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About Gentle Ben

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Visit Japan and See Japanese Temples, eat Japanese food, and see Mount Fuji
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Get Pictured With Many Different Country Flags
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Learn a few words of each country I visit, and write it in my blog
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Get pictured on many beaches around the world
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Visit Beijing and see the famous sights including the Great Wall of China and the Forbidden City
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Travelog for: Gentle Ben

Orange, New South Wales, Australia - 22nd May 2008

By: sararingham

Hello! My name is Gentle Ben and I'm a friendly bear that wants to make smiles all over the world! I don't like seeing frowns and I'd love to learn more about the world. Like a few of my toyvoyager friends I was adopted at the Salvation Army and now it's my turn to see the world! I've seen my brothers updates and I'm quite excited. Sara says she already knows where she's sending me but she's not going to tell me as it should be a suprise!

http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y289/saragoescrazy3/gentleben_large.jpg

Well I'm quite excited so I'm going to jump into my bag and get on my way! I hope the travel doesn't take too long! Take care mommy, I'll check in again soon! :-)

* Posted May 22, 2008, 2:53 am [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page


Okinawa, Japan - 4th June 2008

By: JaymeC

Wow! My new host Jayme opened me up to tell me I was in Japan! How great, hopefully I can see some shrines and other neat things! She explained to me that she lives on a military base, so its mostly American on base.

Here's me coming out of the bag: http://i307.photobucket.com/albums/nn291/jaymestvs/IMG_1668.jpg

When I arrived it was raining a LOT! Thankfully the bag kept Gracy and I dry, but not so for Jayme's children. They were careful to keep me dry, but wanted to show me how wet they got
http://i307.photobucket.com/albums/nn291/jaymestvs/IMG_1665.jpg

Apparently its typhoon season in Okinawa which means there could be a really big storm anytime!

After we got out of the bag Jayme took us to visit with the other toys in her home. None of them are toy voyagers, as Gracy and I are the first toy voyagers to come visit, but they were all very friendly and liked talking!
http://i307.photobucket.com/albums/nn291/jaymestvs/IMG_1672.jpg

We'll have many more adventures to update about soon!

* Posted Jun 4, 2008, 5:01 am [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page


Okinawa, Japan - 6th June 2008

By: JaymeC

Hello mommy,
Unfortunately we didn't get to go visit anywhere yesterday like our host planned. She got sick and had to spend most of the day in bed! But don't worry, she gave us lots of stuff to do and we still had fun. She said not to worry, that tv's couldn't get sick from what she had. So we had fun around her home.

She said she didn't have any jeeps, but I found this and its kind of like a jeep right?
http://i307.photobucket.com/albums/nn291/jaymestvs/IMG_1673-1.jpg

I got to drive the dump truck too!
http://i307.photobucket.com/albums/nn291/jaymestvs/IMG_1676.jpg

After that I tried on the race car helmet, but my host said she thought it was a little too big for me
http://i307.photobucket.com/albums/nn291/jaymestvs/IMG_1677.jpg

Gracy and I also played some wii games and read a story
http://i307.photobucket.com/albums/nn291/jaymestvs/IMG_1679.jpg
http://i307.photobucket.com/albums/nn291/jaymestvs/IMG_1678.jpg

Then we went down to get our hosts son at the bus stop. He only goes to school a few days a week, and school's almost out for the summer here! Someone had colored all over the bench area with sidewalk chalk, but I thought it was pretty.
http://i307.photobucket.com/albums/nn291/jaymestvs/IMG_1675.jpg

Our host says hopefully everyone will be well this weekend and if so we'll go to the largest park on the island at the very least! Maybe more. She said there's a rocky beach there as well. I hope I get to see it soon!

Write more later,
Gentle Ben

* Posted Jun 6, 2008, 4:59 am [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page


Okinawa, Japan - 8th June 2008

By: JaymeC

Wow what a day we had! Jayme woke us up and wasn't planning on much, but at the last minute we decided to go up to the Aquarium!  At first since we didn't think we'd go up we headed towards an indoor play area for the kids to play. I got to run around in the tubes as well, and we had fun!
http://i307.photobucket.com/albums/nn291/jaymestvs/IMG_1681.jpg

After that was the LONG drive up to the aquarium. Jayme said it was a good thing the kids got to play, because now they got to sleep before we got up there. I wasn't sure why she wanted them to sleep though... Gracy and I were too excited to sleep!
http://i307.photobucket.com/albums/nn291/jaymestvs/IMG_1683.jpg
http://i307.photobucket.com/albums/nn291/jaymestvs/IMG_1685.jpg
Here's the entrance area we parked at, they had a cool dolphin statue that sprayed mist out to help people cool down. The funny part is no one really needed it today since it was overcast and rainy!

http://i307.photobucket.com/albums/nn291/jaymestvs/IMG_1688.jpg

And here's the main entrance to the Aquarium. Its such a big place!

http://i307.photobucket.com/albums/nn291/jaymestvs/IMG_1692.jpg

And finally we made it inside and got to look at lots of different fish tanks. Look at all these fishies!
http://i307.photobucket.com/albums/nn291/jaymestvs/IMG_1694.jpg
http://i307.photobucket.com/albums/nn291/jaymestvs/IMG_1695.jpg
http://i307.photobucket.com/albums/nn291/jaymestvs/IMG_1701.jpg
http://i307.photobucket.com/albums/nn291/jaymestvs/IMG_1702.jpg


Jayme explained to me that these ones weren't just fishies, they were WHALE SHARKS! The aquarium they were in was huge! Okinawa's very proud of its whale sharks, and its the main attraction of the aquarium. There's even places to sit and just watch the whale sharks as long as you'd like.

http://i307.photobucket.com/albums/nn291/jaymestvs/IMG_1704.jpg

Once we were done inside, we headed out but we only got to see the manatees because Jayme wasn't feeling well so we headed home after that.
http://i307.photobucket.com/albums/nn291/jaymestvs/IMG_1713.jpg

It was a fun trip! I'll write more soon,
Gentle Ben

* Posted Jun 8, 2008, 10:06 pm [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page


Okinawa, Japan - 9th June 2008

By: JaymeC

Dear Mommy,
Today we got to go to the largest park on Okinawa! Its called Comprehensive Park. It has something on it for everyone Jayme says.  There's everything from tracks to tennis courts to playgrounds and even a water park! Of course since its so large we only went to one small part of it, but Jayme says its her favorite area. Its her favorite because its right next to the beach! Here's a walkway up above the beach. The tide was in, when its out you can walk out for about 100M.
http://i307.photobucket.com/albums/nn291/jaymestvs/IMG_1714.jpg
Here's some pretty flowers near the beach
http://i307.photobucket.com/albums/nn291/jaymestvs/IMG_1717.jpg
And here's me on the beach!
http://i307.photobucket.com/albums/nn291/jaymestvs/IMG_1719.jpg

Jayme's sons are afraid of the beach so we didn't stay too long. We tried to scare the water away by throwing some rocks at it! Once we were done at the beach we went to the nearby play area. I tried out the swing and slide
http://i307.photobucket.com/albums/nn291/jaymestvs/IMG_1725.jpg
http://i307.photobucket.com/albums/nn291/jaymestvs/IMG_1724.jpg

I'll write more after our next adventure mommy!

-Gentle Ben

* Posted Jun 9, 2008, 8:22 am [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page


Okinawa, Japan - 13th June 2008

By: JaymeC

Jayme told us we were going somewhere special for a teddy bear rescue today! And we did! First we had to go through a different gate than all the others we'd been through. Jayme says the gates are there for a safety precaution for all the US Bases. When you go through they check your ID if you're affiliated wtih the military or they sign you in if you're not. Today we went to a base called "Camp Lester"
http://i307.photobucket.com/albums/nn291/jaymestvs/IMG_1737.jpg

Once we were there Jayme showed us where we'd be going to rescue teddy bears at! The Naval Hospital. Its very pretty for a hospital, they just finished remodeling it a few months ago.
http://i307.photobucket.com/albums/nn291/jaymestvs/IMG_1735.jpg

We had to go up to the OB/GYN department and pick up the teddy's to take home. Here we are after we got home! We're excited to mail them onto the Teddy Bear Clinic
http://i307.photobucket.com/albums/nn291/jaymestvs/IMG_1736.jpg

We've been very busy helping Jayme pack the last few days. She says we're going to a cabin to go camping! She told me her laptop died, so she won't be able to really update while we're there, but she promises she'll write up a really nice update once we get back. She says the campsite is right next to the beach and we're hoping to go in a glass bottom boat! I hope we have fun and don't get rained out! I'll try to do one more update before we go mommy!

Love,
Gentle Ben

* Posted Jun 13, 2008, 8:47 am [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page


Okinawa, Japan - 16th June 2008

By: JaymeC

Dear Mommy,
Today we got to squeeze in one last adventure before we left to go camping! When we went to the store the firemen were out in front! They said they were doing a demonstration for carseat safety month (if your children don't have a carseat, be sure to get them one and install it properly everyone!) For the demonstration they cut open a car with the jaws of life. It was very neat.

Here's the firetruck
http://i307.photobucket.com/albums/nn291/jaymestvs/IMG_1747.jpg

And here's the car they cut up
http://i307.photobucket.com/albums/nn291/jaymestvs/IMG_1753.jpg

Okay I'll write again soon!
Love,
Gentle Ben

* Posted Jun 15, 2008, 9:44 pm [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page


Okuma, Okinawa, Japan - 21st June 2008

By: JaymeC

Dear Mommy,
WOW! What a week we had! Jayme took us camping, or well her version of it. This is the cabin we stayed in all week. http://i307.photobucket.com/albums/nn291/jaymestvs/IMG_1817.jpg

Its a good thing Gracy and I are small or we wouldn't have fit! The campsite had lots of fun things to do like playing sports. http://i307.photobucket.com/albums/nn291/jaymestvs/IMG_1775.jpg
http://i307.photobucket.com/albums/nn291/jaymestvs/IMG_1779.jpg

And because it was on a military base, I got to finally get my picture taken with the flags! At all the US bases here in Japan both the US and Japanese flag is flown. They sound colors in the morning and evening and all the military member stand at attention, looking at the flag. Its pretty funny to see the reaction when they have toddlers that don't understand what daddy is doing!
http://i307.photobucket.com/albums/nn291/jaymestvs/IMG_1784.jpg

This is the North beach at Okuma. Its very pretty
http://i307.photobucket.com/albums/nn291/jaymestvs/IMG_1786.jpg

While we were there we also took a trip to the national forest at the top of the island. Here I am at Cape Hedo, the Northern area of Okinawa!
http://i307.photobucket.com/albums/nn291/jaymestvs/IMG_1791.jpg

There was a neat statue there of a bird
http://i307.photobucket.com/albums/nn291/jaymestvs/IMG_1796.jpg

Here I am on some rocks along the nature trail. There were lots of them!
http://i307.photobucket.com/albums/nn291/jaymestvs/IMG_1807.jpg

There was a portion of the nature trail that was for wheelchairs and strollers. This section had umbrella stands throughout it in case someone got stuck in the rain. This is a very common practice in Okinawa since it rains so much! They also have vending machines for umbrellas for a few hundred yen each.
http://i307.photobucket.com/albums/nn291/jaymestvs/IMG_1810.jpg

Finally here I am our last night in front of the fire, but don't worry mommy, Jayme wouldn't let me get burnt!

http://i307.photobucket.com/albums/nn291/jaymestvs/IMG_1813.jpg

I'll update again soon!
Love,
Gentle Ben

* Posted Jun 20, 2008, 9:24 pm [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page


Okinawa, Japan - 27th June 2008

By: JaymeC

Mommy,
We had an exciting day today! Jayme said she felt bad we'd all had a boring week, but she was so busy studying for finals! Today she had her last final and was so excited. She went to take her final and we got to hang out at her friend's house with her sons (she said she wasn't allowed to take us into the exam room, she'd get in trouble if we made noise). From there she picked us up and we went to go play! We headed to Mona Kids, which is a HUGE indoor play area. It looks really neat from the outside, see!
http://i307.photobucket.com/albums/nn291/jaymestvs/IMG_0875.jpg


And here I am inside next to some of the play stuff!
http://i307.photobucket.com/albums/nn291/jaymestvs/IMG_0874.jpg

We ended up snacking here and I got my own rice ball, YUM! While we were playing and eating I got to practice my Japanese! I learned Konnichiwa for good afternoon, Domo arigato for thank you, and Hai for yes!
http://i307.photobucket.com/albums/nn291/jaymestvs/IMG_0873.jpg

From there we went ahead and headed home. Here I am outside Jayme's home. She was trying to take a picture of the Shisa in the background. That's that dog/lion creature on the building. Those are on most of the homes and businesses in Okinawa in pairs. She said there's a legend behind them, and they one with the open mouth lets the good spirits in while the one with the closed mouths chomps down on the bad spirits!
http://i307.photobucket.com/albums/nn291/jaymestvs/IMG_0879.jpg


Once we were home, I got to have a Japanese snack for desert, pocky! mm!
http://i307.photobucket.com/albums/nn291/jaymestvs/IMG_1819.jpg

Hopefully we'll have a fun weekend and write lots about it soon!

Love,
Gentle Ben

* Posted Jun 27, 2008, 11:35 am [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page


Okinawa, Japan - 30th June 2008

By: JaymeC

Mommy,
Today was Gracy's last day with us, so we wanted to do something fun. First we had to go to the store to buy a few things, then we headed for the ferris wheel! The ferris wheel is in a part of town called "American Village". Its very funny, there's hardly any Americans there! Here's the ferris wheel http://i307.photobucket.com/albums/nn291/jaymestvs/IMG_0907.jpg

And here I am inside! http://i307.photobucket.com/albums/nn291/jaymestvs/IMG_0883.jpg

This is the view of the water from the ferris wheel when we were way high up!
http://i307.photobucket.com/albums/nn291/jaymestvs/IMG_0884.jpg

It was so neat! We headed home and said bye to Gracy. Jayme wouldn't tell us where she was headed, but she left with 3 bears
http://i307.photobucket.com/albums/nn291/jaymestvs/IMG_0912.jpg

I'm going to miss my traveling companion!

Write more soon,
Gentle Ben

* Posted Jun 30, 2008, 1:53 am [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page


Camp Foster, Okinawa, Japan - 1st July 2008

By: JaymeC

Dear Mommy,
Today was an exciting day! First we packed up and headed out and we had a teddy bear picnic lunch! It was a simple lunch, but it was nice to eat it outside even though it was very hot.
http://i307.photobucket.com/albums/nn291/jaymestvs/IMG_0914.jpg

After lunch, I got to go to work with my host's husband! She said she's kind of boring since she stays home all day, but he works on Camp Foster. He's been in the Marines for a long time, and his work is radio repair. He talked all the guys in his shop into take a picture with me! Don't worry, I know some of them look like they're frowning in the photo, but they're all a bunch of goofballs really.
http://i307.photobucket.com/albums/nn291/jaymestvs/GentleBen.jpg

Jayme says she's almost ready to send me on my way, she just wants to wait til after the July 4th celebrations so I get to see the fireworks. I'm excited, I've never seen fireworks before!

Write more soon,
Gentle Ben

* Posted Jul 1, 2008, 3:02 am [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page


Okinawa, Japan - 3rd July 2008

By: JaymeC

Hello Mommy,
What an exciting day we had yesterday! We were just going to one of the local beaches again, but Jayme spotted a sign for Zakimi Castle Ruins and we decided to take a detour! Here's a sign at the entrance, Zakimi Castle is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites! Jayme says its too bad she can't find a postcard of it, but maybe she can make one!
http://i307.photobucket.com/albums/nn291/jaymestvs/IMG_1901.jpg

Here are some shots of me inside the castle. Can you see me on the stairs?
http://i307.photobucket.com/albums/nn291/jaymestvs/IMG_1908.jpg

We go to go up to the top wall and look down. We were on one of the higher hills in Okinawa and could see the ocean easily in the distance from both sides.
http://i307.photobucket.com/albums/nn291/jaymestvs/IMG_1915.jpg
http://i307.photobucket.com/albums/nn291/jaymestvs/IMG_1916.jpg
http://i307.photobucket.com/albums/nn291/jaymestvs/IMG_1923.jpg


Once we were done at Zakimi we went home and had lunch then went for a long walk. On our walk we finally got to go see Futenma Shrine. Here I am looking at it, it was very pretty. Its one of 8 Shrines on Okinawa, but Jayme says she doesn't know where the rest are, but she knows this one because on New Year's many people come to go in here and ask for blessings. She saw the line one year and finally spotted the shrine hidden among the other buildings and a ways back from the street.
http://i307.photobucket.com/albums/nn291/jaymestvs/IMG_1957.jpg

Well that's all for today mommy! Tomorrow Jayme says we're going to celebrate July 4th! Some people have already started partying for it... it was loud at Jayme's apartment complex last night!

Write more soon,
Gentle Ben

* Posted Jul 3, 2008, 10:53 pm [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page


Okinawa, Japan - 4th July 2008

By: JaymeC

Mommy,
We're going to the festival tonight, but we decided to take a walk this morning before it got too hot (we still got really sweaty!)

Here's a pretty area we found oddly in the parking lot
http://i307.photobucket.com/albums/nn291/jaymestvs/IMG_1962.jpg

We walked along the waterfront, it was very pretty. That's a windmill in the background! http://i307.photobucket.com/albums/nn291/jaymestvs/IMG_1977.jpg

I thought these dolphins were very pretty. They were at one side of a bridge we walked over
http://i307.photobucket.com/albums/nn291/jaymestvs/IMG_1978.jpg

I got to see another beach! This one looks nice for swimming
http://i307.photobucket.com/albums/nn291/jaymestvs/IMG_1980.jpg

We thought this sign looked funny. It was warning not ot swim outside the nets because there are jellyfish out there

http://i307.photobucket.com/albums/nn291/jaymestvs/IMG_1984.jpg

We stopped at this neat playground area on the way home, it looks like a pirate ship!
http://i307.photobucket.com/albums/nn291/jaymestvs/IMG_1994.jpg

I'll write more after the festival tonight!

Love,
Gentle Ben

* Posted Jul 4, 2008, 3:50 am [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page


Kadena Airbase, Japan - 4th July 2008

By: JaymeC

Mommy,
WOW! What fun we had on the 4th. Once everyone was up after nap we headed out and grabbed some fast food on the way. Before long we were up to Kadena Airbase where the Amerifest was being held! They parked us on the flight line and we walked to the festival. The first thing we saw were all the planes!

This one is an AWAC: http://i307.photobucket.com/albums/nn291/jaymestvs/IMG_2018.jpg

Most of the planes had signs like this one. They're a bit hard to climb up on though!

http://i307.photobucket.com/albums/nn291/jaymestvs/IMG_2033.jpg

They even had Japanese planes (though the American ones were open to walk up to, all the Japanese ones were roped off)
http://i307.photobucket.com/albums/nn291/jaymestvs/IMG_2036.jpg

They had helicopters as well! This one is a Super Stallion:
http://i307.photobucket.com/albums/nn291/jaymestvs/IMG_2040.jpg

How did this guy sneak in to the airshow?! He's still neat though. We think he's a rocket launcher.

http://i307.photobucket.com/albums/nn291/jaymestvs/IMG_2039.jpg

Once we were done looking at planes we went to the play area. They had at least 10 bouncy houses!
http://i307.photobucket.com/albums/nn291/jaymestvs/IMG_2053.jpg

I snuck into one even though it was no animals allowed:
http://i307.photobucket.com/albums/nn291/jaymestvs/IMG_2056.jpg

They had live music, and the lights came out at dusk:
http://i307.photobucket.com/albums/nn291/jaymestvs/IMG_2074.jpg

They also had food booths and some game booths, but it was too dark and crowded to take pictures. We also got to see neat fireworks, but they had the lights on too bright and we couldn't get any photos! But I'm sure you know what fireworks look like :)  What a neat 4th of July! I'm glad I got to celebrate it here!

Write more soon,
Gentle Ben

* Posted Jul 4, 2008, 11:03 pm Last edited Jul 4, 2008, 11:03 pm by JaymeC [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page


Camp Foster Post Office, Japan - 5th July 2008

By: JaymeC

Dear Mommy,
Jayme said its time to go to my next host, I wonder where that's going to be? She let me say goodbye to the boys. Jacob was already awake:
http://i307.photobucket.com/albums/nn291/jaymestvs/IMG_2011.jpg

But I had to sneak in very quietly and give Chris a quick kiss:
http://i307.photobucket.com/albums/nn291/jaymestvs/IMG_2009.jpg

They've been fun friends the last few weeks. I packed up an envelope with some things to send home to you
http://i307.photobucket.com/albums/nn291/jaymestvs/IMG_2012.jpg

And took one more look at Okinawa from Jayme's balcony
http://i307.photobucket.com/albums/nn291/jaymestvs/IMG_2008-1.jpg

Then I hopped into my envelope. Its been a great trip, but there's so much more to see!
http://i307.photobucket.com/albums/nn291/jaymestvs/IMG_2013.jpg

Goodbye Okinawa!
Write to you when I get to my new host,
Gentle Ben

* Posted Jul 4, 2008, 11:07 pm [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page


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