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Welcome to Michael's blog. Michael Andrew, (aka Michael The Maven) is a freelance producer, photography instructor, tech innovator, and when needed, disaster aid specialist. Disclaimer: Michael is a participant in Bhphoto & Amazon affiliate programs that provides an advertising commission if you purchase through links on this website.


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04.06.11         michael's insights  

Service Ignites Self Reflection


I haven't written blog posts (or Journal entries) like these for years. One thing that really stuck out to me today is not only have I had a tremendous service opportunity, but also what great new friends I have. Tomio and I were talking and we agreed that if there was ever another major disaster again in Japan that I should just cone over and we could start from day one, no waiting or networking stranded in an airport. I consider the Meysen Group friends for life and I really love each and everyone of them. I feel super lucky to know them.

Another tremendous day with tagging and deliveries. I was skeptical we would continue to find more pockets of people, but Tomio and I continue to have a lot of success. In the three days of tagging together, we have found and tagged nearly 20 locations that needed support.

On the other hand, seems that more and more people are moving back to their homes. Gas lines are much shorter. We are seeing phone lines put up in some of the worst places already, bridges being built, water and electricity being restored. I would definitely say the "rebuilding" phase is well underway and the humanitarian aid stage is slowly starting to phase out. Yes, there are still pockets of people in need, but they are getting harder and harder to find, at least in the area of Minamisanriku up to just past Kesenuma. We have really scoured these areas for people.

One thing I am learning is to assume nothing. Ever. It's ok to calculate probability when needed, but two of the groups of families we found today were staying in nice homes- it was just that there were 4-5 families in each and they were fending for themselves, with not much support. These smaller groups are the ones who express the most gratitude when they are in need.

The honey bees made us a huge box of candy packets to give out. Whenever we see children walking by or on the road, we just hand it to them and they love it. Must have given out 30-40 today.

Tomio and I were also able to give away our first bike to a group of families that had no other means of transportation. They were really excited. It was awesome! In all, we made 5 tags today, and all 5 were delivered to! The system we have works really, really well.

We have a few more deliveries scheduled for this area tomorrow and then I think we are heading up north until the weekend.

And yes Dad....every blog entry from japan has been tediously typed out on my iPhone. :)



Phone lines going back up.
Delivery with Tomio.
Giving candy to kids.
Delivering our first bike! They were really excited to get it!

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