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My Time in Ishinomaki-Shi – Entering the MAD house

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On the Saturday I arrived too late to go out with the volunteers so I familiarised myself with the Its not just mud ‘bubble wrap chic’ house that I would be staying in for 5 days.

I had my first experience of an onsen (a temporary onsen which equated to a large paddling pool in a shed). It was free, spine tinglingly hot and well you had to get neekid in front of people! (same sex of course)

As it was the weekend there were lots of volunteers and remembering names was difficult, or in most cases just not done! A fantastic spread was put on my the INJM chefs as always. As a general rule a donation of 500y per night is appreciated in the INJM house to pay for food and heating. Also helping with the chores. I find it strange being not of domesticated blood, what to actually volunteer to do round the INJM house. However, washing up after dinner is a good staple, and you will be asked if further help is needed.

Sunday we traveled out to Ayukawa. The March 11 tsunami that slammed into Japan’s northeast coast took most of Ayukawa with it, destroying 80 percent of houses and leaving 400 of its 1,400 residents unaccounted for. Above where we where working on debris clearance there was a combini (like a co-op) with help in English and kanji still on the carpark. You just can’t imagine.

We worked with around 200 volunteers that day 🙂

Looking out towards the sea

This used to be homes.

and of course we all need to eat 🙂

The other team that went out from the house cleaned around a huge effigy of a can of whale meat that was displaced during the tsunami. It is being left in place as a reminder for the people of Ishinomaki.

I will write more soon!

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