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April 8, 2013 / Mika Riedel

Their Second Winter Break

December 26th, 2012

Yopa’s report

– the Koyocho provisional housing units –

Christmas is over and the children have seen the arrival of their second winter break since the earthquake.  Unlike a normal day after school, everyone has their Nintendo DS or Playstation Portable game in hand.  They are sitting around in circles competing or otherwise getting excited at the contents of their screens.

Your typical modern kids!  Casting a sidelong glance at them I realize, whether they live in Ishinomaki or Tokyo, children are all the same.  Stacking up Jenga blocks on the desk, laying playing cards down in a row, …

Showma-kun spreads out the roll-up keyboard and begins singing Karaoke with Kiyo-kun.  Pressing down on the keys, he attempts with some success to match their melody.  He sees one of the pictures on the playing cards and yells out “Hey, I know that one!”

Another Jenga match begins.

As soon as they were given an opportunity the children naturally found a way to entertain themselves.  Since this isn’t school, I accepted the portable games as another tool allowing them to play together.  But there’s more than just video games and I want Nijiiro Crayon to be a time when they can share a variety of entertainment options.

Today Ai-chan showed up for the first time in a while and we were able to go to the school yard to play.  Under cold skies with snow falling lightly everyone played soccer until they were tired and covered with sweat.  Afterwards they returned to the assembly room where Yuko-chan began performing her school song on the keyboard.  Naturally all the kids began gathering around, “What the heck are you trying to play?”,  “Hey, I recognise that!”

Many of the kids are in the same grade and going to the same schools they did before the disaster, but not all of them.  I think its important for them to gather together like this and share a little common culture.

Today is our last day of activities at Koyocho this year.  Our next activity is scheduled for January 9th (Wednesday).  I wish each and every one of you the arrival of a new year full of hope.

Today’s volunteers included Ai-chan, Kiyo-kun, Pon-chan, Leo-kun, Onchan-Shisho, and myself.

 Written by Nijiiro Crayons on 12/26/2012.

Translated by Paul Haugerud.

 

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