Monday, 27 May 2013

Cakes, Husband Hunting, & Super Extra Large Clothes

Once a month the Women’s Club of Sendai Christ Church, visits the residents of the Hirotta Temporary housing unit. They take cakes, tea, coffee, and of course smiles to share with those residents. This past week was the first time I was able to go. 

On Thursday we loaded the cars and headed to Shinchi. That day we took clothing and various other donated items for a mini-bazaar. The first hour of this café time was filled with eating some DELICIOUS cakes, drinking tea, and chatting. I spoke with Mrs. Keikko for a little bit. She is the head of the women’s group in Shinchi. She lost her house in the tsunami. Her husband’s family had been living in that house for generations. She told me how Shinchi community is mostly filled with the elderly. Many of those who have survived the tsunami and are now living in the temporary housing, are very old. There have already been 3 deaths in the past two years. It will be at least another 6 months before they can move out of the temporary housing into new houses. She said that the weekly café hours and getting to meet all of the different volunteers that come makes living in the temporary housing so much better. One of the positive things that have come from the disaster is that it has brought people together that would not have met otherwise. It brought has brought opportunities for conversations and to share one another’s life with each other. 

Making Japanese traditional matcha
After she finished telling me about difficult life in temporary housing she tried to set me up with one of the young men in the area. In fact before we left all of the ladies were asking if I was ok with marrying a Japanese Buddhist. Apparently there are many young Buddhists in the area that they would love to set me up with. Looks like I am set if I ever want to move to Shinchi. I could not help but life throughout these conversations. It was like being the only single girl at a church gathering in the South.

After eating and chatting we all sang a couple of camp like songs together. One of them was to the tune of “the littlest warm” (for those of your girl scouts out there you know the song I am referring to) but it was about a bear. It is always fun to hear tunes I recognize even if it’s in a different language. After on encore of the bear song everyone was invited outside to take part in the mini-bazaar. We sold half of the items. Since most of the clothes we brought were way too small for the residents we promised to bring bigger sizes next month. I even think one of the men guaranteed to bring LLLLL size clothes.

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