Posts Tagged “Jehovah’s Witnesses”

Today was an interesting day for a couple of significant reasons.

I woke up at 5:45 this morning and decided to go for a run. You might not have thought anything of that last sentence, but I haven’t been able to run since I broke my knee last year (exactly one year and one month ago). Last time I tried to run was when I was chasing my beagle Ellie at a dog park a few months ago- I got a few painful steps in before I had to stop. This morning I figured it was about time to try again, so I took a Percocet and aimed for a hillside shrine near my apartment.

I quickly discovered that it was still painful, but not nearly as bad as it had been. What was weird though, was that it felt like my right leg was longer than my left. Each footfall on my left side felt as though I was falling from an inch or two higher than my right leg, and I ended up with a really awkward, off-balance gait. Between the increasing pain and the symmetry weirdness, I changed to a brisk walk after I got to the shrine. (I think I’d like one more session with a physical therapist, just to see what they have to say about my gait issues and what I can do to resolve them. I assume I’ll be able to run again at some point, I just don’t know how to get there.) I spent the next hour or so power-walking up and down the small roads that line the hillside citrus gardens near my house. I didn’t have my camera with me because I was wearing workout clothes, but I want to go back and take pictures of the neat little monorail tractor things they use to get stuff up and down the steep slopes easily.

The other significant thing about today was that it was my first dispatch lesson without Ms. Semba. I handled ringing the appropriate extension and announcing myself from the unattended reception phone. I went through the worksheets and activities without using Japanese (not that my Japanese would really help). I answered questions, and basically just conducted class without relying on Japanese translation or directions. It was a great feeling, like I’d graduated high school or didn’t need a babysitter for the first time or something. I wouldn’t have been able to do it without Ms. Semba’s support and the worksheets she made from my lesson plans, a fact of which I’m acutely aware. So it looks like I’ll be running those lessons solo from here on out, a fact which is simultaneously empowering and a little intimidating.

In other news, I found out Japan has Jehovah’s Witnesses when a pair just came calling at my door. Each wore the standard missionary attire- slacks, Oxford shirt, and conservative tie, and carried the same bag full of books ready to hand out to interested parties as you’d expect. The experience was a bit surreal though, kind of like watching a tired old movie for the hundredth time and suddenly discovering that the dialog’s been dubbed into a language you don’t understand. They apologized for not speaking English, and pulled out a book of translations of different languages that all basically said “I’m sorry I don’t speak your language, but if you’d like information on how to improve the world and live in a place without worry or hardship, I’ll be glad to supply you with materials in your language that tell you about Jehovah.”

The only Jehovah’s Witness I’ve ever invited into my home was when my second cousin coincidentally knocked on my door when I lived in Sparks. She and her friend came in, had some ice water, and we chatted for a while, and then they went back out in the heat of the Nevada sun. So I was rather relieved when my two Japanese gentlemen callers pointed to the line about supplying me with more information in English, and said questioningly “No thank you?”

“Yes,” I agreed, “No thank you.”

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