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The award ceremony took place on Friday, July 18th in Sydney, Australia.  Here is a clip of Dean Yamada accepting the Inigo Award. 

I just had to post this
Lunchtime
I miss lunch.

It’s the eve of the official first day back at Biola and I finally have time to sit down and actually do one of these things. Maybe it was my yearning to express my love and gratitude for being able to go to someplace only found in dreams or maybe it was Papa Yamada’s threats that he was going to lower our grades for not posting a blog, but in either case, here I am.

I think the first thing the Biolan group noticed upon returning was just the aesthetic differences between the two places. Whereas we spent 2 weeks in a more tranquil, laid-back, courteous environment has now transcended into something so uninviting that it was almost depressing to be back in such a polluted, junk-yard known as LA. I am not saying that I am unpatriotic to my native area, but the differences were noticeable and it just kind of made me slump in my seat and kind of made me think of all the people that leave their international homes to do that ‘once-in-a-lifetime-trek’ to Disneyland or LA and then to only arrive in this heap. I immediately felt homesick for Japan.

I think the greatest thing about going on this trip was finally being able to put all of our training to work. We did the ultimate location-shooting in an alien 9000 mile adventure to which some of us may never do something so extraordinary again. We got to be professionals in our own world and finally learned how to execute our talents in our areas.  To see the entire production process in full effect was so inspiring to want to move more into this profession and really built it up inside of me. The other thing to mention is that the long days on sets, walking all over the place, and riding cramped trains made me love two things: respecting my day’s work I had put in, and rejoicing at the sleep I had earned that night.

The other thing that made this trip great was bonding with everyone in the crew. Andrew had mentioned once that this experience made that perpetual professor/student line dissipate. I had so much fun joking around with Dean and realized that although his position was more important than say mine (clapper is highly important but we’ll keep it at debateable for the sake of this post), he was still another gear in the machine and I guess it made me personally feel like we were all equals on the set. I also loved being able to get to know all of these great people that I literally have never talked to during my three years at Biola. It was fun to be able to goof off with Jason or pretend to steal Nantikan from him (hahah…yeah…pretend…wedding’s set for June) or comply with Andrew and realize we were lost brothers in some world due to our similar personalities. Perhaps it was just trying to irritate the girls with some annoying sound out of boredom, touring the arcades with Josiah, talking with Will on the train, or acting like little ‘mischeviously confused’ chil’ren with Lee, or the endles amounts of questions with all of our guides and translators. I had so much fun with all of you, learned so much about everyone, as well as myself. I miss Japan because it didn’t represent just filming a trip but it was the true test to finally express what we want to do with our lives. May God be blessed and thanked for this awesome opportunity. Thank you to everyone for letting me goof off all day and share in the laughs.

 Okay Dean. I did the blog. Keep your meathooks away from my grade.

-Posted by Pvt Cpl. Clint Thompson Esq XIV, AKA all around good guy.

As I sit here a week and a half later re-reading what people have posted I become speechless. Not only on this site do I become speechless, but when people ask me the classic question I’m sure we’ve all become accustomed to, “How was Japan?” The answer is not an easy summation. Even as I’ve been asked that over and over I still cannot become heartless enough to give our experience in Japan a summarizing pass over phrase. The only way that I have come to explain it is in silence. Every time I go to explain it I will take at least half the time to be quiet and gather my thoughts as I begin to explain the wonders of Japan. I feel silence is the proper reverence to hold to Japan. Not a secretive silence that claims, “Don’t worry about it. What happened in Japan stays in Japan.” But rather, an awe inspiring reverence of beauty and magnitude.

It’s taken a week and a half for me to post this because I needed that time to process the sensory overload that was experienced by our journey. There were good times and bad, our group was amazing and I am absolutely thankful for every single person that God placed there. But still as I think all of us feel and most of us claim, Our work is not done in Japan. The day we arrived back to La Mirada Erin and I went out to lunch. We both had this feeling that neither one of us could fully express, but we both would have hopped back on a plane in a heartbeat to return to the mysterious islands of Japan.

I believe my favorite memory of Japan will be the very first time we went into the Tokyo districts. We ate dinner in Harajuku, this is where we tried the raw horse. But what I will always remember about that night is sitting around a table with 13 fellow friends sharing a meal in Tokyo. It was small but amazing.

As I sit typing these words the events play fresh in my memory of every day. I remember, and

I will never forget.

Thanks to all for your prayers and support.

Posted by Andrew Watkins

It can be difficult returning home after spending time away in another country. For those of you who have supported this team, for those of you who are friends of this team, for those of you who have upheld this team in prayer the most important thing for you to do is to be supportive. How do you be supportive? Be interested in their experience of what they have seen, what they have done and most importantly, what they have learned. Ask them questions that you think are silly; ask them questions that you think have little meaning, because by doing so you help them process and quantify that which words can simply not fully express.

It is difficult to understand how 2 weeks can make a difference in the lives of people, yet as most you have probably realised. This experience wasn’t simply just a holiday but a time where they were involved and saw Japan through very different eyes. A lot of people don’t seem to realise the spiritual need in Japan and after being here, one can’t seem to shake off the odd feeling that something isn’t right. So, I ask of you – support this team as they have returned home and live a life changed from this experience.

— Peter