The Flight of One Million Children

First of all, Happy Labor Day!! I hope everyone is enjoying their extra day off. 

Picking up where we left off: While we waited, for many hours, for our flight we realized that (a) there were a lot of children and (b) most of them were crying. I crossed my fingers that the parents of said children were keeping them awake at the airport so that they would sleep on the plane. This was true... for some.

When we finally boarded and were taking off I was so tired I couldn't sleep. I watched a cartoon movie about an endangered bird?? I couldn't tell you the name... Anyway, Mark was asleep before we even took off! Lucky! We were in the row with only 2 seats so we didn't have any neighbors directly beside us, which was nice. Also, the kids closest to us were old enough to know better when it came to acting poorly.

Fast forward 10 hours when we make it to our first destination.... All the kids are crying again, but this time they don't stop when we get on the next flight. They also don't stop when we get to the 2nd stop or when we get on the final flight. From mainland Japan to Okinawa the kids cried.... and cried.... and cried. It was awful. I mean, I know they were exhausted but c'mon!!

Funny story: When we got to Oki and got all of our bags, we walked through customs to these sliding doors. We were greeted by a man with a microphone. He asked us what our last name was and then announced it... loudly... through the microphone. Let me give you a better visual: The waiting area isn't even as big as a hotel lobby. In fact, it was just a little room with some chairs off to the side. Mark and I thought it was pretty funny and it definitely gave us the feeling like we were on a game show. Also, Mark had him announce our name as "O'Driscoll the Great." He's weird.

Our sponsors were really nice and stocked up our room with food and snacks, which we're still using up currently. We got our itinerary that night, which was something similar to "early morning meetings, meetings, check-in, test, and more meetings."

Speaking of test... We had to take a drivers test the next morning. We had no idea that we were going to have to take it so soon, but the good news is that we passed!! Mark and I high-fived each other when we found out. It was so stressful! After you took the test, you had to stand in line with everyone and see if you passed. If you didn't, you had to do the walk of shame all the way down the line of people waiting. It was definitely a great, cheerful moment. Not to mention that neither one of us wanted to be the one that failed because that meant being teased for the next 3 years by the other.

Lastly, our great friends John and Alisha put together a "Welcome" package for us. Alisha left it at the front desk of the hotel and it was similar to Christmas when we finally got our hands on it. It was full of local awesomeness and it was all wrapped in beautiful paper. We were and still are so very appreciative to have friends like them here. Cheers!


  1. I just came across your blog today, we arrive to Okinawa next month, super excited! I was wondering what the title of these books are? are they travel guides, history books etc and are they worth the read?

    1. I'm so glad you're enjoying the blog! Okay, so I'm not sure exactly what books you're talking about... However, here are the ones that I bought before we left:

      Japanese for Busy People

      Basic Kanji Book, vol. 1 (we bought this used because it's a little expensive)

      The Yokota Officers Club (this is just a fun book to read, but wait a little to read it because you'll know what they're talking about if you wait a few months)

      Food Buying in Japan

      Later down the road, my sister bought me "Farm Food in Japan" and it's great because I've been able to figure out the "what the heck is that?!" question a few times using it!

      Hope that helps!! Email me if you need anything (k.phries@gmail.com)!

    2. Thanks for replying, sorry its taken me this long to check back in on your blog! I was referring to the gifts your friends got you, I thought they were books! Anyway, thanks for the titles I will definitely look into them. We just arrived Friday, we have a 4 year tour here and I really want to make the most out of our time here. I love traveling anyway but I also think its a neat opportunity for my kids (3.5 yrs and 7 months). It looks like you are really making the most of your time here too, how much longer do you have here?

    3. Sorry for the late response... I've been in the states for about 2 months and am awaiting a Space-A flight to Oki (currently "stuck" in Hawaii). You'll love to travel, but be sure to have some days of frustration mixed in there if you decide to space-a! We have about 2 years left here. Where did you end up finding housing?!


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