May 2011 report

May 15:
I held a charity barbecue at home inviting relatives, friends and acquaintances. To raise support for the disaster victims, the menu included fried chicken, rice balls pasta, salads hot dogs, hamburgers, and drinks. It was a sunny and pleasant day. Everyone, let’s help Japan recover from the March 11th disaster!!

May 20:
Help Japan held a PTSD seminar at the Wesleyan Center in Shibuya. Board member Josh de Santis based the seminar on material he received from Dr. Ozawa last month. Everyone listened intently.

May 21:
A seminar was held this evening using the same material as the previous day and posted on this Help Japan website. Participants were few.

May 22:
Board member Josh and I filled the car with disaster relief supplies such as food, water and dolls and books for children in the disaster area. We left the house at 9:00 am. On the way we stopped at a greengrocer to purchase some fresh vegetables. After that we headed to Tohoku. There was less traffic than usual on the Tohoku Expressway. After we left Tokyo Josh and I changed seats and he took over driving while I did the navigation. We both have been on the move since March 11th. But upon reflection, I think all went quite well so far. We had lunch along the way and arrived at Fukushima NPO Shalom a little after 3PM. Though it was the first time we met NPO Shalom, in no time we felt like old acquaintances. I desire greatly to help support their work in any way I can.

May 23:
We visited the Azuma Gymnasium where people from Minami Soma had fled to for shelter. While helping NPO Shalom hand out relief supplies, we listened to the stories of the individual victims. Because all were together in the gym, could not administer treatment for PTSD. We passed out stuffed animal toys to the children. They also enjoyed listening to stories using flash cards. Children were playing in a lighthearted manner. Because the adults had escaped wearing only the clothes on their back, the government of Thailand donated to them T-shirts and pants which were greatly appreciated.

May 24:
We went to Sendai and stayed one night at the YMCA. There were many volunteers there sleeping in sleeping bags. The volunteers were mostly all Christians. NGOs and large volunteer organizations had made their base in Sendai to do their relief activities. I met Mr. Kurosu who is the district welfare commissioner. He explained to us the condition of the disaster area and its victims and took us on a tour of the coast next to Sendai that had been hit by the tsunami. Mr. Kurosu later helped establish temporary shelters in the Wakabayashi District of Sendai, and we promised to advertise his activities on the Help Japan website.

May 25:
We drove two and a half hours from Sendai to the city of Minami Sanriku. There we stayed at the Hotel Kanyo, a 5 star hotel. There was no running water in the hotel and of course there was no drinking water as a result. In the rooms there was only one PET bottle of water. We used outside utility toilets. The hotel was used as a disaster center to house the locals who lost their houses. The children where taken to school from the hotel by the hotel employees. There was an enormous amount of energy used by everyone to care for each other. There was nothing left at Minami Sanriku. However, the Ortiz family who sponsors the NPO OGA for Aid (Ortiz Global Academy for Aid) came to bat in time of need and worked together with us to supply needed supplies. Erwin Ortiz is a missionary to Japan from Colombia. He is called “papa” and is highly loved, trusted and respected by all.

May 26:
We returned to Fukushima to attend an event at the Village of Iidata. There were many media people and television cameramen present at the Iidate gymnasium. Ms. Tokiko Kato, a famous Japanese singer, sang. She is a social activists against nuclear power. The villagers were inspired by her talk which gave them a new determination to continue their struggle for survival. Everyone was angry, sad and frustrated at the Tokyo electrical company.

May 27:
Returned home to Tokyo.