I accompanied my new friend Laura to an Ikebana class-the Japanese art of flower arranging-today. We had a really good time. The class had a special holiday theme and even though it took place at a place called "America in Sasebo" we were the only Americans in the Coca-Cola covered office. It was pretty great though. The ladies teaching were of course the most sincere people I have ever met. There is a reason why there are Ikebana schools, it is almost a science. Thankfully, due to my college hand drafting and design classes I was able to catch on to placing everything at the correct angles, but the sweet teacher definitely let me know when I was getting a bit too creative and "coloring out side the lines." I really had a great time, and the whole idea is fascinating. It is an art that has been practiced for over 600 years creating harmony between the materials, everything placed in precise technique around the subject piece - which for us was a giant white branch. It is easy to see why gardening is quite the hobby here.