Saturday, April 9, 2011

Visiting Minami-Sanriku, Bayside Arena and Shizugawa Shougakkou


April 9th 4月9日
Today we visited Minami-Sanriku village--the footage that I've seen over and over again on the television of the village that was completely wiped out by the tsunami. It was rainy and gloomy, and sort of fitting considering the circumstances. But we were determined to bring as much happiness and hope as possible, in spite of the weather.

We visited Shizugawa Shougakkou--a primary school whose gymnasium was decorated for a beginning-of-school celebration that it didn't get to have.

We sang, and received such enthusiastic support from the evacuees.
One man, bowing very low and gripping my hand firmly, said, "We will fight. We won't disappoint you for coming all the way out here. We've received power from you, and it will make a difference." He was so serious, and the ladies around him all nodded in agreement.
そこで歌を歌いましたが、避難しておられる人たちから熱意ある反応を受け取りました。一人の人は、深いおじぎをしてくれ、私の手を固く握って、「がんばるよ! ここまで来てくれたのに、失望させちゃ悪いからね。力をもらった。これから変わるからね。」 真面目に彼はそう言ったのです。そして周りにいた女性の方たちも、みな一緒にうなずいてくれました。

Then we went to the Bayside Arena, the disaster relief headquarters on the hill overlooking Minami-Sanriku.

The biggest and liveliest headquarters we've seen yet. This was their pharmacy and hospital-supplies room.

Several people told us that, although this site is abuzz with people carrying aid in and out, and important people coming to survey the situation, we are the first people who came to with no other purpose but to lift the spirits of the evacuees. This was also the first place that very loudly and exuberantly requested an encore.


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