Thursday, May 8, 2008

HAWAII! And the Matt Attack...!

My Dear Family, Friends, and everyone who reads my blog,

Well, after over a month sailing across the Pacific Ocean from Japan to Hawaii, I was pleasantly surprised by my one and only, Matthew Wayne MacDonald. He flew in on the night of Wednesday, April 30th, and came to a secluded beach to see me. My friend, Angela Haugo, and her fiance, Domi, helped Matt by getting me to come to the beach with them, thinking I was going to get pictures taken with Ang in our cute little dresses (she lent me one of hers) right on the beach at sunset. Some of the girls on the boat knew that Matt was coming to surprise me (Gillian, Leighsa, Elske, and Becs), so they were very excited for my "photo shoot" and made sure I was looking good and did my hair and make-up, with me wondering what the big deal was. They even insisted I wore the earrings Matt gave me to match my pearl necklace. Well, I was pretty excited for the whole thing because they were excited for me, so when Ang picked me up at the dock, I didn't think it was strange that everyone from the boat was looking earnestly to see where Matt was (of course we wasn't in the truck, but for some reason they thought he might be). I was still feeling pretty low and sad that I hadn't got to see Matt in so long, as I had been imagining and dreaming that he just might show up in Hawaii, but I told myself that would be too difficult and unreasonable for him to do, in the middle of work and fire exams and carpentry courses and all. So I felt that a night on the beach with Ang and Domi was a great way to cheer me up. Little did I know what was going to happen...
We arrived at Sand Island, on this beautiful stretch of beach where all the local surfers come, but none of the tourists really know about it, so it was very quiet, not crowded at all, and Domi was sitting on a blanket taking pictures of the surfers (he and Ang are photographers) with a cooler full of food next to him. Ang made some excuse about having to go to the bathroom, and asked Domi if he could get a water bottle out of the truck for her. Domi told me to look out at the water because he could see a sea turtle. I thought that kind of strange, as it is very hard to be able to see a sea turtle from where we were, but he assured me it was there as he could see the head poking up out of the water every once and a while. I was doubtful, but I looked anyway. So, there I was, left on the beach alone, looking at a sea turtle that wasn't even there. I stood up to see if I could get a better look, and then just happened to look over to my right, and see a man running down the beach! He had his shirt off, and was carrying something in his hand (I learned later to be a bouquet of flowers), and his long curly hair was bouncing around his shoulders. I thought right away, "Oh my gosh! It's Matt!" But then I thought that I was just imagining it because I have dreamed of this for so long (11 months!) and I didn't want to start running toward some random man I didn't even know. I thought it was too good to be true, so I wanted to make sure it was him, my Matt! Of course, it was, and it took me a few double takes to make sure of it before I started running full speed toward him! It was amazing! We had the longest hug and I just couldn't stop thinking that it wasn't true. But it was, and he was there with me, on some beautiful beach in Hawaii, after not seeing each other for almost an entire year!
So, we walked back to the blanket that he had set out for us, with the cooler of food he prepared (sushi, fruit, salad, and bottled water - he knows me so well!), but neither of us were very hungry because we were just too excited to be with each other again. We could barely eat, so we went for a little stroll down the beach. We didn't make it more than about 30 meters when he stopped me to turn and face him, and began the speech; he told me how much he loved me, and how he wants to spend the rest of his life with me, and how although this year apart has been very difficult for us, it was proven to be the most amazing experience because we have both grown so much more as individuals, as adults, as a man and woman of God, and therefore our love for each other has become more real and more sincere and true as well. Our time apart was the hardest time, but we both agree that it it through the struggles that the best things in life are produced. Then he grabbed me by my shoulders and said he couldn't wait any longer. He got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. "YES!" I wanted to scream, but I was so choked up by this time that it came out weaker than I wanted it to. I think my enormous smile gave my answer away. He pulled out the ring and slipped it onto my finger. It is so gorgeous, but I really couldn't want for anything than just a lifetime of happiness with the man that I love. No ring - or anything else for that matter - could ever satisfy my heart's longing for eternal companionship. However, he made a great choice with the style, and although it's a little too big, he assured me the man who made it can adjust it when I get home. For now, I have a piece of tape on the back to keep it from sliding around.
We spend the rest of the night together, just the two of us on the beach, talking, laughing, crying, and asking first questions about the last 11 months. Ang and Domi came to pick us up and Matt came by the boat so I could introduce him to everyone as my fiance and so he could meet all the people I have been living and travelling with for the last month-and-a-half. Everyone was very excited and happy for us, particularly my crew! Skipper and Bo made me feel as if I was one of their daughters that got engaged, and they were so overjoyed! We stayed up late, just talking and hugging and reminiscing over the proposal, and by the time Matt left (on the scooter Domi lent him), I didn't get to sleep until after 1am! That night was definitely worth the lack of sleep, though!
The next morning it was my day to cook, so for breakfast I made crepes with strawberries and whip cream for everyone, and Matt came down to the boat at 8am to eat with us. I put out sandwiches and snacks for lunch, and then we spent the day together, shopping at Safeway for groceries, going back to Domi's house to email some people about the great news, and then went out to dinner to celebrate (Leigsha was so sweet and made dinner for me so Matt and I could go out together)! The last week has been so wonderful, and almost like a dream, as Matt and I have tried to spend every available minute together, before he left. We watched some of his Seinfled DVDs, we went on a run, he rented bikes for a few days so we biked to Waikiki, did a little shopping (I bought him a new watch and sunglasses), we went out for lunch, we saw a Hawaiian dance and music show on the street, we called our families to tell the the great news, we drove up to the North Shore to Sunset Beach where we biked for a couple hours, and sat on the beach eating our shaved ice. We could meals for each other, I got a few back and foot massages (I have been needing those for a long time!) and we enjoyed just getting to sit and talk, learn about how we've both changed and grown over the last 11 months, what we're looking forward to in our future together, and what we're excited about when I come home in June. Of course, wedding plans are now in the forefront of our mind, so we are trying our best to get as much as the big plans done as soon as possible, as we are looking towards an October wedding. Luckily, we already have our engagement photos done, as Domi took us out early yesterday morning to Sand Island (where we got engaged) and took a few hundred all before 8:30am! We have picked about 10 of our favourites, and he printed off some more for us to bring home and show people (Matt has his favourite with him, and I have two others plus the proofs of the other 10 we chose). The final ones will be coming next week when Domi comes to White Rock to see Ang.
Anyway, we had a fabulous time together over this last week, and although he is now gone and it is so sad to be without him, I am so excited now for what lies ahead of us back home, and I know that this last Leg of Offshore will give me a whole new outlook and motivation to do well and finish the trip strong! I have more energy, and I feel very refreshed and excited for this last leg, because I know it will just fly by, so I want to make it very memorable and special for everyone on board, as for many trainees this is their only Leg, and their only Offshore experience!
I realize it has been a long time since I last updated (Osaka, on March 22nd, to be exact), but I wanted to have enough time to really sit down and write my reflections over the past month and a half. It has been an incredible experience, the time spent at sea, thousands of miles from land, but I think it is because of that time spent away from land and away from all the distractions of daily life that contributed so much to our community on board the Pacific Grace, and really helped us depend on and support each other, and build lasting relationships and fond memories that will forever be in our hearts and minds. I feel as if this past Leg (leg 6) was the closest in terms of community and really getting to know one another. It was very difficult to have to say good-bye to the trainees, but I feel at peace in knowing that I will see them again, somewhere, sometime. The long time at sea, and all the rough weather and struggles we came through as a family really helped keep us banded together, and I know that it is God's overall love and guidance in our lives that makes us as close as we are with each other, and keeps us honest, genuine, and sincerely interested in each other's lives. We had some great Sunday Service topics throughout the weeks, and among my favourites were along the theme of being known, and how you can only be loved and known by others as much as you allow yourself to be known and loved. We also talked about what we have learned about ourselves and about each other throughout our 46 days together, and what we are nervous or scared about in going home, and how we can resolve those feelings of anxiety by learning to incorporated what we've learned or how we've changed into our lives back home, in 'reality'.
There is really so much to write about, and so much to try and explain (I even found it difficult to try and explain it to Matt and help him to understand), but the truth is that we can never really fully understand each other's experiences unless we also experience exactly what they have, and this is usually not the case. I have slowly come to realize this, and I can accept that and live with that. I am just so thankful and lucky that I have people to share such experiences with (Karen, my crew and trainees), and I know that Matt and I have a lifetime to share together where we can spend as much time as we like learning from each other and talking about how we have changed from our different life experiences (his trip to Africa, his time spent in Alberta working, his time back home in school, working, firefighting courses/exams/interviews, etc...). There is no limit to how a person will learn, and how we grow in Christ. I am very excited for our lives to begin together, and we are both very much on cloud 9 and can't think of very much else, although we are trying to keep our heads level and make the best decisions in this time of our short engagement.
I miss you all, so much, and now that Matt is gone (he left last night - that was really hard to see him off at the airport), I miss him even more! But we will see each other in only 37 days, and that is going to keep me going! I really appreciate all of your thoughts and prayers, and thank you to everyone for your constant encouragement, support and love! I will see you all in June!
Love always, Sailor, Cook, Engaged Katie! ;)

Saturday, March 22, 2008

The Date

This is for Matt and anyone else who knows about "The Date"! Enjoy! Love, Katie

Me all ready for my "Date"


Laughing at Matt, I love you soooooooo much!!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

In Osaka, and end of Leg 5

We are in Osaka, and at the end of Leg 5! I can hardly believe it! It seems as if this last Leg has gone by so quickly, and we have packed so much into these last 3 months! We left Hiroshima last week and arrived in Osaka on the 11th. We had one day off before our work days began, so Gillian and I went all around town via train and looked for places to buy food for the next leg. It was a bit disappointing, though, as everyone we talked to directed us only to little grocery stores that really didn`t have much, and definitely not in the quantities that we needed! So after a full day of looking around, unsuccessfully, we bought some groceries for dinner and the next day, ordered pizza for our two work days, and took the train back to the boat. Our work days went well, though. They were very busy, and stressful at times, but we got everything done that we needed to get done. A LOT of cleaning, shopping, stowing, re-organizing things, and just getting the boat looking good! It was hard work, and a ton of groceries to stow, but we did it! YAY! Only 1 more time we have to do this (in Hawaii between Legs 6 and 7)!

Karen had her 26th Birthday on the 15th, which was also another trainee`s 24th birthday (Scott), so I made a big breakfast in the morning (cheesy scrambled eggs, bacon, and hashbrowns, with oranges) and then Karen`s requested meal for dinner (spaghetti, meat sauce with pureed tomatoes - not diced tomatoes! - vegetables, and caesar salad). Arwen made a chocolate cake, and Jacob and I made cream cheese icing. Karen really wanted a tomato soup cake for her birthday (apparently really good!), but unfortunately I could not find cans of tomato soup anywhere in the stores, so we had to settle for the next best thing - chocolate (which she likes almost as equally, or more)! We lit the 26 candles on the cake, sang happy birthday, and I gave her my present that I bought for her in Shanghai (a lovely dark navy/black wool coat, with toggles on the front, a hood with checkered lining, and perfect arm lengths for her arms)! She loved it! It fits her like a glove, and she was so completely excited and surprised by the gift. I may have been even more excited and thrilled to give it to her, but she was definitely so happy to receive it! It looks beautiful on her, and I can`t get over how perfectly it fits her - the right length and width and everything. And it suits her just perfectly as well!

For our one day off together, the day after Karen`s birthday, Karen, Sarah, and I spent the whole day at Universal Studios Japan, which is not as great as the original one in L.A., but it does have its own uniqueness, and it was quite fun - it even has a roller coaster, as small and short as it is, you get to pick your own song (out of 5 choices) to listen to as you are on the ride! Fantastic idea! My first time I listened to some Japanese pop song, and the second time I picked Bon Jovi! We are docked right across the street from Universal Studios Japan, so the Universal City train station is quite busy and filled with tourists all staying at the expensive hotels nearby, shopping, and visiting Universal Studios. It turned out to be a wonderfully sunny day. Although it was a Sunday, so it was quite busy, but it was open earlier and closed later, so we had more time to look around and spend in the park. We got there by 8:30am, a half hour before the gates opened, and stayed until 8:30pm after the final show of Peter Pan on the water, with all the big sets out on the water, complete with flying, fireworks, dancing, singing (all in Japanese!) and stunts. It was a wonderful time. We got to go on all the rides, see all the shows (Water World, Wicked, Blues Brothers, Backdraft, Peter Pan), and had a fabulous time together, just the three of us!

The following two days were spent shopping for more groceries, making a birthday dinner for another trainee (Sean, who turned 21 on the 13th - I made nachos for dinner), and then we had our big feast and Leg-End celebration on the 18th. It was a wonderful night spent with everyone for the last night all together, and Karen and Sarah did a fabulous job decorating the Hold and Fo`c`s`le (Re-named the "Hold Me Close Discotheque" and the "Fox Hole Lounge")! We had way too much food, the awards were hilarious, we each got two fortunes, and we ended the night with the slide show for Leg 5. There are many memories from this trip, and it was very emotional, as many people who have been on for so long (2 or more legs) are leaving us here in Japan. Karen was the hardest to have to say good-bye to, of course, and there are many trainees that I will keep in touch with and miss dearly. It was a great Leg, and I enjoyed it so much! Only 2 left, and the shortest 2 as well. We are on our way home now, officially, as we head East to Hawaii, and then Northeast to Beautiful British Columbia! Only 85 days away...

See Jeff arrive on the morning of the 19th was definitely a highlight! It was just as Karen and I had predicted! I was getting the table set up for breakfast (cereal, cold milk, yogurt, and oranges for the last morning), when I heard Karen yell down that Jeff was on his way! I ran up on deck, in my pajamas, Karen and I both jumped off the boat and ran, barefoot, to meet Jeff on the dock. He was running towards us too, threw his bags down and picked both of us up in his arms and spun us around! It was so amazing! I was crying, and Jeff was laughing. It was such a wonderful reunion! It`s amazing how almost 10 months can go by and when you see someone again it is almost as if you have not been apart at all, and yet it has been such a long time! Jeff looked great, as always; very healthy and fit, and we were all so ecstatic to see one another again! He brought gifts for Karen and I from home (Matt, Mom and Dad, Amy, Jamie and Judy, Erin-Marie, Ashli) but it was just so great to see him again in the flesh, that I was too excited to read all of the letters. Some of the best gifts received were the hairbrush, trail mix, almonds and raisins, lotion, body butter, lip balm, supplements for women, a book, newspaper articles, Matt`s cologne to spray on things, a postcard from Amy in Mexico, sesame seed snaps, two brand new clean t-shirts (one that says "I love Matt" on the front with a picture of the two of us, "And my crew too" on the back with a picture of me and my crew!), and a pillowcase that Matt made for me with a picture of him on the front, "I love you" written in a big red heart, and a picture of the two of us on the day we first met with "Est. 07-05-2005" underneath. So cute! (Thank you Matt, Mom and Dad, Jeff, Amy, Sonya, EM, Ashli, and Jamie&Judy!) The best gift by far was the DVD that Matt made for me for Christmas, which was lost in the mail sometime, somewhere in PNG, but he sent me another copy. It is entitled "The Date", and he recorded a full evening of him going out as if I was on the date with him! I will have to show it to all of you when I get home - it is absolutely amazing! I went on "the date" three times so far, and I will most likely go on more throughout the next 85 days! Karen and Jeff both saw it, as well as some of the crew, and they all really enjoyed it! I laughed, I cried, I smiled through the whole thing! It was the best gift ever!

So, Jeff, Karen and I spent the last 2 days together, morning until night! It was fabulous! We tried to go see a sumo match, but both days were sold out, so we went to downtown Osaka and up the tall tower there, where we had a beautiful 360degree view of the city, went out for Japanese food, went to Kyoto, saw some gorgeous temples and shrines, had a lovely walk outside down the old canal, walked down the busy city street and looked in the stores, went out for sushi, rode on the trains, subways, and buses, took lots of pictures, and just spent as much time together as we could! It was a wonderful 2 days, but they went by so fast! Now they are gone (they left this morning for Tokyo where they fly out of to Vietnam to start their 46-day tour around Southeast Asia). It was very sad to see them go, but I know they will have a fabulous trip together! I will see them again in only a few months, and I can`t wait! I wrote them both letters to read on the plane, so I hope they enjoy those. It will be very different without Karen around, but I think we will managae alright on the boat. We will miss her terribly, but we can support and look after eachother, and look forward to seeing her again! It was awesome to get to see Jeff again and spend time with him. Seeing him again was like getting a piece of home sent out to us; it was so refreshing! I hope they have a great time together on their trip, and I pray for their safety, enjoyment with each other, and safe and healthy travels back home!

Well, now I am all alone (not really, but without a real family member), and I am looking forward to these next two legs, the last 2 of Offshore! I can imagine they will go by quickly, and I am excited to be going back to Hawaii, and then coming back home! WOW! What an amazing year this has been, so far! I miss you all so much, and I am constantly thinking about what it will be like to return home and see everyone again. I hope that you are all doing well, and that school, work, family, friends, trips, and everything is being beneficial in your lives! I love you all, and I am thinking of and praying for you in all of you in the different areas of your lives. Take care, and I look forward to seeing you all in June! HAPPY EASTER! And welcome to Spring!

To My Dear Matt,
I miss you. I Love you SO much! I will be watching the DVD you made for me as much as possible! It is so great! You are an amazing person, and I am so incredibly blessed to have you in my life! You are perfect for me, and I can`t wait until we are together again! It`s going to be so wonderful! I get teary-eyed just thinking about running into your arms again, because you know I`m going to be running! Good luck with your last week of school, and try to not be stressed out over your final exam and writing your IP! You will be just fine; I know you will do great, you always do! I am so proud of you, for all that you do and for all who you are! Have fun playing squash, exercising, and enjoying these last few months without me. It will all be over soon...! I love you, Matt! XOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOX:)

Love always, Sailor "popeye" Katie

Thursday, March 6, 2008

WHEW! We made it into and out of China safely! Now in Japan (Hiroshima)!

I know, it`s been nearly an entire month since I last updated my blog, but after arriving in China and finally getting to use the internet after the first 7 days of busy busy work (I will tell you all about it later!) I realized I couldn`t even open my blog. Gillian warned me about that earlier, as she said China screens everything that goes on the internet, and everything that they allow the people to see on the computer. So, unfortunately I was unable to use my blog or check other people`s. I was actually quite surprised that I was able to open and use my facebook, but I suppose that is more widely used, maybe. Anyway, after almost a month of no updates of my trip (and the most fabulous Leg of Offshore, by the way, in terms of places we got to go and explore!) I am back in Japan, now on the mainland, and have great access to high-speed internet, in my own booth, with a huge comfy swivel chair, quiet and clean environment, and free drinks! Oh, how I love this blessed country! But not because of what I just mentioned - there is SO MUCH MORE! I can`t possibly explain and describe it all on my blog, but I hope that my pictures and memory will give Japan justice when I return home! Anyway, for all you diligent readers of my blog who have been eagerly waiting for another post, here goes:

After a safe 3-day passage across the East China Sea from Okinawa to China, we had a very exciting and wonderful entry into Shanghai, including the 7-hour trip down the river with our pilot on board. It was a very cold, but very thrilling experience to approach such a huge port, seeing the Pearl Tower and all the high rises and new buildings going up! There is so much about China that is so incredible and yet very different (obviously), but I don`t think I can really convey what it is like in words. I had a great time, though, and enjoyed seeing a bit of Shanghai (grocery stores, silk markets, side streets, etc...) and got a chance to go to Beijing with Karen, a couple trainees, Jordan, and the Andersons, but I mainly just hung out with Karen - which was fantastic! I cooked for 5 days while Gillian and half the crew went to Beijing for a few days for their little time off, with most of the trainees, and then when they got back we got our break, so us 5 flew to Beijing (about an hour and a half flight), while the Andersons took the 14-hour train; there was absolutely no more room on the trains to Beijing as it was the weekend after China`s Lantern Festival, so it was very busy with everyone trying to get home after that holiday. But we made it to Beijing just fine and had a wonderful stay there in a hotel (Karen and I shared a room that had a huge bathroom with a large shower and we could have hot showers every day! YAY!). Our hotel was really close to the Forbidden City, Tian`anmen Square, and also the night market (where food venders sell crazy, gross things, such as centipedes/cockroaches/snakes/seahorses/seastars/sea urchin/lamb testicles/and many other unidentified "foods"). It was a great experience, altogether, and we got to see a lot in the few short days that we were there. We saw Chairman Mao in his glass coffin, the Monument to the Peoples` Heroes, the Forbidden City, Jinshang Park, The Olympic Park and Countdown Clock (for this year`s summer games, in August), we went out to a fabulous Kung Fu Show (singing, dancing, acting, fighting, acrobatics, cirque du soleil tricks, strength stunts, and even a plot!), eating traditional Chinese foods, and we hiked 8km along one of the most beautiful spots of The Great Wall! That was definitely the highlight of the trip; The Wall! Karen and I had a great time together in Beijing, and in Shanghai, and did a bit of shopping too! But we were very excited to leave China, and get back to Japan! We arrived in Shanghai on Feb. 17th, and left on the 28th, and those 10 or 11 days were well spent (things are really cheap in China)!

We arrived in Hiroshima on March 4th, and we have since done a lot of shopping (Gillian and I had a LOT of food to buy!), laundry, bath house (twice so far and I think I`ll go again tonight - it is such a beautiful onsen, with pools, tubs, and saunas outside!), out for sushi, internet, bank, and most importantly the A-Bomb site and war memorial museum in the heart of Hiroshima. We all went together to the site yesterday and spent the whole day there, and it was incredible! I think everyone should go there just to see it and realize how it affected the people and the whole city here. I can`t express how it truly felt and all the things that went through all of our heads, but just know that it was truly a life changing experience! I will have to tell you more about it when I get home. It was just incredible! Truly amazing, and very disheartening.

So, for now I am just enjoying our time in Hiroshima as we may be leaving tomorrow, or the next day, so I will do one last grocery shop, another trip to the bath house, cooking (I`m making lasagne with a garden salad for tonight`s dinner), and catching up on my journal and letter writing! I am having a great time here in Japan, and enjoying as much as I can. I really do like Japan, and I am really looking forward to getting to go to Osaka, and possibly Kyoto and to the Universal Studios (with Karen and Jeff - who is coming on the 19th! YAY!). The weather is still cold, but not as cold as China, where there was snow! My tan has definitely faded (hopefully I will get a little of it back in Hawaii, in a month) and although my hair has grown a lot, it is very dry, and I am so sick of trying to brush through it - unsuccessfully most of the time - that I am almost ready to chop it off, but I won`t. I`ll wait until I get home and get a nice cut. What else can I say? Thank you everyone for all of your letters, cards, emails, messages on facebook/blog, thoughts, and prayers! I miss you and love you all! Take care of yourselves, and keep safe! I will see you all in 3 months! 99 days left!

Love always, Sailor Katie ;)

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Pictures Uploaded to Facebook!

I just uploaded my pictures from Leg 4 and 5 (so far) on my facebook. So, if you get a chance, please check them out and take a look. I tried to get most of them up, not all of them, but most of the ones that I figured you would be interested in seeing. I hope you enjoy them. I will try to transfer them onto my blog, when I have more time (it took several hours to get all my pictures on my facebook)! By the way, we are still in Okinawa, so maybe I`ll get another chance to put more pictures up, possibly tomorrow, if we end up staying another day due to bad weather, which is very likely! So, enjoy the pictures! I`m off to the bath house, once again!

Love always, Sailor Katie :)

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Yes, we`re still in Okinawa!

Well, after staying an extra day because we had to wait for a part to arrive for the boat, we have decided to stay an extra few days because of the terrible weather in the East China Sea! Skipper has been checking the weather several times a day, constantly, and it may be getting better by tomorrow (Saturday, February 9th), so as of now we are planning to leave then. But the 30-ft seas and gale-force winds are very unappealing, so we will leave only when it`s safe to do so, for everyone! That`s just fine by me, and by everyone else, too! We are just trying to keep ourselves busy and occupied with different forms of entertainment to pass the time. We play cards, lots of games, singing, internet, going out to eat, and lots of "last-minute" trips to the bath house! It`s my new favourite place to go and thing to do! Canada should really get bath houses! I even got a nice salt scrub and back massage from a nice, sweet old lady in one of the saunas! I have had some sushi, too, while we have been here, although Okinawa does not have traditional Japanese cuisine. They have their own, traditional Okinawan foods, with a large Chinese influence (noodle, rice, meat dishes). So it is actually difficult to find sushi anywhere, but we found a few places. I am looking forward to getting to mainland Japan and having all the sushi places immaginable available! But first, we have to get to China! I am still really excited to be going to Shanghai, but I don`t want to have to go through that nasty weather that`s just to the west of us. I am having a great time, still, and enjoying all there is to enjoy on this island.
I hope everyone is doing well back home. I miss all of you so much, and I am thinking of you all constantly! I do love you all, and I am continuing to pray for you in all your different areas of life! Thank you all so much for all your letters, messages, thoughts, support, and prayers!

Love always, Sailor Katie :)

P.S. Matt, I love you. I KNOW you know I love you! Enjoy your fourth and final year of your Carpentry Apprenticeship, and I will see you not long after you are done (only 2 months, approximately)! I love you, Matthew Wayne MacDonald, and I am always thinking of you! ;)

Monday, February 4, 2008

Address for our Port in Japan!

Just to let anyone know - if any of you are interested - I now have the address to our port agent in Osaka, Japan, for the end of Leg 5! If you Fedex from Victoria/Vancouver, it will arrive within 3-5 business days. Otherwise, if it`s "snail mail" it will take approximately 4 weeks. No big deal, since we will be in Osaka until March 20th! So, here it is:

Katie Neale, Pacific Grace
c/o Waldron Norton Lilly Intl Osaka (Branch)
Heisei Shopping Agencies Ltd.
Wakasugi Grand Bldg 3F
5-25 Tenjinbanshi 2-Chome

There you go! I apologize for keeping this post short, but I have to get back to my laundry and finish that before I head over the the Japanese Bath House, again, for the second time while I`m here in Okinawa! It`s fantastic! I love it! I will have to make another visit when we get to mainland Japan next month! They are so wonderful! I think North America should get some!

Everything is going well. I went to the World`s largest aquarium up the island today, and saw amazing fish - including the world`s largest fish: 3 whale sharks! SO COOL! We are planning on leaving tomorrow, but no promises. We may stay an extra day due to weather and waiting on supplies for the boat.

I hope everyone is doing well! Thank you all for your comments, thoughts, and prayers! I miss you all and I am thinking of all of you! Can`t wait to see everyone in June!

Love always, Sailor Katie ;)