We had the 8am ferry back to Kesennuma from Oshima as today we were heading north to Otsuchi today. The NPO team from Oshima were on the ferry with us to so we got to say goodbye. I had a awesome time on Oshima, really chilled little island with beautiful beaches, awesome views from the top of Mt Kame and down the south end cliffs and tracks all the way to the bottom. The people were super friendly too and we wished each other luck for the near future. Thankyou so much.
Only a 25 minute trip on the ferry and we went straight to pick up our super special guests all the ways from Australia Nooska and Dee Jane. I use to work with the girls in Aussie up in the NW in Port Hedland. When I left to come to Japan they said they try and come and were real keen but I didnt think they would. BUT when I got the email a couple of months ago I was so excited. After one delay last month because of work they here and standing at the station in Kesennuma waiting for us. I was so happy to see their smiles again. Cant thank you 2 for coming over. A good little adventure getting to where we are too.
We jumped in the van as we had a 2 hour drive up to Otsuchi. We crusied along the waterside and up and down the hills .I was not liking the hills as I was going to be running them on the last day of my run. Gotta love a challenge on the last day aye.
Once we made the Kire Eki base which is a temp shopping centre as the whole town was lost . It is set up in the grounds of a elementary school. We would stay in one of the class rooms for the night tonight .We meet Yoshida san (Hide) and he was super nice. He took us on a tour of Otsuchi and explained all about what the town was like and where things were. Our the wave came in and a few unfortunate things that happen which lead to people losing their lives . So very sad and to see the before and after shots Im not sure how any one survived.
When on our tour of Otsuchi we went to a building that was named the “Disaster Evacutation Building” but as it was at sea level it was never going to be any good, The very sad thing was that just one week before the tsunami they had had a drill with the locals and got them all to come down and do what they should do in a emergency , So when the tsunami came along they did what they had been told the very week before and went to this building, 260 people were there at the time it hit and only 26 survived . There is a hill that they could have climbed just 300m away but as they were told to do this they did it. The building was wrongly named by the town and even one of the rooms inside was named wrong too , Everyone was trapped. Lucky a school that was next door didnt go there and they were all safe. the town is all gone . You can see by the clock here at which time the tsunami hit, there are many of these clocks around.
We when had to learn our room so we hit the garden to do some weeding. Poor Nooska and Dee Jane just arrived and I had them working, sorry girls . Shingo smashed out a huge amount in no time so it only took us about 45 minutes to do the area we had to do. A local Newspaper “KICK OFF” came and we did a interview, Really nice lades doing a great job for the community .
They were introduced to me by the lady who set the whole volunteering thing up for us. Naoko Tsunoo who lives up in Kameshi now working with the towns people for a NPO group has been amazing. She set up Oshima also and here as well. Naoko came along to and once we had done our jobs we all went out for dinner at Ogasawara san’s house. He was so nice and friendly. His wife cooked up a very nice dinner. Thankyou for letting us use your shower and for a great welcome.
We then headed out for a beer at APE bar/cafe. This little cafe was built out of the debit that the tsunami left. It is on the owners parents old hose pad. they lost everything and the son (owner ) had been coming up here to help out and then thought he could move up here do more. The locals are loving to have somewhere that isn’t their own house to go and meet others and relax. Get back to normal life. It was a great feeling last night as the Japanese Soccer team were playing and won 6-0.
A huge thanks to Naoko for sorting everything and for Nooska and DJ for coming all this way to make my whole month.As you can see the girls have become fluent in Japanese in one day and are chatting away to everyone. I have got so much new power which is going to keep me going all the way to the end.