The Fruit Tree Project – Ishinomaki, Day 18Posted: July 20, 2011
July 15, 2011 – Today I was off work, so I headed down to Ishinomaki to deliver some fruit. It was just a quick little day trip, but I’m so glad I made it down. Right now the weather in Japan is insanely hot and humid. It was really heartbreaking to see everyone still living in the shelters under these conditions. All of the shelters had many fans running, but it was still just pushing around the hot/humid air. Today I visited 5 shelters. 4 of them we have delivered to before, but the 5th shelter was new. Everyone knew we were coming and many remembered my name and our organization “volunteerAKITA”, so that was nice. The first 4 deliveries were quick and easy. As always, they were extremely grateful, and said they really appreciate fruit because they only get it on occasion.
I headed back to Moriya fruits to pick up more fruit for the last shelter located west of Ishinomaki. It’s actually right along the road I take to get back to Akita so it was really convenient. Since the shelter is located outside of central Ishinomaki, they haven’t been getting as much relief as other shelters. Kat Sheu, an ALT in Ishinomaki lives near the shelter and tipped us off on their situation and asked us to get them some fruit. The folks there were such AMAZING people. They were so kind and grateful for the fruit. The shelter houses about 46 people, so I bought enough for each to have an apple and an orange. I also got to chat with them for awhile, and talk to them about some other needs they have. Before I left, they brought me 4 bags of food! I obviously could not take it from them, but they forced it on me! In the bags were tons of bread loafs and onigiris. This was the stuff they ate every day for their meals, and you could tell that people were sick of eating it. I thanked them for the food and told them I would be in touch. Our plan is to get Kat some money so she can run more fruit to them next week.
The situation right now in Ishinomaki hasn’t changed much. No one has even heard of a potential move in date to the temporary housing, and people have said that the city has fallen behind in building the temporary housing. Right now I’m just hoping for the best for these folks stuck in the shelters, and hope we can continue to help as many people as possible, especially through this intense summer weather.