Friday, May 27, 2011

The Angels of Yoron

by Pa Rock
Cultural Explorer

Kelly, Nefredia, Murphy, and I arrived safely on Yoron Island shortly before noon today.  One of the ticket agents at Motubu Port on Okinawa gave us a couple of written warnings about the typhoon that said our ferry might not be able to dock on Yoron and if that happened we would have to travel on to another island to debark, but we chose to chance it.  The typhoon was still thirty-six hours away.

At Mobutu we had to board a bus to be transported to the ferry - but it turned out that our boat was just at the other end of the parking lot.  When the ticket agent climbed onto the bus to make one last attempt to dissuade us from sailing, we met a wonderful young woman who was also traveling to Yoron and who spoke some English.  It turns out that she is from Thailand and married a Japanese man whom she met there in massage school - and she runs a massage business at the Pricia Hotel on Yoron - the hotel where we are staying.

The ferry boat was huge - similar to a small cruise ship.  We had been told that the trip would take nearly five hours, but we arrived at the port on Yoron in just over two hours.  Kelly sat up on the top deck and watched the sea, I spent most of my time in the lounge reading, and Nefredia and Murphy napped on the mats that were laid out for the travelers.

When we got to Yoron, our friend, the massage therapist whose name I can't pronounce or spell, met us at our hotel with her husband, and they took us to lunch at a Japanese restaurant above a beautiful beach.  It was a beach where sea turtles come on moonlit nights to lay their eggs and bury them in the sand.  The rains started just as we got back to the hotel - where we were greeted with the news that the typhoon was starting early.

After checking into our rooms Nefredia discovered that she had lost her wallet.  It eventually was located outside of the restaurant where we had lunch - in a puddle on the ground.  The massage therapist and her husband went and retrieved the wallet and brought it to Nefredia.  By then it was really raining, so they took  her and me to a local grocery store in town where the lady helped us shot for typhoon groceries.

The massage therapist and her husband have been our special angels all day!  They are truly wonderful people.  (Now I wonder if she will ever talk to strangers on a bus again!)

Our  rooms are very nice.  Mine has two low beds, two low and long couches, a refrigerator, and a television.  What more would a person need.  Instead of a Gideon's Bible in the dresser drawer, there is a copy of "The Teachings of Buddha."

It may be raining, but this is turning into a great trip anyway!

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