Konnichiwa! Many great things have been happening here in Yamamoto-cho the last couple of days! 

Some of our team members have been working in Mrs. Suzuki's field. In order for the field to be usable, the soil needs to be sifted and decontaminated. The rocks also need to be picked out of the soil. Bruce, Marc, Rebecca and Lauren have been working at that site at different points in the last two days.

Others from our team spent time at the strawberry...

Hi everyone. I am obviously still in the good old USA, but I wanted to give a HUGE thanks to everyone who donated to my trip. I have already raised more than 3,500 dollars! Those of you who didn't contribute financially: thanks for all the times you have asked me about my trip preparations. As my departure date draws nearer, I really appreciate all your enthusiasm and understanding. 

I bought airplane tickets today, so my trip is beginning to seem more...

Have you ever found yourself in a situation where the language that has served you well since birth does you little good, because everyone around you speaks another tongue that is quite incomprehensible?  Have you gone through the experience of learning a new language – a process that can be so slow and awkward at first, too often frustrating and sometimes embarrassing, before it becomes useful and finally an enrichment to your life? 

The official language of Cambodia is Khmer, but...

Hello everyone! Konnichiwa. Tuesday morning came all too soon. The team woke up to the bright sunshine and birds chirping at 5 am, refreshed and ready to face our first day out in the field. Breakfast was prepared by our partner team from the OPC church who arrived last Friday. Considering the size of our combined teams (17 people), we split up into various teams. One team went to work at a strawberry farm potting, weeding and setting up greenhouses. Another...

After much preparation of baking and organizing, a few of us had the opportunity to visit a temporary housing facility.  This housing area was setup for people in the area to live in after damage to their homes by the earthquake/tsunami forced them to move away from their homes.  Due to economic and procedural challenges, it has been difficult for them to get the means to repair and move back into their homes. It has been over 16 months since the...

This morning, I was invited by Hashimoto-san, an older Japanese resident who has remained in the area even though she has lost her husband and much of her home to the tsunami, to go on a tour. She wanted to give me a tour of areas of importance for her, as well as areas that were not affected by the earthquake and tsunami.  She wanted me to remember beautiful areas of Yamamoto, as well.  I was given the morning off...

During various times this week, we have found ourselves doing some sort of work for preparation of crop planting.  Working in rice fields planting and weeding, helping to clear out rocks for a field being prepared for paprika planting, or working on building new greenhouses for strawberry fields.  Someone on the team mentioned that it would be great to see everything growing that we had a part in planting, but unfortunately, we are not going to be here to see...

There has been a lot that has happened since the last entry.  On Friday, the team worked a good part of the day planting rice in two fields near the Nozomi Center, which really brought the reality to us all of the hard work that people in this area are doing for a living.  On Saturday, the team traveled north of Sendai City to Ishinomaki, one of the hardest hit areas from last year's tsunami.  Grace Tohuku (Grace Mission) and...

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