Tuesday, May 24, 2011

I Had a Hard but Great Day

Spent the day cleaning and clearing mud, debris, and materials from Mr. Moto's home. It was hard work and extremely hot inside the waterproof gear we had to wear. The soil we bagged form the silt and sludge was toxic. It's full of oil, sewage, chemicals, decay, and things that smelled awful. First all the debris had to be carried away. Then underneath anywhere from 4 to 6 inches of mud had to be shoveled into sandbags and carried to the roadside. The team worked nonstop and were amazing. I'll post more details later. Too tired to write anymore. Below is just and example of one small section. There were lots more here on site.


I think I'm going to sleep well tonight.

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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Leaving for here

Going back in a few hours. Not much to say. Although things at times may seem slightly out of focus the reasons for going are crystal clear.