Volunteering in Tohoku (Noel sensei)
In mid July I repeated what two other members of the DMA team (Peter and Sosha) had already done and went up to Tohoku to volunteer in the Tsunami relief effort. It was one of the most moving and memorable experiences of my life.
I was based in Ishinomaki for 5 days and stayed in an evacuation centre (避難所) with a foreign volunteer group called IMA. During the time there we cleared mud from under the floorboards of houses, ripped out the interiors of houses, painted some chairs for a kindergarten and made vegetable deliveries. The most memorable part of the trip was talking to people who had experienced the event and hearing their stories. The people of Ishinomaki are really strong and positive and will definitely recover from the tragedy quickly.
I think everyone in Tokyo was affected by the earthquake and so I think many of us want to do something to help the people in Tohoku who had their lives torn apart by the earthquake and tsunami. There have been a lot of volunteers in the region who have been there since March or April. Some have given up the jobs and careers to go and help. Now volunteer numbers are falling but there is still a lot of work to do. If you have time to volunteer, I am sure people in the region would appreciate your help.