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October 7, 2011 / Mika Riedel

The Value of Community

Friday September 9th, 2011

Today we had activities at Kadonowaki Middle School and the provisional housing in Minamizakai District Park.

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ーKadonowaki Middle School (Okachan’s report)ー

Two members of the Kadonowaki Middle School group were wearing gym clothing today!? The kids at Kadonowaki Elementary School had made an excursion to the Matsushima Aquarium. When I asked them what they saw the response was “Whales and sharks!” …Whales? 🙂

Anyhow, today was spent quietly playing with beads. Halfway through the mothers joined in and everyone was crafting jewelry together.

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ーAichan’s reportー

I visited the provisional housing in Minamizakai District Park.

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After relaxing for a while we played tag!

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Once activities at the provisional housing in Minamizakai District Park had finished I went to Kendo practice at Hashiura Elementary School.

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Shigeki’s dad in armor 🙂

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ーOnchan-Shisho’s reportー

The neighbors across from the temporary housing room I live in were unable to put together a cabinet they bought and asked if I could lend a hand.  I readily agreed, “sure, no problem!”

It’s just the two of them living together, a 91 year old mother and her daughter.  With the help of a cook, they used to run a Sukiyaki restaurant before the earthquake.  As a gift of appreciation for my help, they gave me some mackerel simmered in miso, rice balls, pickles and fried tofu lees.  I hadn’t been expecting anything for my effort but was pleased to accepted the food.

There is something I’ve begun to realize…  I find living by myself in temporary housing quite lonely, there is a strong sense of isolation.  This isolation grows when I don’t have contact with my neighbors.

Today I was reminded of the value of community.

Written by Kodomo Hinanjo Club on 9/9/2011.

Translated by Paul Haugerud and Takako Kawamukai.

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