My dad sent me this in an email today. I wish there was a way I could put this directly on my blog, so I could narrate it a bit for you, but here it is. After you see it, come back here, and I'll share a bit on it. So AMAZING!
We were there in early August, so it's a month before the last photos were taken. We were in Ishinomaki and Natori and went and visited Higashimatsushima.
The fourth set of photos are Natori.
Here was a bit of my view of Natori in August.
The next set and the 11th set are of Ishinomaki. (and here).
The photos here are from the road we entered on the first day, I believe.
The 12th set are of Higashimatsushima. It took people more than three weeks to get back into the town. When we were there, there was still standing water on the roadway. We could see the huge ship just barely through the fog the day we were there.
The 14th set are from the town where the woman who writes this blog served as a nurse immediately following the devastation. This is the post that has touched me the most. I felt, when I found this blog, that I'd found a real treasure. Forgive me for stereotyping, but the Japanese people, for the most part, are very private, so I was overjoyed to find a first-hand, very honest and open account of what an individual was dealing with.
I was even more pleased when I found another. This is the post of when they cleaned the gym where we made the lanterns. It's amazing to see what it was like before we got there. You never would have known it had been like this.
If you get a minute, I'd encourage you to read these two blogs. They are absolutely fascinating.
I am very proud of the Japanese people as I look at these photos in the article. There was no waiting around. There was no asking to be paid to do the overwhelming work that needed to be done. They just did it. Each, feeling pride in their community, did their part. They could have just sat around feeling sorry for themselves or waiting for someone else to do the job, but they didn't. I don't think, for the most part, that we, as Americans, can understand this sense of pride, but it's part of who the Japanese people are. It's how they view life.
These are the videos that aren't showing up on the post about the first cleaning day. I hope they'll work here. If not, I apologize: