Aloha, my peeps!

We checked into our hotel in Sendai at almost midnight last night after spending an amazing but emotional day in the fishing town of Kessenuma. We drove to a section of the town called Shishiyori which was one of the most heavily hit areas, and the destruction was unbelievable. Words cannot even begin to describe what we saw. It’s been over six months since the massive tsunami hit and even though a lot of the debris has been removed, many mutilated buildings, cars, boats, etc. still remain as silent reminders of that awful day of March 11th. And because the earthquake & tsunami also caused certain sections of the town to sink below sea level, these areas are now uninhabitable because they flood during high tide. We drove through blocks where I actually saw streets and slabs of concrete where buildings once stood and are now surrounded by tidal pools and seaweed … totally blew my mind.

We performed at a community center in Kessenuma which was located next to a large temporary housing complex for evacuees. It was such a joy to be able to perform and bring smiles to the people’s faces, especially the children. Afterward, we hosted a Halloween party for the kids at what looked like a small playground area located in a field near a forest. We brought toys, piñatas, masks & costumes, and of course, lots of candy! We all had a wonderful time with the kids but I will always remember this one little boy who I met. We had brought art supplies for the kids to draw stuff with and I asked this little boy if he wanted to color an outline of a pumpkin which was on a piece of paper. Without saying a word, he grabbed a crayon and began writing what appeared to be lyrics to a song over the entire picture, all the while softly humming a tune. When I asked him what he was singing he just continued on, writing and singing. The tune he was singing was very melodic and sad, and I asked one of our counselors if she could tell me what it was. She asked him but he didn’t respond to her either and seemed lost in his own world. She said it sounded like an old folk song and suggested that maybe it was a song that his parents or grandparents had taught him. All of a sudden I felt such sadness and wanted to hold this child who had been through so much …

I’m really tired now so I’m going to bed. We have another busy schedule tomorrow so I may not be able to write my next blog until after I return to Hawaii. Stay tuned …

Aloha, “D”

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