Good morning, good afternoon, and good evening everyone! I’m Natsukichi from Nijiiro
It’s been snowing and the road surface has been frozen, so every day I experience the Tohoku’s winter.
Every region seems to be colder this week than it used to be. How is your region? Please take care of yourself…
Miyagi prefecture is very cold now, but the children at the provisional housing in Hibiki Industrial park were very energetic!
There are only two more times left for the activity at Hibiki this year! The last activity will be at the Christmas party, so we did a general housecleaning and got prepared for the Christmas party.
We rolled a carpet and piled up the desks in the hall and started cleaning the floor with wet rags! Everyone kicked up the legs to give a sign that they are ready, go! The floor was getting shiny under the sound of zu-da-da-da-da !
One of the kids who was unwilling to clean came close with a wet rag, saying “I’m the fastest!”.
The hall became very shiny after the cleaning race. Everyone worked hard with gratitude, because they know that they could have a good time here this year.
And then, we started the decorations for Christmas! Each of them was decorating according to his taste. Some of the kids were playing with the decorations around their bodies and others were talking with each other “This is going to be here”…
And there are some kids who went outside to run a long-distance after the decoration. Children are happy to be outdoors in all kinds of weather!
We had a lot of activities today such as cleaning, decoration for Christmas and running lively outside.
Christmas party is coming next week! We hope we will also have a good time next week…
Written by Nijiiro Crayons on 12/17/2013.
Translated by Chiharu Prokop and Maria Koimisoglou.
A brand-new year has just started. It’s the first activity day of ‘Nijiro Crayons’!
It had been snowing heavily. I was eagerly waiting for reuniting with the children while I was worried about if they could come in this kind of weather…
They came♪ Usual faces!
In the all-purpose room, ‘Dr. Dinosaur’ Haru-kun began to make dino with paper clay as usual. His sister, Hana-chan told me many exciting stories about New Year’s events, and that she will be going to the next grade in kindergarten in April and so on.
Some children enjoyed playing table tennis, tag, follow-the-leader, and jumping a long rope, etc… They looked like that they had not known what to do with their energy during the winter holidays.
I saw them for the first time in a month. I felt that children were fabulous growing up. I was glad that some of them remembered me.
And of course! Encouraging supporters of ‘Nijiiro Crayons’, Yama-chan and Mura-san had come again this year too!
I feel at ease when old faces get together. Imagining that the children come and seek for this relaxing atmosphere, ‘Nijiiro Crayons’ which stays active even in rainy or snowy days must mean a lot for children’s lives.
Thank you very much for such a great time today!
Written by Nijiiro Crayons on 1/9/2014.
Translated by Takako Kawamukai and Natsu Hirukawa.
Hello! I am Yuki and I am a member of “Nijiro Crayons” staff. Today, I was playing at the Koyo District Community Centre.
Fortunately, the two girls that had come last week, they were willing to come again at Koyo yesterday. The two girls were playing with the kids in other activities and places, too. No barriers for them.
In that way, these activities became a place of bringing everybody together; not only the children, but the adults, as well. That’s nice, isn’t it?
In the hall, children had sweated themselves. They were using different kinds of playing items. There were balls, skipping-long-ropes, paper-boomerangs (that Mura-san made), and many other items like these.
Young and older kids, all the children, jumbled up and got so excited in this open space. I was overwhelmed by these lively kids. When I felt thirsty, I went back for drinking water at the multipurpose hall where I could also check the activities performed, all in one. There, in sharp contrast to the hall, kids and volunteers were playing with the clay, card games, with the rest having a relaxed mood.
A kid was playing Karuta ( a Japanese card game) with Sen-ji, another one was playing UNO (an American card game) with Retsu-san, and at their side there was a kid alone, who caught up pressing and dyeing his hands into the clay; the blue-color one.
Somehow, I felt like watching a situation where the grandchildren have come and seen their grandpa and grammas’ house, after a long time.
At the end, as usually, Natsukichi called the small children together. It’s story hour! Children and adults watched the picture-story book that Natsukichi was reading. At that time, a mother arrived to pick up her kids and she loved to join our company, too.
I feel a magical attraction to picture-story books. Don’t you think so? Adults were enjoying themselves by the narration of the story, let alone children.
Last month, the place of activities moved from the provisional housing in Northern Hebita Park #2, to the Koyo District Community Centre. Now, after a month, children seem to have been accustomed to their new place.
However, sometimes we might not be as careful as we want with the people that use the community centre. For this reason, all of us have been trying to improve the way we proceed our activities”.
Fortunately, all the members of staff of our Community Centre have tolerance and understanding. By having the privilege of having these people around us, we must do our best to make the places that children stay, a reliable and safe environment every single day.
Today, our staff members are seven; Onchan-Shisho, Sen-ji, Retsu-san, Mura-san, Yama-chan, Natsukichi and me, Yuki.
Thank you very much for today!
Written by Nijiiro Crayons on 12/5/2013.
Translated by Takako Kawamukai and Maria Koimisoglou.
Today, we held our activities at the Akebono Assembly Building in Ishinomaki.
I’d heard that they’d had a long period of wet weather caused by the recent typhoon, and it had apparently been raining all morning. This didn’t bode well for the rest of the day’s outlook and I wondered if it would continue to rain during our activities, however, by the time the children had arrived the sky had become clear and blue.
Even so, we chose not to go to Koyo primary school and remained in the assembly building instead.
At Natsukichi’s suggestion, we set up six tables, each with a different activity for the children to choose from, like building blocks, clay and Origami.
Due to the recent dismal weather, I’d expected the children to lose interest in playing indoors, but with such a range of activities available to them, every child was focused on what they had chosen to do.
Even the boys, who could usually be found running around outside, were engrossed in games of cards and dominoes. It was, in fact, the girls who chose to play jump rope and tag outdoors!
This success could be owing to the range of activities that the children had access to, however, the day simply would not have been possible without the involvement of the volunteer staff. Hailing from Tokyo, Sendai and Tochigi, they stayed with the children over the duration of the session. Each volunteer had an assigned child to watch over, ensuring that they were happy and having fun.
While we always try our best to keep the children engaged, I feel that through today’s one-to-one interaction, we were all able to become much closer.
Often the children become bored with what we provide for them and inevitably begin talking amongst themselves, eventually having to be dragged from the venue at the end of the day because they’re so busy chatting to their friends. Today’s session, on the other hand, concluded very differently. The words of Shigeki summed it up perfectly:
“The children were ready to go home at the end of the day because they were completely contented.”
At our upcoming events, I want to make the children as happy as possible. It would be wonderful if, when the children went home, they told their parents about the great time they’d had with the Nijiiro Crayons. I’ve realised that seeing the smiles on their faces makes me feel truly fulfilled.
Today’s volunteers were Ryo-san, Sho-san, Gucchi, Mitsuko, Hinomai, Fujiko, Hide, Sayabo, Kiyo-kun, Name-chan, Takku, Tsukapon, Enjin, Hoka-chan, Natsukichi, and Onchan-Shisho(Shigeki).
Written by Nijiiro Crayons on 10/26/2013.
Translated by Ayako Hamada.
Today we held activities at the provisional housing at Takasago Ichome Park.
Happy New Year, everyone! Did you all enjoy your New Year’s holidays?
We began activities in Takasago from today as well! The children all seem to have had wonderful holidays and they told us cheerfully what they had done, like spending time at Grandma’s house.
In particular, Seishin-kun is doing really well in batting in baseball this year. He showed us his remote controlled car, which he couldn’t show us at the end of last year because the battery had died. Mr. Hide was also really interested in the toy.
Today we also had a BBQ party, which takes place every 2 months at the provisional park.
We had a lot of fun at the party with volunteers from Fukuzumi-cho and other people living nearby. The food for the BBQ was delivered by our friends in Hiroshima, who have really supported us.
This party was a great opportunity to talk more with people who we knew a little but who we hadn’t had enough time to chat with before. Thank you very much for such delicious food!
Aoi-chan started to make a birthday card as soon as she arrived. She told us, “It’s my Mum’s birthday!”
Although she sometimes went to eat crabs, which are her favourite, and to warm herself up with the heat of the BBQ, in the end she created very cute card.
The first activity of this year ended peacefully and happily, with everyone in good spirits.
We are going to change the organisation of the activities a bit this year, but we will continue to hold fun activities, and care for the children’s safety and growth, as we have been doing so far. We all hope we can do some even more fun activities together this year.
Today’s staff members were Mr.Hide, Yuuki, Sayapo and Narumin.
Thank you very much.
Freezingggg-Ghost: the cute ghost, who takes coats from the adults to keep warm. Be careful!
Written by Nijiiro Crayons on 1/12/2014.
Translated by Mao Ohtake and Matthew Jellicoe.
Hello! I’m Yuuki, a staff member of “Nijiiro-Crayons”
Today I visited the provisional housing in Takasago Ichome Park. Looking inside the hall, there is a cheerful atmosphere.
“Cold, isn’t it? Come on in!” Someone called me. As I entered, I saw something among people. “What? Three dogs!?”
They said that dog trainers visited with their dogs all the way from Kobe City（*Hyogo Prefecture.) It was a gift of “Interaction with animals” for people living in the provisional housing. The event seemed like animal therapy.
That sounds like an early Christmas present. Of course the children enjoyed touching, hugging, and playing a catch with the dogs. The adults around them smiled despite themselves, looking at the children and the dogs entertaining with their dexterity performances.
One brother and sister came late to the assembly room and kept the distance from the crowd in the beginning. They might have been scared of the big dog. But playing with or stroking the dogs, they come to be relaxed little by little and finally even fought over their little chihuahua. :) I must say that animals have the power of melting our hearts.
At the end, we took a photo with the dogs dressing up in Christmas costumes.
So, unlike the usual, we didn’t play a catch or drawing. But the children were happy interacting with puppy dogs.
Today’s staff members were Narumin and Yuuki, myself. Thanks a lot!
*reference: On January 17, 1995, the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake（M7.2）occurred in the southern part of Hyogo Prefecture.
Written by Nijiiro Crayons on December 8 2013.
Translated by Takako Kawamukai and Natsu Hirukawa.
Today we had our activities in the provisional housing at Takasago Ichome Park. As soon as we arrived at the playground, the cheerful children told us “You’re three minutes late!” I was very glad to hear them saying, “I finished my homework in order to come to Nijiiro Crayon’s activities.” and “I’ve been waiting for you all a long time outside.”
It was a perfect day for playing with water guns and water balloons, so the children all got together around the water tap when our activities started!
The children and adults all got wet from the water balloons and water guns! With the glorious sunshine, our clothes all dried out by the time we went home. We appreciated it.
People in the provisional housing had a BBQ today in the open space. It was very lively and they were chatting a lot and enjoyed it. They invited us to the BBQ where we had delicious meat and more.
We had nice and friendly conversations with the parents of the children and other people who we usually don’t have much opportunity to talk with. It was a very luxurious time. We appreciate it that so many people care about our activities and the children. It feels like not only the children but the adults too, became closer through the BBQ.
The photo on the top was taken by me after getting away from the water attack, and it shows two children drawing faces on the water balloons. They helped us clean up at the end of our activities. Thank you!
Playing catch with water balloons was exciting!
Today’s staff members were Hide-san, Yuki-san, Azu-san, Etan, and Narumin. We had more children and staff members than usual, and it was very lively! It’s going to be fun playing with water this season!
See you all again, next week!
Written by Nijiiro Crayons on 2013/7/21.
Translated by Mika Riedel and Paul Haugerud.