I packed up my granola bars and long underwear and took off to volunteer in one of the most severely afflicted areas of Northern Ibaraki Prefecture, bordering Fukushima. After a long day I sit in a village inn, the only one in the area with an empty room, nursing my sore back and thinking of the 200 bags of rice,
600 boxes of water and 200 futon that we carried
– side by side Ibaraki mothers, students, day laborers, city officials, restaurant owners and other just plain folks I listened to that lovely thick Ibaraki dialect as we lifted, carried, packed, and most of all, we laughed a lot.
Maybe we Gaijin should all leave Tokyo more often.