Farm without all the pictures

I'd like to show you pictures of Gilda and my farming experience near Kumamoto. Gilda and I were busy and working in dirt all day, so it wasn't conducive for holding a digital camera and keeping it clean. We stayed with Mr. Tokunaga and his wife. While we were there, his daughter came with an entourage of friends and their children. One of her friends was from Berkeley, California and just fascinated with the organic farm Mr. Tokunaga was trying to run. She took a lot of pictures of us and promised to send me some. Still holding out for them. Tell you what: I'll post my story without pictures now and then add the pictures to this entry when I get them. At that point I'll post another entry and direct you to see them.

Here's my journal entry from March 24th, our first full day on the farm.

Wake up to the rooster and read the Bible Lesson. Breakfast at 7, Ryo and Yoko watch TV with each meal, it helps to keep the conversation going actually, giving us something to talk about. Work starts at 8:30 am with weeding theh onion patch. Every 1.5 - 2 hours we have a break so the day goes by quickly. Will all the days be like this? It was so good to be outside in clean and sweet air; I shed off all layers today, down to my short sleeves. Spring is here. Kumamoto was 1ÂșC cooler than Okinawa today, so we did right in choosing a "hot" vacation spot! With good conversation with Ryo, I forget to clear the dishes and help in the kitchen. Need to remember this. Ryo-san and I talk about the on-the-surface differences between Japan and USA like obesity, cental vs space heating, gun control, of course Bush, whaling, and dolphins. I'm glad that WWOOF brings two very different people together so we can disagree about about some things for a change. But don't get me wrong, Mr. Tokunaga is a very kind man who takes good care of us. We need more people like him!

Gilda got to regretting our 1.5 days in Chiyoda, so we talked about changing our itinerary on the way back from Tamana and the Tokunaga's. With phone calls to Aki in Chiyoda and consulting the train schedule, we can squeeze in another 1.5 days on the way back.

Tokunaga-san has two retriever dogs: a black Lab and a golden. The black lab is a male chained to a pole all day, the golden has a fenced in area. At 5 each day we are to walk the dogs. However, Gilda and I soon find out that it doesn't work that day. Cooped up all day, the dogs RUN US! At first I tried to restrict the black lab with a tight leash and commands of "heel!" but then I decided that I should let him run. So I ran along with him, up and down the rice fields. "Blackie" as I'll call him, had to do his business and duty along the way so he kept his nose low and lifted his leg as he was running sometimes. Funny. I tried to run faster than him, just to give him his "walk's worth". After 30 minutes of running up and down the rice fields, Blackie finally slowed down and started to walk. Gilda's Golden was into sniffing and sitting for some reason. We were given strict instructions by Mr. Tokunaga not to let the two retriever dogs interact with each other. I suppose they couldn't handle any puppies at the moment!

After the dog walking, Gilda and I got to philosophizing about which dog we would rather be: one chained to a limited area but free to see its surroundings, or one fenced in but free to roam within 4 walls. Gilda and another guest staying there said they'd rather be free to roam in the fenced area; I would rather have the view and be restricted to the chain. Which would you prefer? Write me your comments! Until next time when more photos come in!

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