journal, tono, volunteer

back to tono, 7/9/11

tonight we are in tono, staying in the volunteer center. the women are sleeping in the tatami room, the guys in the gymnasium.
I first came to tono, to this building, with K and M sensei, in april. we sat in on the daily evening meeting, and at that time, I felt so strongly that I wanted to volunteer, to do more than research, or documentation, or learn from the recovery experts, that I wanted to be one of the volunteers, coming back after a days work in the disaster area. and that time, it seemed almost impossible—how would I be able to get to this place on my own, navigate an entirely Japanese system of official volunteer registration…

and yet, amazingly, here I am! as a volunteer, in this center. everything feels connected. this is my 3rd time to volunteer with gakuvo/nikkei youth network, and I’ve even been given the prestigious title of head translator–although it turns out there are only 2 international students on this trip. 13 people all together.

there was a small aftershock a little bit ago–the ceiling rattled, but no shaking.

the fist time I came to tono in april was also the first time I felt an aftershock, outside this building. I’m looking forward to hopefully seeing the progress since april.

About liz

from the u.s., recently moved from kobe to sendai, japan, researching community-based housing recovery after disaster.

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