Here now and now here or nowhere

The title of this blog comes from a play on words that "now here" is also the same letters as "nowhere" just with a space added in the middle. I am always trying to get better at being in the here and now, and I've always been a bit of a joker so that is why I chose this name.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Staying with Kazuko-san

I kept meaning to write about my stay with Kazuko, but things would come up or I didn't have the time to really dive into my writing about the experience. And now, almost two weeks after leaving her place I fear I won't be able to share, with all you fabulous readers, the thoughts and great things I did with her, as time and new adventures make other past thoughts hideaway. But here goes.

I stayed with a lady named Kazuko for a week on her WWOOF farm. Kazuko is no ordinary lady though, she is a very loving, caring and intelligent woman and you just pick up on this from first introductions with her. She also has cerebral palsy.

Kazuko-san may be slightly physically impaired, but her vast array of knowledge on nearly every subject I was interested in (and oh so much more) was beyond amazing. I got to experience a wide array of farming (such as picking veggies, weeding, harvesting bamboo, plowing fields, spreading compost.. and more) as well as spending some time in the kitchen (making various forms of miso soups, nukatsuke, making udon from scratch, different bamboo creations, sushi, sauces, tamago, and more!!!

There was always someone around Kazuko-san, whether one of her hospice workers or one of the numerous students who came by to volunteer there time to help her. Sometimes up to 5 students would be there. Other times it was just me and Wanda (the other wwoofer staying here. I should mention that on my first night Peggy, another wwoofer was also with us) to cook, entertain and care for Kazuko-san.

I'm putting below some pictures of my stay but one thing I didn't get a picture of was the bamboo forest behind her house. If you walked down this little almost hidden dirt path behind Kazuko-san's house, a drop in elevation of maybe 10ft, you'd all of a sudden be in thi mini bamboo forest. You were far enough away from the house that you couldn't see it. You just saw bamboo around you. On one side there is a brook flowing past and on another a small little waterfall that also led into the brook. From here we'd pull out some of the baby bamboo and this is what we'd use to cook with. To me, it was a zen like paradise spot.

Though I was only with her for a week, I was greatly saddened to leave when I did as I really loved staying here and learning (as well as just being in the company of) Kazuko-san.

On a day trip into Matsumoto I found a temple where pigeons would eat stray from your hand

This fellow gave me some bread to feed the birds

We were given a day off to see the Famous Matsumoto Castle

I like this shot of the Matsumoto Castle. looks photoshopped but it is natural

On the bus back to Kazuko-san's house. I'm a bit big for Japan :)

Dinner time. notice there are 7 plates. This was a night with 4 students around. Also soba and delicious udon soup

we made gyoza from scratch

about to plow the fields and Kazuko is overseeing. This is a soba field.

I finished the field, though you may notice i am in different clothes. The plow overheated so I had to wait a day to finish. Loved doing this job

These two kids' mom is a friend of Kazuko-san. they helped a bit in the field as well. The truck behind them I got to drive. left handed stick is surprisingly easy to get used to. Reversing however, is not.

One of the helpers left his hats at her place so I put it on Kazuko-san. We called it Hip-hop Kazuko!

about to go into the fields.

On my last night we made this delicious sweet rice dish with egg and radish greens. notice under the left of the rice on the brown plate is nukatsuke I helped make. Also the sake in the back is wasabi sake from the Daio farms trip.

The japanese way of showing that rain will be a possibility tomorrow.

some pictures of Kazuko-san and me. sake, shochu, and makoli "may" have been involved here.

some pictures of Kazuko-san and me. sake, shochu, and makoli "may" have been involved here.

some pictures of Kazuko-san and me. sake, shochu, and makoli "may" have been involved here.

This is Toto the cat. He had broken his left front paw before I arrived there. He also LOVED sleeping on my clothes and in my bed. I liked him, my allergies did not. :)

Toto again, on my bed

No comments:

Post a Comment