The Fruit Tree Project – Kesennuma, Day 11&12

Group Shot!

June 4, 2011 – Alicia, Ohara, and myself decided to drive down late last night so we could catch some sleep before a BIG day of fruit deliveries and volunteering!  Niitsuki parking lot has become VERY familiar with the volunteerAKITA crew! (It’s a great location right outside of central Kesennuma for car camping) The rest of the Akita crew came in early this morning and we got busy with delivering FRUIT! Today we expanded out to 10 shelters.  Our biggest daily delivery yet!  40 boxes of bananas (~3,360 bananas) in one day!  We split up into 2 teams.  Ohara, Alicia, Mike, and I were in the 2 bigger vehicles, so we took care of the shelters that needed more fruit.   Liyen, Anne’s Mom, Masato, and Anne took 2 smaller vehicles to some of the shelters that were housing fewer people, but a BIG thanks to them because their group of shelters were definitely more spread out through town! So a BIG OTSUKARE to them.  In total, we reached out to 10 shelters in the Kesennuma area, from smaller shelters with 20 people to the largest shelter in the area housing 450 people.  After the fruit deliveries were done, we all rushed over to the VC to volunteer for the day (check out the field report under the BIG CLEAN!).

My bro Michael Maher-King!!!

One of the highlights of the day:  I FINALLY met my bro Michael Maher-King from Smile Kids Japan!  He happened to be in Kesennuma meeting with some orphanages, so the timing worked out perfectly and we got to meet up for a little.  It was nice finally meeting the guy in person.  He’s been such a mentor and supporter of volunteerAKITA and The Fruit Tree Project, and has been doing absolutely amazing things for the orphans in Japan, especially in Tohoku!  So glad we got to catch up, and we are looking forward to getting involved in all that he has planned! Definitely check them out in our “Links” section, or under “Projects” Smiles & Dreams!

Another BIG thanks to the amazing Akita crew we have down here right now! Such an all-star crew, and wow its amazing to have so many people in our group that can speak English/Japanese fluently! It’s been such a blessing.  Looking forward to what tomorrow brings 😉

Loading up!

June 5, 2011 – Another Big day for us! We delivered 40 more boxes to the same 10 shelters, in hopes the extra bananas will last them into the week.  Due to our work schedules, we are unable to deliver fruit during the week, so it is important for us to supply these shelters with more than a days worth of fruit.  Fortunately, all of the fruit we pick up in Kesennuma is extremly fresh and many of the boxes of bananas are still slightly green, so in that sense it’s good to know they will have a longer shelf life.  The situation with the shelters in Kesennuma is constantly changing, especially now that people are moving into temporary housing units built by the government.  For the most part, all of the shelters are shrinking in size, so hopefully that allows us to reach out to more shelters, including the smaller ones in more remote areas.  The fruit deliveries went a lot quicker this morning since we established all the locations yesterday.  The group then met up at the VC for another full day of volunteering!  Minami, Wil, and Rye came down, so we had a solid group of 11 representing AKITA!  So much love for the crew we had this weekend! There was no way we could have accomplished all that we did without everyone’s help!  It was truly an EPIC weekend, and we ended up delivering ~6,720 bananas in 2 days! Otsukare!!!

Cleaning photographs

ALSO, a very SPECIAL shout-out to 2 lovely Akita ladies who put in 4 solid days of volunteering this week! Liyen Tang and Kuniko Haga (Anne’s awesome Mom!) You ladies are AMAZING!!!



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