This is a long video. Almost an hour long. But I think it's worth the time to see how the kids affected by the tsunami and radiation problem are dealing with it a year on. It was extra poignant for me as one of the schools where children were moved to is a school I know well. A school in the town next to the one I lived in. The town where I did karate and went shopping and used the community pool. Where the kids would yell out 'Hello!' and run away giggling. Where the biggest worry was naughty boys throwing stones and my karate sensei had an agreement with the Board of Education to take in said naughty boys and train them in self discipline and give them an acceptable out for their anger. And now kids in that town wear radiation sensors and talk about microsieverts and wonder if they'll ever go back to their homes.
It's almost a year since the tsunami and I really didn't think it would make me feel so sad. There has been so much focus on the rebuilding efforts and the community building efforts and the heartwarming stories of people helping each other and all that that I guess the focus had shifted from the destruction and despair to the glimmer of hope but now I feel like the anniversary is drawing everyone's focus back to the horror of 3/11 and the terrible footage of the tsunami's black wall of water racing inland as cars and bicycles and pedestrians try desperately to escape is being replayed and it's hard to feel hopeful and not just want to sit down and cry for all the lives that were lost and all the lives in limbo and all the people still suffering.
But there are inspiring people who are not letting it get them down and are making real efforts to make a tangible difference in the lives of those still struggling. The ins and outs and red tape of government assistance is beyond my understanding but not everyone is eligible and for those ineligible there really aren't many resources. The tiny village of Oura in Miyagi's fishing co-op were some of those unfortunate enough to miss out on funding but a fellow foreign wife here has set up a project to support them Support Oura Project and they are really making progress raising the money to replace the boat winch necessary to resume fishing there.
Anyway, if you have the time, watch the video.