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October 15, 2011 / Mika Riedel

The Rainbow Crayons Arm Band

Saturday, September 24th, 2011

Today we had activities at the classroom in Akebono, and the provisional housing in Northern Hebita Park #2, Shinzakai Yachi South Park, and Minamizakai District Park.


ーOnchan-Shisho’s reportー

This morning at the provisional housing in Northern Hebita Park #2 we began with a team gymnastics exhibition from Ma’chan and Ayachan.


Our volunteers today are Ma’chan, Saayan, Narumin and Aichan.

In the afternoon we held activities at the classroom in Akebono and were interviewed by someone from the Kahoku News.  This means we will be featured in the next kids newspaper.

Today the children split up into a picture-painting team and a playing-outdoors team.


Afterwards, I left Saayan and Narumi, the ivory skinned White Team, in charge of the group at Northern Hebita Park #2.  I had Ma’chan and Aichan go to the provisional housing in Shinzakai Yachi South Park and went by myself to Minamizakai District Park.

Photograph of a Minamizakai painter


And a roll-up piano.


It’s been quite a while since we’ve seen sunflowers but their yellow petals are starting to appear…


ーAichan’s reportー

During the morning I went to the provisional housing in Northern Hebita Park #2.  We played with paper clay in the lounge


And there was hide-and-seek with only one or two places to hide  🙂  Then we did a puzzle with Ayakachan.

In the afternoon I went to the classroom in Akebono!  Outside the classroom in Akebono we played dodge-ball and … car wash? 😀  We had a battle with squirt guns and water balloons!  We also had foot races and such.


After activities at the classroom in Akebono finished I went to the provisional housing in Shinzakai Yachi South Park.

I saw Erikochan for the first time in a while.


We had a full day of climbing trees, regular tag, jungle gym tag, tag with a safe zone on high ground, and a soccer penalty kick contest.  It was your typical jam-packed Sunday.


ーProvisional housing in Northern Hebita Park #2 (Ma’chan’s report)ー

This morning right at the start, Ayakachan and I put together “Ayaka and Ma’chan’s exercise routine.”


Using the railing everyone is always balancing on, we created a set of exercises involving hanging from the bar and various body contortions that would be hard even for an adult.  We tried to give a certain flow and rhythm to each of the various movements.

Afterwards, Ayakachan was finally able to accomplish three double jumps while jumping rope!  Perhaps it was all the effort she put into our exercise routine!?


ーProvisional housing in Shinzakai South Park (Ma’chan’s report)ー

Today I played with Erikochan.  When I arrived, she was riding a bicycle she received yesterday from Hirobuchi Elementary School.  Among the few places for her to ride are the gravel parking lot in front of the provisional housing and on the narrow sidewalks.  However, she was really happy to be on a bicycle that was a proper fit for her.


Before long children in the neighborhood began to join us and we climbed trees, and played tag and soccer.  Erikochan and the other children became quick friends, talking amongst themselves about how pleasant the wind felt from up in the tree.  The sun was quite strong today and the children and us managed get a bit of a tan.

ーProvisional housing in Northern Hebita Park #2 (Saayan’s report)ー

I was at the provisional housing in Northern Hebita Park #2.  By evening it had become chilly outside so we played indoors with origami and jigsaw puzzles.  Haruchan was happily carrying around an origami handbag, a creation of one of our volunteer staff, Narumichan.  Elementary school student Ayachan accomplished three double jumps in a row for the first time while jumping rope!  She had a big smile on her face when she came to me to report her achievement.

I’ve only known everyone for 2 days but the power of the “Rainbow Crayons” armband is tremendous. It’s surprising how children will come running when they see it.  For the children, I think it gives them a sense of security knowing that “when these people show up, they will play with us!”

 Written by Nijiiro-Crayon on 9/24/2011.

Translated by Paul Haugerud, Takako Kawamukai and Daniel Sunstrum.


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