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Around 11:30pm last night we were literally shaken awake by a 7.4 earthquake. I've been through dozens of aftershocks/earthquakes, this was the biggest one I remember in some time. It lasted for about a minute, and at one point I was being bounced up and down off the floor of the camper as I lay in my sleeping bag. Another really interesting thing was how "audible" it was, you could literally hear it rumbling.
I'm confident in saying that Japan is definitely in the "rebuilding phase". There seems to be less urgency for food and supplies, many of those at our tagged locations have already dispersed back to their homes. There is a tremendous amount if work left to be done, most of it is the hard labor kind: Back breaking clean up and rebuilding. It will be going on for years.
What this means for me is that my purpose and mission in Japan is coming to a close. I am not exactly sure what day I will be going home, but it will probably be in the next week.
Please do not read this as a complaint, because it isn't, after seeing so much loss and sorrow, I can't complain about anything. I will note however...I am tired to the core, even after resting this weekend. I need some serious rest and time off. Hard to Imagine I've been here for almost a month. Such a wonderful, wonderful experience.
I will let these pictures tell today's story:
This is what breakfast usually looks like. We typically have oatmeal or bread with peanut butter.
More deliveries today.
Another family we found in rubble a few days ago. They are staying with relatives. I really love them & they have a paralyzed dog I try to give some attention each time we visit. Their kids are adorable!! The first time we visited them, they said they needed a certain type of washing machine. (They have no running water or electricity). Today we brought them one- our drivers picked one up for them in Sendai last night. They agreed to help distribute to their neighbors in the area.
This is the paralyzed dog, his hind legs don't work right. I feel so sorry for him -- when he sees me he crawls over to get some attention and to be petted on.
Playing with the kids, this is an iPhone snap off a 7D monitor.
More cute kids at a delivery.
The fabulous Honda boys. These guys have been our truck drivers and main aid delivery team since day one. They are really, really awesome guys- they have worked tirelessly non-stop with absolutely unselfish effort. We have had many great times and ramen dinners together.
On the far left is Naoto, middle Tomohito and right is Makato, the same Makato who helped me scout out and tag Miyoto island. There is one more named David, I will try to get a pic of him too. I love these guys!!
Went back out to the home we cleared out yesterday and delivered enough supplies to the family for them to help support their neighbors. The father agreed to distribute and help those who lived nearby to get the things We delivered for everyone. In short, we created our own little distribution point for this neighborhood. The man was in a completely different mood, he was energized and happy. Neighbors were coming by for supplies before we even left.
Nathan informed me today that he has located a pre-fabricated shelter for him (it's a very small one room shelter) but very hard to find right now and perfect for him and his wife to live in as he rebuilds.
Cans found in the rubble to be used for food.
This was so awesome- we delivered a truck today to a man who said this is what he needed most. My heart was racing when we showed up.
Nathan was really subtle about how he told the man it was for him. When we first arrived, we said we had brought them some tools to help clean up what was left if his home- a few things like some shovels and a wheel barrow.
Nathan then asked him if he needed anything else, and the man said they had everything they needed and were good. We knew this wasn't true because yesterday the man was brought to tears when he told us what he needed most was "transportation".
So Nathan offered "what about something like this?" and tapped on the truck "it's for you to have and keep". Needless to say the man was elated. I think this picture says it all: