We have had a busy few days here at the shufuinjapan residence. My friend "Phil", who sometimes comments on this blog, arrived from the UK to stay for a few nights on his way up to Iwate Prefecture to do volunteer work helping to clean up the mess left by the tsunami.
We had a get together at my place for a few old friends over yakiniku (BBQ on the table)to 2am! Anyway, here is his first report of volunteering in Iwate. He has written it on his cellphone in Japanese as that is much quicker than doing it English. So please excuse my translation as I assure you he is much more eloquent in real life! I am posting this here so people who know him can keep up with what he is doing as there probably isn't much chance for him to update everyone himself.
Arrived in Ofunato about 5pm, and am staying in a volunteer centre called "Mori". At the moment I'm on the top bunk and the big person on the bottom is rolling around which feels like there is an earthquake every 10 seconds. Mori is located in a high up safe place. There are 40 of us sharing a room so it is really stinky, but I think I'll get used to it quickly.
For dinner we had curry rice, and had a meeting while we ate. I introduced myself to everyone. I've been able to tallk to a few people so far and even though some of them are a bit different, they are all nice. The scenery from the bus on the way was really beautiful, but I was shocked to see Rikuzentakata for the first time. Even so, there are people riding bikes, shopping, highschool student couples walking hand in hand just as usual.
The scenery is all debris. So everyone can't help but think they have to do their best . I have to do my best now to get to sleep. Tomorrow we are cleaning up and taking away debris on the highway.
In other news from us, Amelia is getting much much bigger now we are doing breast followed by top ups with formula. I feel much happier knowing that she is not half starving anymore. She is over the 5 kilo mark now and looking very cherubish. She does a lot of chatting and has started to reach out and touch things rather than just wave her arms in their general direction.
Sebastian has had a lot of excitement with lots of visitors coming and going. We have figured out that he has issues with strangers (to him, not to us) who are male coming into our house. He pees out of fright when he sees them and takes him a good half an hour or more to warm to them. Females are fine. When Phil arrived the other day, Sebastain ran and hid behind Amelia who was sitting in her bouncer....Big brother is not so brave after all! It's funny to see Sebastian's interactions with Amelia. He tries to get her to play with him by bringing toys over to her whilst she is in her bouncer and dropping them at her feet.