I've posted photos of my time in Nagoya. It was such a treat to visit friends, and the work arrangements there went well.
A brief update ... I've had a fantastically successful week of work in Japan. We've been working with our partners here developing and configuring a system for a refinery, and today we had a meeting with them and got very positive feedback, which was very rewarding. I'm totally loving being in Japan again! So much seems so familiar even after a long absence. I've posted photos of the trip so far online.
Some brief news updates after a long hiatus:
I've posted some photos from James's International Day at school that they had recently - he decided to dress up as someone from Afghanistan with a real Afghan hat that my uncle sent him - the rest was pure improvisation! We're off next week to Kwazulu/Natal for a holiday with Danielle's parents and sister to celebrate her mom's 70th birthday! Really looking forward to it. There's lots of chickenpox going round at the moment so trying to work out what to do about that... and then it's into the Christmas holidays!
In a slight break from our normal family news...
Since our holiday it's been the flu season in Cape Town - swine flu, other flu, and serious pneumonia going around. We've all been sick in turns and James has spent quite a while off school - two weeks a few weeks ago, and then the first three days this week. He could have gone back earlier the first time but we didn't want to risk him getting a more serious infection. He's back to school today. Tomorrow is their dress-up-as-a-Letterland-character day which he's really excited about (yes, he's going to be Jumping Jim).
We got back on Saturday from a wonderful holiday in the Eastern Cape. We really benefited from having a concentrated chunk of time together as a family... and we got to see lots of animals, which we loved!
We're just sitting at the airport about to go to PE for an amazing treat - a holiday in the Eastern Cape, going to the Mountain Zebra National Park and Addo Elephant National Park for 9 days!
We've just come back from a wonderful four days in Volmoed, in Hermanus (where we've been before a few times). We caught up on sleep (David has only struggled with sleep for one night out of the last two weeks!), had good time with God, praying and reading Tested by Fire by John Piper (available online as The Hidden Smile of God), which gave us fresh encouragement about God's sovereign purpose... cried, played with James and Charis, made spiders, went for walks, went for a family picnic at a beautiful waterfall, collected fir cones, made a braai and some roaring fires to keep us warm in the evenings, watched movies, looked at the stars (and Venus and Jupiter) and felt very very grateful! We've uploaded some photos of the holiday.
After yesterday's good news that James's bone marrow has been given the all clear, we had an appointment with the Prof who is in charge of James's treatment where we were able to hear more fully about the bone marrow test and analysis. We appreciated that both Prof and James's pediatrician seem to understand how difficult this is for parents emotionally!