- Created on Thursday, 20 October 2011 19:42
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Minamisoma Food Distribution - October 14th & 15th, 2011
Another Friday night departure from Tokyo. Met up with the rest of the team at the Second Harvest warehouse in Asakusabashi and helped load up the first truck. This was simply shifting 1.8 tons of bottled water from a Second Harvest truck to our rental truck. Backbreaking stuff - a 9 litre box of water gets to be heavy when you have to shift 100 of them. Quick bite to eat at the local Chinese and then off to Minamisoma.
The rendezvous point on this trip was much further south than normal - Nasu Kogen Service Area. Here, we met up with the second truck laden with fruit and vegetables, did an inventory and also made up the "goodie bags" for the kids.
2:30 a.m. and back on the road. The plan was to get to Minamisoma as quickly as possible and try to get some sleep before the distribution started. Chance would be a nice thing - trying to sleep crunched up in a car or cab of a truck is like pushing jelly uphill.
8:00 a.m. briefing meeting with the Tokyo volunteers. 8:30 a.m. the local volunteers join us and we brief them. Most of this briefing is letting them know exactly what we have onboard; double checking with them as to how many households, individual persons there are and then confirming how much water, vegetables per person.
This trip we had four locations to visit: Teiji Sokushin Jutaku - a five story building that has been converted into living space (unusal - this is the only location where people are not living in the special prefabricated buildings), Terauchi Daini, Terauchi Daiichi and Chikura. This was the largest distribution that Save Minamisoma Project has conducted with around 890 people in total receiving product.
The last stop, Chikura was lovely. Many of the residents had pets (and they wanted us to see them) and there were a lot of children. One family of three children enjoyed us chasing them and playing tag - we didn't rush away from Chikura but took our time talking with the residents.
After all the distribution had been completed we went briefly to Saito-san's house for a light meal of curry and rice and then it was homeward bound departing Minamisoma at around 15:30, arriving back in Tokyo completely exhasuted at 21:00.
At Teiju Sokushin Jutaku (first stop) - I hated having to go up five stories for some residents - no elevators!
Raining and cold so needed some of that 'humour' from Lady Rock & Roll
When it gets really wet, have a good laugh!
These kids were fun - they were a bit shy at first but eventualy we got them playing tag and riding in the wheelbarrows.
Catch me if you can!
The smallest girl is called Misaki. I got her to write her name on a piece of paper. She wrote with her right hand backwards from right to left (and got the characters jumbled...Mikisa...).
The SMP crew and local residents at Chikura: Back row: Saito-san, Rich Rivera, Dave Kell, Michael Martin (in front), Rob Keyworth, Michael Anop, Marci McComish, John Daub, Yamamoto-san, Tyler Rothmar (in yellow). Front row: Mike Connolly, self, Duston Seo (second from right). All others are Chikura residents. The three kids were a delight. The smallest girl in pink trousers is Misaki but I didn't get the names of the others.