Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Sendai service

Konnichiwa Friends and Family!!
Grandma and Grandpa sent a list of questions so I`ll just post it as I wrote it to them.
1.  Where specifically did you go  or where are you now?  We heard you were sent to "Sendai."
      We went to Higashi Matsushima.  It was just for a day; I am back in Tokyo now.  It was just a day of service.
2.  How many went?
      The whole Tokyo mission went.  We were separated into two groups and went to two different locations to work.
3. How long did you stay?
      We left Thursday night by bus, slept on the bus, got to Sendai at about seven in the morning, went to our different locations, did our assigned projects, drove twenty minutes away to see the ``off limits`` zone where water and rubble still is, went to a church to eat dinner, drove back to Tokyo, got back at about three in the morning, slept on the church`s floor for a couple hours, took the first train home in the morning at about six, showered at our apartment, and then went to a ward activity straight away.  :D
4.  What did you do?
      All we did was shovel three inch slime out of a man`s yard and then a neighbors fields.  The slime/sludge was a mix of oil, gas, sewage, ocean water, and what ever else.  We had to bag it all; there were piles of bags everywhere.  That was it though, sludge shoveling.
5.  What was your transportation to get there?
      Bus there, walking from house to house for the actual service, and then bus back.
6.  Why did you need to be insured?
     It was a requirement from the government for all volunteers to be insured.  It was about $1,000 per person.  It was really expensive.
7.  What did you learn?
     TV doesn`t cut it.  Seeing the rubble and destruction in first person was extremely humbling.  It was creepy.  The water has so much gunk in it that it steams.  It looked like a swamp out of fiction; like the Grimm Reaper should come out of the mist or something.  It was not a pretty sight.  We were taken to see the ``new`` shore line that jut cut through a neighborhood.  It was weird and really sad.  I get a sick feeling in my stomach just thinking about it.
8.  Did you enjoy your Sendai trip?
     Absolutely!  I am SO grateful!!  I wanted to serve so bad but there is nothing to do down here, especially in Kofu.  It was so nice to serve!!  Was it small?  Yes, but I was so glad just to do something!  It was good to see the wreckage, too.  That is not something I will easily forget.  I will send pictures.
9.  Any other questions?  :)

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