The alarm woke me up for the second time in a row. After getting up, I woke the kids as well so they would be ready for their first day back at school. I left for work as soon as they were out the door, about 8:45. I changed the dialysis buffer as soon as I got in but had little else to do as far as experiments were concerned other than repeat this process thrice more during the day.
Kiyoe suggested that we have lunch together at the restaurant near the co-op so I could tell her about my trip. I had to be rather secretive about where I had been all this time, since I didn’t get any “official” time off until 6 months into my contract, and even then, Japanese people rarely took their vacation time. Luckily, no one in the administration had asked where I was during my absence and most of the laboratory did not seem overly concerned that I hadn’t been around for the past 3 weeks. Only Dr. Kaneda, in addition to Kiyoe’s research group, knew for sure that I had been travelling during the previous weeks. When I got in, I also told Anna about my trip, but asked her to keep it under wraps. During lunch, I gave Kiyoe an outline of the trip and promised to have her and her family over to show them the pictures. She assured me that nothing exciting had happened in the lab during my absence.
Anna gave half of the group meeting, in English, at 4:30, while the other half was given in Japanese by her co-worker. Since they both dealt with viral mediated gene therapy, it didn’t really matter what language it was in as far as my comprehension went. At 6:45, I changed the buffer surrounding my samples for the last time and took the monorail home.
Trudy had made bratwurst and fried rice for dinner, and we talked about the events of the day. Brennan had a few interesting stories to tell. First, he had fun being pushed into the pool by a teacher during swimming. Little did he know they were undergoing a drill of what to do if you fall in with your clothes on. He said that it was not really a problem, since the water only came up to his neck. They also began practicing for Sports Day during gym. The teacher expected Brennan to 1) do a hand stand, 2) have the person behind him put their head between his legs, 3) pull himself onto their shoulders using only his leg muscles, and 4) stick his arms out while balancing on his partner’s shoulders. Although none of the Japanese kids seemed to have any difficulty performing this feat, we all laughed at the prospect of Brennan even attempting such a display. We wondered if they could work out a different stunt for Brennan to attempt.
I went to bed around 9:30, not yet used to my old schedule in Japan.