AMURT & AMURTEL Japan Relief Work Report for March 29

Today we started our day working together with other volunteers at the storage hall of the Shichigahama volunteer centre. The volunteer centre had received an assortment of donations from all over Japan for their residents. The donations ranged from water and food items to diapers and chopsticks, etc. All the items arrived in their original boxes; were sorted out and countered and stored.
The team plus a few teenaged boys from the refugee center where we have our camp office also joined us and we all had a good time also because our effort was very much appreciated.
While we were at the International Village refugee center we happened to meet again Yoshihiro Murai, the Miyagi’s governor who recognized our team and spent some moments with us.
We also met Mike, a Japanese from Tokyo who used to live in America. He came up to Sendai to help his friend Mr. Suzuki, who lives not far from the affected area. He felt that sending money and goods to the victims wasn’t enough, so he decided to take time off work to offer something more to the victims of the tsunami.
One of us gave a one-to-one yoga session to an aged lady at the refugee center, which included a light neck and shoulder massage, and hands and feet rub which made the obasan (grandma) all relaxed and smiling for that personal touch.

This week, we found that most of the refugees have started going back to work and to school. In fact at some schools there were graduation ceremony for those students leaving primary school.

Later one in the afternoon, Mike and Suzuki also joined our team in our house-clearing job. We went to a house near the sea, which belongs to an elderly couple who although they lost many things, they were still able to keep their cheerful spirit. Their house is placed on an uphill slope and from there we could see that all the houses below were completely destroyed by the tsunami.

After we finished clearing up, we walked back uphill to leave their place and we found their neighbor’s house had been totally unaffected by the tsunami, such is the play of nature.

Didi Sarvajina