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February 1, 2012 / Mika Riedel


December 24th, 2011

Today’s activities were held at the provisional housing at Northern Hebita Park #2 and the classroom in Akebono.

ーThe provisional housing at Northern Hebita Park #2 – Akebono classroom (Iwasawasan’s report)ー

During the morning I had the regular ‘Zunda tea time’ group in the conference room of the provisional housing at Northern Hebita Park #2.

It was late morning, or early midday if you like, a quiet day off, and as I was waiting, Yamachan wandered by to visit. From untold stories of Yamachan’s youth, the conversation bloomed into reminiscent talk about skiing and time spent as a craftsman.

Eventually Onchan-Shisho’s young acquaintance showed up. I had him give me a hand with some mosaic art and all of us had a great time talking about Japanese food. In the afternoon I swapped places with another volunteer. It was a pleasant morning punctuated by the sound of laughter.

Riasan was here to volunteer and joined me for our afternoon activity at the classroom in Akebono. We began with the students from Ishinomaki Senshu University, Natsumisan, Kamechan, Kotonasan, Riasan and myself. Aichan was out due to a cold.

The brothers Harutokun and Kanatokun were unable to wait and showed up just before one o’clock, ready to play. Apparently they saw Nijiiro Crayons as we passed in front of their house and came running. That’s very nice thing to hear.

One by one the kids began to arrive amidst the hustle and bustle. Inside they made dolls, necklaces, and decorated plastic folders with stickers that Riasan brought with her. Outside we played soccer-dodge-ball with a balance ball. I was feeling cold when we started but with all the running around I slowly got nice and toasty and no longer noticed.

Today is none other than Christmas Eve. Continuing from yesterday, Christmas presents have been arriving from German children for the kids in Ishinomaki. The kids have been hovering around them excitedly. Everyone receives a present suited them. Besides the presents there were letters from Canada. 🙂 The kids were very surprised by overseas mail. They happily said they would take the letters home for their parents to read to them.

Then the biggest present arrived. Aichan, who had been out with a cold, showed up. The kids smiles instantly got brighter. They really do enjoy Aichan most of all.

Finally, at the very end, Santa Claus arrived. Actually it was members from the Ishinomaki Volunteer center. They were passing out presents to all of the kids calling it their big ‘Operation Christmas’.

When I returned to the provisional housing complex a letter had arrived for Onchan-Shisho, Aichan, and the other volunteers. It was a handwritten card from all kids at Northern Hebita Park #2 and was delivered by the mother of one of the girls who takes part in our activities. Onchan-Shisho was so happy to receive the perfect Christmas present from all the kids that he was on the verge of tears. Today was a satisfying day for kids and adults alike.

As it got dark, something glistening began falling from the skies. It was a white Christmas. Today was a fantastic Christmas with lot’s of smiles.

Merry Christmas!

Written by Nijiiro Crayons on 12/24/2011.

Translated by Paul Haugerud.


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