Last update from Minami Sanriku: The Voice of a Survivor - Vikingess Voyages

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Last update from Minami Sanriku: The Voice of a Survivor

I want to share one of my experiences working as a volunteer in Minami Sanriku with my readers out there. The wife of one of the farmers we have been helping is a woman who always dresses nicely and seems like an energetic and friendly person. The first times seeing her I'd never believe that she had had any personal losses from the tsunamis. However, one day before we were supposed to start our work at the farm she told us about how she had been working in a senior citizen's home at the time of the tsunami and how she and the others had to evacuate to the roof when the tsunami flooded the building.
Here she told us about how she had seen a person being taken by the wave who was screaming out for help. His hand was so close that she could have reached it, but she had been to afraid to do anything. She saw how the guy got drawn into the water until only his reaching hand was visible.
She told us about how bad she feels about not being able to help, and how it still hunts her every day. About how she and the others spent the night sleeping on the roof of the senior citizen's home hoping to wake up finding that it all was a dream. But instead they woke up to a city totally destroyed, and how they had to stay there until helicopters came to their rescue. Who would believe that such a cheerful person would carry such a dark experience..

Here in Minami Sanriku there are a lot of people that despite horrible experiences like these still keeps going on working on the recovery of their communities.
There are a lot of things that can be said about the situation in Minami Sanriku, but these are the words I've heard most frequently from many of the local people while staying here:
"The worst thing for us is to be forgotten. Please tell your friends about your experiences here, and that the recovery still is going to take a lot of time. Please don't forget us."

My stay in Minami Sanriku is coming to an end. But there is still a long way to go for the city to recover, and a need for people who can help. I believe that not only volunteers but also tourists can contribute to make the community bloom once more, so if you have the chance please don't hesitate to pay the fantastic people of Minami Sanriku a visit..!

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About Anette
Anette came to Japan as an exchange student in 2010, met the love of her life and got stuck. From her base in Tokyo she writes about her experiences as a full-time worker in Tokyo and about her travels in Japan and abroad. She's a free-spirited adventurer who enjoys both the great outdoors and her urban lifestyle.

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Adventures ofAnette

A modern day shield-maiden who loves to explore the unbeaten paths of the world. From her base in Tokyo, Anette takes on both rural and urban challenges, and goes by the motto "No challenge too big, no adventure too small"!
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