日本賑災快報(九)：Relief news from Japan(9)
天氣開始轉冷並且下雪，但我們服務的熱忱卻不減反增。 我們希望能訪視每一個收容中心，協助整理每位災民的家園， 並拜訪每位我們所認識的人，為每位災民帶來喜樂。 希望我們的努力能為此地帶來改變!
今日早晨，在Tagajo志願服務中心，我們向有關單位表達， 因為我們目前所駐地的關係，未來將集中資源在Shichigah ama地區服務。事實上，定期地向有關單位報告， 可維持我們在這裡已建立的關係，而我們也將不定時的在Tagaj o從事服務工作。
早上與下午我們皆分為兩組去拜訪不同的收容中心。 僅管語言還是我們溝通的障礙，但我們發現「愛心」 是最通用的語言。透過真誠的努力，我們有機會與不同的人接觸， 尤其是他們有些人幾乎失去了一切。這樣的互動與分享， 其實給了我們所有人更積極與樂觀的勇氣。例如：有一位年長的阿嬤 (Watanabe-san)，平常不多話，但當她接受Dada Karunamaya按摩服務時，總是充滿了微笑； 或是每當我從背包拿出一些甜食(能量棒)時， 她總是非常高興地接受；另一位例子則是Masaya， 他的家園已全毀，但他願意與隊員們分享他的人生經歷， 他對隊員們的信任，深深感動每位志工的心；同樣地Kimura也 是，她是一個非常天真活潑的人，在幾次暢談後， 每次當我要離開時，她都非常不捨地用日本話對我說：Tomoda chi(我們是朋友)。
我們也沒有忽略照顧小朋友。在我們的陪伴下，他們每次都很高興看到我們前來。在我們新的駐紮地— Shichigahama國際中心，有一群年輕人，年紀介在13 到18歲，他們都非常高興地加入我們的足球競賽。即使是像Suz uki先生，他的年紀已高，家園也幾乎全毀， 但還是非常愉快地加入我們的運動活動，並且與大家相處融洽。
晚上的時侯，當我坐在長廊，思索今日的一切時， 這些年輕人走過來並坐在我旁邊聊天，有些老人也加入我們的行列。 透過字典與圖畫，我們可以在英文與日文間溝 通，有時侯創意地結合兩種語言，增添了不少笑話， 讓我們的溝通更加有趣。每日晚上的交流、對話與歡笑， 讓大家短暫忘卻外面世界的殘酷與現實。而很快地這些 年輕人也願意加入我們服務的團隊，一起來協助整理家園。 用他們的語言：我現在也是「超炫橘紅色組織」(Cool Orange Team)的一員。
有一位婦女積極邀請Didi Sarvajina能在某一志工服務中心教授瑜伽體位， 我們將在得到有關單位同意後，開始這樣的課程。另外， 當我們在某一收容中心服務時，剛好遇到宮城縣縣長村井嘉浩( Yoshihiro Murai)的來訪，他非常肯定我們在當地的貢獻。
今日一切的服務，可以Katsuya先 生的故事做總結。他在海嘯來臨後，失去了所擁有的一切， 甚至無法說出希望我們提供什麼。事實上， 日本人是一個非常嚴謹的民族，他們勇敢地忍受一切的苦難。 此時此刻，他們需要的不是物質，而是愛、耹聽、與關懷。 在海嘯後的存活者，雖然皆有毛毯保暖， 但他們需要有人去溫暖他們的心，並給予他們希望；他們有足夠 的食物，但需要有人去滋養他們空虛的心靈； 他們周圍雖然有許多人，但他們需要有人駐足，願意聽他們的心聲、 願意關心他們。而這也是我們與其他救難團體不同 的，我們不僅提供協助整理家園等身體層次的服務， 也提供心靈關懷的心理層面服務。
AMURT & AMURTEL Japan Relief Work Report for 26 March
Another day has come and gone in cold, snowy Tohoku and our spirits are higher than ever. Every shelter visited, every home cleaned, every connection made, every smile exchanged have confirmed the difference we can make here.
Early this morning, at the Tagajo Volunteer Center, we shared our intent to focus our efforts on the Shichigahama area due to the relocation of part of our team there. While not necessary, this short visit to the Center was important to us in order to maintain the good relationships we had established there. We still plan on providing a helping hand in Tagajo from time to time.
Two groups were formed both in the morning and in the afternoon to visit different refugee centers. As language remains a barrier for most of us, we found creative ways to break the ice and reach out to people. A loving heart speaks a universal language! Through these efforts we had the chance to meet some wonderful people, some of whom had lost everything but the treasures they hold inside. It was an inspiring lesson of courage for each and every one of us.
These people included a number of elderly individuals, like Watanabe-san, a lonely, weak woman who did not say much but was all smiles when treated to a massage by Dada Karunamaya, and who gladly accepted a few power bars I was carrying in my backpack; Masaya-san, now homeless, who touched the team by sharing his story; Shōji-san, whose former neighborhood now bears the toll of 40 dead and 40 still missing; or Kimura-san who, after opening her heart to me and letting her bubbly personality shine even in difficult times, waved me goodbye with a beaming, excited “tomodachi!!” (“[We’re] friends!”).
Children were not left out as many seem to quite enjoy our presence and are very receptive to our team. At our new home – the Shichigahama International Center – a group of young boys, ages 13 to 18, joyfully joined us for an exciting game of soccer. Even Suzuki-san, an aged man whose house is now down to pieces of wood scattered all over the ground, came out running and laughing with everyone.
Later that night, as I sat down in the main lounge reflecting on my day, these young men recognized me and came to sit with me. Some elderly people later turned their chairs towards us, interested in all the laughter and talking. Together, and with the help of dictionaries and drawings, we managed to help each other communicate in both English and Japanese, often times using an awkward mix of the two that kept us all entertained. I met several remarkable individuals. We all spent the evening chatting, laughing, forgetting about the reality outside the Center for just a few hours. It didn’t take long before I had these wonderful teenagers committed to joining our team to clean up homes in the area, as they marveled over the fact that they could be a part of the (in their own words) “cool orange team”!
A few interesting developments in our work: Didi Sarvajina arranged to teach some yoga lessons at one of the volunteer centers after a woman eagerly expressed interest. We will be sure to report back on the progress of this intiative! We also obtained recognition from the head of Miyagi, Yoshihiro Murai. Mr. Murai was visiting a refugee camp as we were talking to victims, and thanked us warmly for our efforts.
What we got out of many of the conversations we enjoyed today is best summed up by the story of Katsuya-san, who lost everything he owned in the tsunami yet could not think of any items we could provide him to help. The Japanese are incredibly stoic people who endure hardships with an admirable level of self-respect and bravery. What they need now, it seems, is not tangible items. It is the presence of someone who loves, someone who listens, someone who cares. The survivors of the tsunami have blankets, but they need people to warm them up mentally and give them hope. They have food, but they need people to nurture their hearts. They are surrounded with other human beings, but they need someone willing to stop and hear their story, someone who cares. This is where we hope to make a difference as we pursue our two-fold approach of visiting shelters and helping with the clean-up efforts.
I am doing exactly what I came here to do and I couldn’t be more excited to be a part of the efforts AMURT is setting forward in a country that I hold particularly close to my heart, now more than ever.