Sunday, May 22, 2011

Long Day

Today I left Tokyo at dawn. Traveled to Sendai in Tohoku and then took a rented 4x4 to go to the disaster area. Filmed and shot a remote makeshift aid station. The desolate neighborhood had lost over 150 local residents. More abandoned homes than inhabited ones. Someone from the relief group walked the streets with a bullhorn to announce the meal distribution. At which point tired and haggard people came to collect portions of rice, pickled Japanese plums, stew, and boil cabbage. They brought their own pots and bowls to bring home. The aid station was in a dilapidated community center. A small tarp served as the clean serving area. The smell here is pungent. It is of spoiled seas, dead fish, mildew, decay, and marshy earth. It's raining today. It's chilly and damp. Here there is still no electricity and water. The people here are not refugees but they are stranded in their own homes. Food deliveries here come every other day. Many still miss meals and the ones served are very basic in terms of subsidence. I can't believe it's been 2 months. Tomorrow we wake up early again and go assist in clean up. We are to wear rain gear, steel soled boots, masks, leather gloves, head lamps, helmets, and goggles. It will hard and dirty work. Conditions filthy, muddy, and hazardous. It is hard to imagine that people live in this situation. Now more than ever help is needed. The over crowded trend of Golden week volunteers have left. There are less here now. Rainy season comes soon...

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  1. Hi Linh
    So doesn't the government do something about this?

  2. Linh, I can be there for September : after my son enrolls in chu gakko.
    Will u be still in Japan?
    Please tentatively put me down: but, send me a list of clothing needed for the early fall clean up.
    I am trained in producing bread from harsh environments i just need a fire.
    In addition, i can bring my carpenter equipment. Please advise me of the organization you are involved with.
    Thanks Linh

    Howard in Toronto, Canada