional translator. She understands Japanese culture and her language skills both in English and Japanese give her a unique ability I have rarely seen in other language translators.  Maiyim told me about the Seattle/Kobe sister city celebration in Kobe. She told me that if I wished, it would be possible to participate. I asked about retaining her skills as a translator. We quickly came to terms and started planning the trip. I could hardly believe it!