DISCLAIMER FROM THE TRANSLATOR: While I speak both English and Japanese fluently, I know nothing about medicine. These are rough translations made through tears (i.e., sometimes while bawling). Please take all medical details in particular with a grain of salt. These translations have not been proofread and will be revised on a later date.

Please note that I am NOT in contact with the original author, who has given general permission for translation in one of her entries.

I would appreciate it if everyone can refrain from posting these entries elsewhere and to share this address <http://jkts-english.blogspot.com> instead, as I will be making revisions to each entry directly (addresses for individual entries may change if I revise their titles).



Start reading here: 1) To the affected areas.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

8) Temporary housing

March 19

The schoolyard is full of noise this morning. Trucks coming in one after another. I asked what's going on, and learn that they have come to build temporary housing.

High-five with a truck driver who has a scary face but is the nicest person ever!

There will only be limited, priority-based housing available for the time being, but this was happy news, too. It's still the morning and I've already found something that's gotten better than yesterday!!

Also, emergency cars from the cell phone carriers Docomo and au arrived, and finally, finally, FINALLY the "no reception" mark disappeared from our cell phones! There were many people in the evacuation site who were finally able to get in touch with others, one after another.

High-fives with the Docomo staff members with smiles on all our faces!

I'm getting used to my sticky hair and dirty, makeup-less face. I moistened a tissue with what's left of my oolong tea and wiped my face, and the staff members and I psyched each other up to work hard for the rest of the day. I hope the plumbing will be working again soon, too.

And then I find another thing that's gotten better than yesterday.

It's warm. The sun feels like springtime. Please don't get cold any more.

And today, there may only be two buses per day but the express buses between Morioka and Rikuzentakata are running again!

And more good news!

An old lady who had been carried away from the gymnasium on an ambulance came back to the evacuation site in good health.

"Welcome back!!"
"I'm home"

The evacuation site felt like one big house.

Because I thought that the "NURSE/Kangoshi" on my uniform will be difficult for children and the elderly to recognize, I had written kangoshi with the phonetic alphabet on my back with colored tape on the first night. As I worked and slept wearing the uniform every day, one of the dashes on shi fell off, and the tape on my back read "kangon" instead.

And then the children and others at the evacuation site started to call me "Kangon-san," and today, that was shortened to a light-hearted and friendly "Gon-chan!" That made me happy, too.

Also, yesterday I went to a neighboring city and called a friend from a pay phone.
"The evacuation site at the public hall still hasn't received any supplies, please inform the authorities," I asked.
This evening the site contacted us saying that they have finally received supplies too.

The self defense forces personnel who brought the supplies said,
"There were people from as far north as Akita and as far south as Kyushu telling us that supplies haven't been received here. This is a small evacuation site, but the whole country was speaking up on its behalf."
This is a relay to keep these people alive.

To everyone who helped and to everyone who noticed, thank you, thank you very much!!

Lots of diapers and skin care goods have come in for babies whose diapers couldn't be changed and whose bottoms have turned red like monkeys.

And delicious rice balls with miso, Yakult, and tons of "Nicestick" bread from Yamazaki Baking.

In the middle of the night, there will be plenty of medicine, intravenous drips, and a simple aspirator coming in from university hospitals in Tokyo.

My date of departure has also been changed from the 21st to the 23rd.

Tomorrow, we will be preparing to move hospitalized patients to hospitals in other prefectures. We are at our limits in being able to give them the medical attention they require.

The patients probably feel lonely enough already from being hospitalized, and it will be difficult for their family to come and see them… but it's more important that they can receive proper treatment. Let's change our perspective and hang in there!!

At today's meeting, we learned that survivors have been found more than a week after the earthquake in Kesennuma. We all rejoiced, but it's also true that there are many elderly people who are losing their health at the evacuation sites and passing away after having escaped the earthquake.

We'd been thinking that I want to save as many people as possible, but now we all want to save everyone's lives.

It's rough for everyone. We each only have the tiniest bit of power in this situation. May these tiny bits of power come together to form a greater power in the face of this catastrophe.

Next entry: 9) Moonlight

Translated March 27.
Original entry in Japanese: 8、仮設住宅

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