A day-to-day, true to life drama of a Jamaican male, living and working in Japan.

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Thursday, July 25, 2013

Singapore Again - 16th Baptist World Youth Conference

Japanese Sentence of the Week - Itta koto arimasuka ? いったことありますか? Have you been there before?


Days 1943 - 1949
Sunday, July 14 - 20, 2013

Be prepared, this is one of my longest blog posts !!! 


Day 1943 ( Fast and Furious 6 )
Sunday, July 14, 2013



Went to church today then to Good Wood Terrace, Jamaican restaurant in Shibuya, Tokyo. I gave them back the Bob Marley poster I borrowed for the TV interview yesterday. I then went back home and watched Fast and Furious 6. It was pretty good. Great action, some of the acting was a bit off but the action made up for it. Story line was good enough and I would give it a

6 - Theater Worthy 

and a 8.5/10 on my old rating scale. It was exciting.

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Day 1944 ( Happy 30th Birthday Nintendo )
Monday, July 15, 2013

Gave an English oral test to the third graders. Of course they didn't want to do it, but they did pretty well. Afterwards, I had to do 2 substitute classes. The first class was one with five grade 4 males. I thought they would be difficult to manage but surprisingly they were very cooperative. Far more cooperative than the 3 females I taught earlier!!! The other class was mostly high schoolers. Some of who will be going to university starting next year. They were of course cooperative I guess because of their maturity level. The main teacher who teach these guys is really lucky. Almost all my classes at this YMCA is a bunch of brats.

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Nintendo brought arcade games into homes 30 years ago


On July 15, 1983, Kyoto-based Nintendo Co. launched the Family Computer video game console, or “Famicom.” Priced at ¥14,800, more than 63 million units of the iconic white, red and gold machine were sold worldwide, laying the foundations for today’s gaming industry.


The original Famicom had an 8-bit CPU that ran at a speed of 1.79 Mhz and 2 kilobytes of RAM. To put it in perspective, Sony’s PlayStation 3 has 256 megabytes of RAM — 100,000 times more than the Famicom.


Most of the characters were given large faces and big noses to make it easier to distinguish them. To lessen the need to program facial movements, Miyamoto came up with the idea of adding a mustache to the main character. The completed image was thought to resemble an Italian man. Hence, one of his most famous creations was named Mario, Miyamoto said.





The company was founded in 1889 and had success in selling traditional “hanafuda” playing cards.
Its first electronic venture into home gaming consoles was a 1977 product called Color TV Game 15. It also launched a series of handheld electronic games known as Game & Watch. It was former President Hiroshi Yamauchi who decided to invest these profits into developing the Famicom.

“(Yamauchi) made the best decision under limited resources and options, at the right time,” current President Satoru Iwata said in an interview in “The Philosophy of Nintendo,” published in 2009. “If I were told to do the same thing, I don’t think I’d be able to do that,” he added.

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2013/07/15/reference/nintendo-brought-arcade-games-into-homes-30-years-ago/#.Ue_OqtI3BrN

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Day 1945 ( Heading To Singapore Again / Seeing Earth from Saturn)
Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Stayed in most of the day, preparing for my trip to Singapore. Making sure I forget nothing that I needed.

I then left out at about 9pm and went to a station name Keikyu Kamata. From there I should have taken the airport train to go to Haneda. But I took the airport train going in the opposite direction. I had to get out at the very next stop then take the airport train going in the direction of the airport.

Singapore!!

Got on the plane for a 11:45pm flight. First I would stop in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, wait a bit then to Singapore. The flight to Malaysia had a little turbulence but everything went well afterwards.

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Wow! NASA Probes See Earth & Moon from Saturn, Mercury



NASA has unveiled spectacular portraits of Earth and its moon from billions of miles away in images captured on Friday (July 19) and released today by the teams behind the agency's Cassini spacecraft at Saturn and its Messenger probe at Mercury.
In the photos from Saturn, Earth appears as a tiny pinprick of light amid the haunting rings and glowing sphere of Saturn, which Cassini has been orbiting since 2004.



http://www.space.com/22047-earth-moon-photos-from-saturn-mercury.html#sthash.rDe2WJQI.dpuf


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Day 1946 ( Day 1 - Baptist World Alliance 16th Youth Conference
Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Arrived in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia at around 6 am. Had to wait for close to 4 hours to get on the flight to Singapore. And for the third time entering/leaving Malaysia....One of the custom guys stopped me to re-check my passport. This time the guy stopped ONLY ME!!! then took out a magnifying glass thing, and did a thorough scan/screening of my passport... I saw many others pass by... He stopped only me... And said a familiar thing that I heard in Malaysia..."It's the first time I am seeing a Jamaican passport!!" ...Oh Lord!

Anyway, I got on the flight and it took about 1 hour to get to Singapore. I got through customs easily and as soon as I got to the airport, I saw someone with the Baptist World Alliance sign.

I went to the guy and he gave me some information about getting to the conference location and my hotel. I could have taken a train (US$2) a bus (US $9) normal taxi (US $15) Benz/BMW taxi (US $55). I took the bus, because it dropped me right at the hotel. It took about 30 mins from the airport to the hotel. So first I checked in at my hotel. Its a new hotel in Singapore name simply "Big Hotel"


Big hotel - small in comparison to the others in Singapore

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I got my room which was on the 8th floor. Room number 0828. In the elevators, you have to swipe your key at a sensor, in order for you to press a button in the elevator. I've never seen this before in all my travels. The room was nice, small and had some interesting features. Like when I turned on the TV, it had "Welcome Mr. Collymore" written on the screen!! This too I've never seen. I could also watch fairly recent movies for free.


This Android tablet controls the lights!!!


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I turned on the TV to watch some English news and random Discovery channel and BBC stuff that I haven't watched in ages. Then I got ready for the opening ceremony of the conference. I asked the hotel guys how to get to the location. Which was Suntec City International Conference Center. And you know me with getting lost. So I used a map and still I was heading in the opposite direction until I noticed a train station on the map, which was in the total opposite direction of where I should have been heading. But that helped me a lot. So I started heading in the right direction after 10 mins of going the wrong way.

This is not where I should be heading
But I took pictures to remember the way

An Indian guy came up to me and offered to help. He said he was a former engineer with the British army. He walked with me to the Conference centre.


After he showed me where to go, I asked him how I could help him back. He said he would take cash...Why did I ask!!! So I gave him 1000 yen (US $10) and he was asking for more!!!! All he did was walk with me for 7 mins....He was lucky I was in a good mood.... I then registered and collected my conference stuff.


I went into the conference building for the opening night of the conerence and I was surprised at the turn out. 5 years ago when I went to the 15th Baptist Youth Congress in Germany, there were about 6000 participants. This time, only 2500. Less than half.



Neville Callam (Jamaican) - General Secretary of the Baptist World Alliance
Giving Greetings.

After the opening ceremony, I had dinner with some of the Jamaicans who were there.

Try not to be surrounded by too many Jamaican women. You have no say!!!


I then walked back to my hotel. Got lost several times but eventually found my way :)

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Day 1947 ( Day 2 - Baptist World Alliance 16th Youth Conference
Thursday, July 18, 2013

Woke up a bit late, because I went to bed late. I was asked to lead a group with Bible study, based on the theme "Reach" - Reaching out to God and Him reaching out to us. ME!! President of the sinners club?? Just kidding.... When I got to the group, everyone was silent. Then I found out afterwards that in the group, there were at least 4 pastors and several youth leaders. There were people from India, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, USA, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Malaysia, Mexico, Cambodia, The Philippines, Venezuela and me from Jamaica/Japan.


The discussion went well and a few of them had some very interesting stories about how they got to Singapore. One guy took a loan because he really wanted to attend. After the discussion, I had lunch then went to a session. The session was "Leading Different Kinds of  People" afterwards, I had a long chat with a former pastor of the Jamaica Baptist Union, Eron Henry. I saw him in Germany 5 years ago as well. We spoke about several stuff along with some other guys from a wealthy (mostly black) US church.

Left - Eron Henry - Former pastor in Jamaica
Right - President of the BWA, John V. Upton, Jr.
After the long talk, I went to another workshop about "Leading Young people in Missions" I then had dinner with some friends.



I also met some Japanese there as well. This guy from Okinawa was the first Japanese I met there.

Junpei 様

After dinner I sat with some other Japanese delegates. And just like good Japanese, some of them who didn't know who I was, initially had some resistance, avoiding me kinda thing. Sorry I tend to notice these very minor nuisances. After a while they warmed up a bit. The pastors were ok. Then the pastor who I actually met 3 weeks ago, sat beside me. Shortly after, the speaker for the evening started the service.


The Japanese pastor then placed a lady beside me saying she understands zero English and asked me to translate for her!!!! Who me!!!! Well I did my best. She said it helped her out.
After the service, I took some random pics with people. I found this Indonesian group particularly interesting.


Those black people are from Papua in Indonesia yes Indonesia
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Day 1948 ( Day 3 - Baptist World Alliance 16th Youth Conference )
Friday, July 19, 2013

Was on time this morning for my Bible study group. We spoke about reaching out to others. What we can do to help others in the conference as well as at home when they go back there. It was a good discussion like yesterday. The people in the group were speaking up more.




After the Bible study, I went out to tour Singapore a bit. Last year all I did was took pictures of the Marina Bay Sands hotel. But a Japanese acquaintance of mine told me that I could get a tour and/or go up to the top of the hotel for a view. So I decided to go up the Marina Bay Sands Hotel.





While at the top of the Marina Bay Sands, I saw some people with the same shade as me, if you catch my drift. There are not too many of us here. So I greeted them. They were on their honey moon there in Singapore. They both live in Australia but the guy is originally from Uganda, while his wife is from Kenya.


View from a top the Marina Bay Sands Hotel


Honey Mooners



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I then went back to the conference area and met some Jamaicans who are living in the US. My T-shirt caught their eyes.


Then I met up with my Austrian friend who I initially met back in 2005, Connie. I met him when I went to Virginia on a 3 week mission to build ramps, doors etc. I can't believe he is way taller than me now.

a 6 footer



I saw him in Germany back in 2008. This was how he looked then.

There on the left just barely taller than me at Germany in 2008


This time on the right.. where I was much taller at Virginia in 2005

I then did a small performance with my friend Jec from the Philippines.




In the evening, the speaker was a guy from Argentina and he was really funny. I thoroughly enjoyed his style of presentation.

Lucas Leys of Argentina
After the service, I didn't feel like going back to my hotel. So I walked around a bit with my Swiss friend. We eventually saw our Filipino friend and we had some drinks and light food. We also met up with an Australian who studied Japanese as well as a girl from Singapore who spoke a little Japanese as well because she likes manga and anime.


What are those crabs on the left doing???? My eyes!!!


I went to bed at around 4am. Actually every night in Singapore I go to bed between 3 - 4 am and wake up at 9 am.

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Day 1949 Day 4 - Baptist World Alliance 16th Youth Conference )
Saturday, July 20, 2013 ( 5 Years / 4 Months )

I somehow managed to wake up early and got to Bible Study on time. Before the Bible Study began, I saw some Japanese delegates and took pictures with them.



We spoke about missions at the Bible study session. There were some really interesting stories from a guy from India and another guy from Zimbabwe. The guy from India said some extremist Hindus killed someone he knew who was involved in the mission. And they are threatening to do more. After the death of his colleague, he organized a demonstration, demanding justice for what was done. And because of the disruption he caused, he was thrown into jail on 2 separate occasions. It's stuff like this that makes people turn away from religious stuff all together. I can totally understand. I admire his courage though.

We then took our final group photo together. It's kinda blurry but yeah.


I then met up with a few of the Jamaicans and hung out with them for a while.



To di world!
Then the Jamaicans disappeared all over the place. I hung out with the Indonesians for a bit. No steady people to hang out with. I love the Indonesians !!! And they love my Naruto T-shirt.




Afterwards, I had lunch with my new Swiss friend Ann, the WCC (World Council of Churches) intern who attended our conference.


Then had a loooong chat with Neville Callam, the Baptist World Alliance General Secretary from Jamaica. We spoke about quite a few things. He is the first none European decent / Black person to be the General secretary of the BWA. He said it is a challenging job and almost every couple of weeks he is in a different country. Can you believe that he is still getting subtle and not so subtle racist sentiments? From Christians!!! This world has a looong way to go with racial acceptance. Or it may never ever change.Well I'm not surprised. But I can still hope.

Neville Callam - Former pastor of the Tarrant/Balmagie Circuit of Baptist Churches
Now General Secretary of the Baptist World Alliance
Founder of TBC FM (The Breath of Change) radio station in Jamaica

Afterwards, I went on a boat trip with my Filipino friend and his friends, as well as the Swiss intern and her friend. I have no clue where the Jamaicans scattered to. The only thing I remembered hearing from someone was "Fly". Fly where, fly how, I don't know. We saw the city center of Singapore by boat, which was really good. We sang several songs that we made up on spot.. as well as some Bob Marley and several other songs. We made a song called "We are on a boat..... In Singapore" It madd...Pity I didn't record it. I'm sure one of the Filipino's did. So maybe later I will get it.







Some of you may see these same pictures on my Instagram / Facebook...Now see them again on my blog :)

Anyway, after the boat ride, we headed back for the final night service. While heading back, there was some sort of national Singapore parade thing going on with jet fighters, helicopters, boats etc.



We then got to the night service which was more of an interviewing session. A guy interviewed 3 persons who were doing missions in Africa, Brazil and North west India bordering Myanmar respectively. Then we sang some songs and had a good time.. I will post the video next blog



New Japanese Friends from Okinawa