I have been so looking forward to today for a few days now since we found out that we were able to come and visit Okada Elementary school. A HUGE thank you to Cory and Nose san from Kidzania Tokyo and Hangai san who is from Odaka. They set it all up . I went to Fukushima and picked up Cory who had come up from Tokyo especially for todays event. We made it back to the school right on the 12.30 appointment we had. Now Odaka school is not in Odaka town at the moment because the town its self has just been reopened as it is just inside the 20km zone from the Nuclear plant. So they are sharing with Kashima Junior High school. They have built a new school building that has 3 different schools from the area in it.
We were here to give a Donation of 100,000 yen ($9500USD) for them to use to help the kids out.
With this being the first donation of the run I was super stoked and it actually made me cry when I was giving the donation. After seeing Odaka village yesterday and seeing where the kids are going to school now, then to start with what we have been trying hard to get going I was just so happy . I really can’t thank Cory enough for coming up and everything he has done. Here I are giving the donation to Iitsuka san the principal .
I then had a chat with the kids and got some great questions from them. They are all so positive . There used to be 400 students at Odaka but now only 100. Sad to think of everyone not being able to see their friends any more. Lots have moved away.
Hangai san who use to go to Odaka School himself along with Iitsuka san the now principal of the school came and did a talk to the kids and introduced us to the school. A very nice man and is right into rebuilding the Minami Soma /Odaka area. I wish him all the best with everything he is doing.
We then went out for a run around the field. Sunny as always which was good and the kids were right into it. Love doing this part.
A couple of quick stretches which I must say is almost the first time I have the whole run. haha . we were off.
A great group of kids and school that are trying hard to get back on their feet and run normally, super positive so I think there will be no problem at all for them.
Just as we got outside I looked up to find we had a special guest, NASUBI san had come along. I had never meet him but seen him on a few posters and then he was there to say hi to the kids and he joined us for a run too. Thanks so much Nasubi san and look forward to seeing you on sunday at the Yakiniku Party at Hotel Listel.
My Old mate Naotsugu had driven over 4 hrs from Niigata to see me and it was so great to see him again , He used to come to Wanaka in NZ for snowboarding and we have kept in touch all these years. A very funny man and just awesome to see him again. Arigatou sexy and action !!
We then headed to the City Office were we meet the Mayor Mr Sakurai. He is a super keen runner and after talking to him I wasn’t sure if I should ask him to come for a run tomorrow morning. He use to run a 33min 10kms. Wow thats fast. Thankyou so much for taking the time to say hi and wish us good luck. Ill be back when I finish.
I have learnt a lot about this area and you can feel when you talk to anyone and I just know this area will make a come back and get back to normal. They are turning such a huge disaster into a positive thing which is just amazing. It has given me a new refreshed feel about what we are doing and I know that I have everyone behind us the whole way. Please don’t believe everything you see on the news and TV as I can tell you it is so wrong.
A massive thank you to Yamazaki san who sorted us out to meet Sakurai san , our hotel, showing us around the area and explaining so much. I will never forget what you did for us and look forward to coming back to see you soon.
ARIGATOU MINAMI SOMA AND ODAKA!!!