Today we had breakfast at 7am, got dressed, and headed to the local evacuation center here in Tome-shi (which is a school). I saw the inside of the center, where people are living, for the first time. I have seen videos and photos of these places but once again, seeing it with my own eyes was totally shocking. I couldn’t believe Japanese people were living in a  school gym, with only a few belongings, with mere cardboard walls providing their privacy. We spent a while walking around the gym to greet people and inviting kids that we saw to the art class at 9am. There were only about six children who came to the art event, but it was extremely well done and the kids made some fine works of art. I thought it was funny that we had six kids and 8 volunteers, four of us from World Vision and four doing the art class. After having lunch with the art folks, we played various sports with about 20+ kids for a few hours and ended with ice cream even though it was pretty cold outside. We did dodgeball, badminton, various games, and played outside. The youngest kid was five (named Kokoro) and the oldest around 17 or so. Naturally, the kids were adorable and fun-loving kids; you would never, ever guess what they have been through. The only hint of something unusual was when they had time to draw on the blank, white t-shirts that we gave them. The girls chose to write “被害者” on their shirts which roughly translates to “victim.” They mentioned writing this word in English but the thought of them running around with the word “VICTIM” in giant letters on their t-shirt was a bit too strange for me. After that, Matthias and I were pooped and took a nap and then the German missionaries stopped by to lend us a car! It’s so nice to have a car for the next few weeks. Next week, since we’re not doing much with World Vision until the 16th, we’d love to be able to help with other groups doing relief work, perhaps Samaritan’s Purse, CRASH, etc.!. I hope something comes up! Well, we have another events that starts at 8:30am tomorrow so I had better get to bed soon. Here is the link to Matthias photos:

http://mattkr.smugmug.com/

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