I’ve been living and working at Pelan Village for nearly four months now. I’ve had the immense privilege of growing close to a community of amazing people.
This post is a tribute to my new “nakama” comrades. If you so desire, click on each image to enlarge and read a descriptive caption.
Bonsai-master Sekshin and I pose during his final day on Chichijima. He had worked at Pelan Village fifteen years prior, and according to Ryo, hadn’t changed a bit.
I contributed a page to Nagi’s 3rd birthday book. Since she loves to run around naked, Chika wrote a story modeling Nagi after The Emperor’s New Clothes. Here, she is surrounded by adoring family and friends as she struts down the red carpet.
Adorable Mr. Mirai. He is about 7 months year old, and has gotten really good at gurgling sweet nothings while we spoon feed him sour things that make his face scrunch up in the most hilarious way.
Lovely Chika leads her Friday morning yoga class.
Rie and her rambunctious daughter Konatsu during her amazing New Years potluck.
The kids romp around on the deck. A pair of kids will cling to the hammock while a third flips them over and shakes the hammock. The first one that falls, loses.
Sanae took this lovely picture of me at Kopepe beach after we meditated together.
Darling Masu hosts bimonthly knitting clubs at her house. I’m fortunate to join although I have been struggling with the same scarf since my initiation into this tight circle. Yoshino is a super-speedy crocheter and Masu is a prolific knitter and creator-of-all-things-adorable.
Sanae and I love to make ridiculous faces together.
Fumi, Sanae, and I have a crepe and onigiri making party. We often get together to practice English and Japanese. There is never any pressure or lingual expectation, so it is always fun and relaxed.
LiLa, the male cat with a female name. Since cats are not allowed be let outside in Ogasawara, he has grown fat and pear-shaped over the years. I found out I was allergic shortly before this picture. Nonetheless… nothing can keep me from my love of kitties.
Mirai, grump-face-ol-me, and Nagi.
Reo and Manzo stand atop Pelan Village’s main house.
Sekshin is so cool.
Nagi is Queen.
Nami braids my hair. She is about my age and is the proud mother of two adorable toddlers (Mirai and Nagi).
Reo helps me roast rats for the dog.
Ton-kun is the youngest son of Ichi, Pelan Village’s next door neighbor.
Sanae is AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!
The Kaname izakaya/bar down the hill parties hard about once a year, revamping the entire space with palm leaves and strobe lights.
Umi-chan does her homework after dinner.
Ryo makes silly faces for the camera while he models his new handmade palm-leaf hat.
My new buddies Ono and Chieko! I’m so happy to have met them!
Manzo had a ton of fun leaping off of wooden posts and taking mid-air photographs. He suffers from seasickness and imagines himself to be like FairyTail’s Natsu (a popular Japanese manga).