Thread Rating:
  • 0 Vote(s) - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
[COMPLETED] Ishinomaki Assistance April 22nd -> 26th
Via my office colleagues, we're looking for volunteers who are prepared to tough it out to assist the victims in Ishinomaki this weekend and early next week.

All sorts of assistance may be needed (clean up, cooking, serving, playing with children, etc.) and we won't know until we get there and get directions from the local organisers up there. This isn't for the faint-hearted as you'll need to prepare yourself to be physically and mentally/emotionally fit.

We'll be sleeping in tents, and probably won't be showering for a few days (BYO body wipes, etc.). We'll have to look after ourselves with regards to food, water, warm and waterproof clothing, etc.

Naturally you'll need to be taking at least 1 day off work. The plan is to start driving on Friday night and arrive Saturday morning. And we leave on Monday night and arrive at Tuesday dawn.

Right now we have 2 cars and 4 ppl. Each car can take 4 ppl. We also have 2xtents, each can take 4xppl. There's space for remaining 4 ppl left - you'll need your own sleeping bags. Once this fills up, then if needed we can form another team of 4 (but will need another car and another tent of 4).

Please get back to me ASAP about this as Friday's only a few days away. Not to mention we'll need to prepare.
Hi all,

Here are some pictures of the trip to Ishinomaki. As you can see that some places are completely devastated.

Miscellaneous people have asked me how to get into the program, what's needed, etc. Let's just say that at least in Ishinomaki, at worst case, you should prepare to have a pretty hard core trip. By this I mean a lot of volunteers are staying in tents in Ishinomaki University. Be prepared to bring your own gas stove to cook your own food, don't expect to get showers, or hot water. Instead use body wipes. And of course if you're camping, probably no electricity. However if you are lucky (and in this trip, we were), you get an invite from a volunteer group who may have accommodation, temporary hot shower, and food. Those places could hold maybe 20 volunteers - but this past weekend there was 550.

We went up with the intention to tent. We didn't plan on meeting any particular group but heard that the Ishinomaki University was where all the volunteer groups congregated. However when we arrived, the registration desk was closed as it was raining. So most volunteers didn't work that day. Two foreigners approached us telling us that they were continuing to work despite the rain and offered us to join them. Not to waste the day, we did. They were working for a group called Nippon Foundation.

On the first day, the initial task was to extract out electrical items from the dump piles on the side of the road so that trucks could pick them up. We trudged through rubbish to yank out fridges, washing machines, microwave ovens, heaters, hifis, etc. It was heavy lifting work but reasonably easy. Just have to watch out for nails & broken glass. Next throwing in mud sacks into large 1 ton bags. That was pretty heavy work as each bag was easily 35-40kg. After awhile, your back would ache. It was dirty work nevertheless. The mud was a mixture of everything - sand from the sea, ground, sewerage, rotten fish, etc. We also shovelled mud to make new mud sacks. All this was done on a street no longer than 50m with at least a 10-15 manpower.

The Nippon Foundation supervisor offered for us to stay with them which was a dream accommodation compared to camping. Along, we had a hot shower in a temporary o-furo. They also served food at the volunteer house. The city organises a meeting at 7 p.m .everynight to subdivide work to various groups. Thereafter the groups broke to subgroups (Nippon Foundation being one of them) to discuss further breakdown of who cleans up what streets. Within our sub-group, we further broke down to mini-groups that did miscellaneous work - I belonged to the "Mud Busters" mini-group.

On Sunday, we were given an easier task - to drive dump trucks to-n-fro the street we cleaned up to the dumping area (this was a -HUGE- area). It was less back breaking work - smelly nevertheless. I think the organisers are good alternating heavy/easy work with these groups. Otherwise we really wouldn't have survived beyond the 2nd day.

Today we had it easy - the organiser drove us to the really devastated areas to do some survey. There's a shrine of which they would like to use for a festival next week and needed to assess what kind of manpower is required to clean that up. We also went coastal towns where the organisers talked to locals onto what they needed. One town we visited, 75% of houses were destroyed. They needed buoys to be collected so that fishermen could go back to work. Buoys were -everywhere-.

That's pretty much a summary of what we did this past long weekend.
Hats off to you Q. Pretty hardcore stuff and sorry I couldn't make it up this weekend. I'll be up there once I'm past this busy hump at work (three more weeks to go!).

Few pictures were quite interesting - beautiful sakura and Japanese shrines amongst all the crazy debris...
Great work Sean, that's fuckin awesome stuff you did there.
And you did all that work in style too, rockin a full MC outfit, what class! ^^
Salute to all you Guys! TKO did a great Job and Great Mission accomplished..apology I missed this one..Thanks for all your efforts! Amazing ...Thumbs up!!

Forum Jump:

Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)