The Fruit Tree Project – Kesennuma, Day 4

All the volunteers waiting for their assignments

FRUIT!!! Today we delivered ~196 sunfruit, ~840 bananas, and ~600 apples!  Each day we check with the people running the shelters to see if we got enough fruit for everyone, and so far there hasn’t been a day where they tell us they need more, so that’s great news for sure.  We also delivered fruit earlier today so that we could head over to the Volunteer Center and volunteer for the day.  The weather was a bit overcast, and the WIND was absolutely insane!  We got into a group with about 10 people, and volunteered at a house, mainly throwing debris to the curb so it could be taken away and disposed of.

The area around our work-site

We also helped clean beneath the floor boards of the house, which were all pulled up to clean out the mud and dirt that the tsunami had left behind.  With the number of people we had, we accomplished a lot before lunch, but unfortunately got word that all the volunteers were being sent back to the VC due to strong winds.  It was unfortunate that we couldn’t finish up that day, but I’m glad we still made it out and helped out as much as we did.  After we finished volunteering, Minami and I got a call from a lady at NHK news.  She wanted to speak to us about our project, so we all went to meet her and told her all about volunteerAKITA and The Fruit Tree Project!  She seemed very excited about what we were doing, and asked if they could bring the cameras around with us on our fruit deliveries! Of course we said YES!  After the interview with NHK, Minami had to catch a train back to Akita, but the rest of us took up an offer from the Kesennuma ALT (Jessica) to crash at her place!  Jess has been helping us out so much, so it’s been a blessing having her around, and feeding us rare treats from the states (Girl Scout Cookies!!!).  Also a BIG thanks for letting us use her shower 😉  It was so nice not having to sleep in the car for a night!

– Paul

5月2日月曜日、フルーツツリープロジェクト4日目。
今日はサンフルーツ196個、バナナ840個、リンゴ600個を同じように朝早く届けに行きました。
その後ボランティアセンターに行き、少し並んでボランティアの受付を済ませました。ボランティアに来ていた全員がグループ分けれそれぞれの活動場所へ。私たちは10人のグループでお家の片付けのお手伝いに行きました。ですが作業を始めて1時間ほどで、かなりの強風の為残念ながら中止になってしまいました。それでもそこのお宅の方々は何回も「ありがとう」と言ってくださり、「何年かかるかわかんないけど直ったらまた遊びに来てね!」と全員と握手してくださいました。前を向いて、復興するために頑張っているみなさん。本当に尊敬するし、精一杯出来る限りのことをしてサポートしたいと思いました。人手が必要なのは明らかです。
ボランティアの後、一本の電話を貰いました。なんとNHKのカメラマンの方で、私たちvolunteerAKITAとフルーツツリープロジェクトのことを知りぜひ話を聞きたいとのこと!すごい!その後すぐに4人で待ち合わせ場所に行き、1時間以上お話させて頂きました。すごく熱心に聞いてくださり、取材のお約束を頂きました!もっと多くの方に被災地、避難所の現状とこの活動の重要さが伝わればいいな…
私は次の日仕事の為、この後6時の電車でまた約5時間かけて秋田に帰りました。次に来れるのは5日。本当はずっと残って活動したいのに凄く残念です。

– Minami

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