After all the earthquakes, tsunamis and multiple radioactive meltdowns, 3.11 forever changed a nation and its people are still in recovery.
I have written about my time in Japan before. However, I have not written about the main reason why I was there. It has been difficult to write about this because I narrowly missed out on this history shaping event.
I was in Showa Mura, Fukushima for 3 months from August to October in 2010. I was with an organization called Choma Club & the NPO called NICE Japan.
I helped out elderly farmers, supported local community engagement and helped with cultural preservation.
With Japanese and International long term volunteers, we worked with the various social ventures sponsored by Choma Club.
Learning basic mechanics of weed whippers and buzz saws.
Harvesting buckwheat traditionally.
Looking back on my incredible time in Fukushima, the holiday that happened right at the start of my adventure was more important than I realized at the time. Obon Festival.
The start of Obon.
The men of Showa Mura.
Obon (お盆?) or just Bon (盆?) is a Japanese Buddhist custom to honor the spirits of one’s ancestors. This Buddhist-Confucian custom has evolved into a family reunion holiday during which people return to ancestral family places and visit and clean their ancestors’ graves, and when the spirits of ancestors are supposed to revisit the household altars. It has been celebrated in Japan for more than 500 years and traditionally includes a dance, known as Bon-Odori. Via Wikipedia
Perhaps it is fitting that I arrived and promptly honored the spirits of Fukushima’s ancestors.
I had arrived on August 6th 2010…
And left November 2nd, 2010.
The people I met in my three months were the very social activists, volunteers and farmers that have had start the rebuilding efforts in Fukushima since 3-11-11.
So it was with a heavy heart that I sat through a panel discussion on March 12, 2016 on the latest of the reconstruction efforts.
The 2016 goal was to be a board member and I interviewed and was accepted to be a volunteer board member for BostonInternational.org! Their mission is to:
Bringing social events featuring cutting-edge thinking on world affairs to young professionals, graduate students, and diplomats in Boston
I am also in helping with technology for them. Some early goals for my position are:
-increase social media and live streaming of video for events
-bring more sponsors for the organization
-bring together the various international organizations in Boston
-connect with more people and organizations!
Looking forward and honored to be apart of the 8 year old organization!