Peace Boat VolunteeringPosted: September 16, 2011
17-year old Saya Kajiwara from the US, currently in her senior year of high school, volunteered with Peace Boat in Ishinomaki for a week in July. She has posted reports of her experiences on her blog here: map the soul.
“Volunteering with Peace Boat could definitely be classified as a “life changing experience”. The March 11th earthquake and tsunami was the first natural disaster that I felt personally connected to, because of my Japanese background. I have family and friends in Japan, and I consider Japan as a second home. Being able to actually go to the disaster hit areas and actually do something hands on was amazing. It was painful and heart breaking to see all the damage in real life. The videos and photographs I saw on TV and online were shocking and frightening, but actually walking amongst all the rubble and debris was different. For a few days, it felt like it was all fake– it couldn’t possibly be real. It was hard to really wrap my mind around the fact that I was actually there, and that I was actually able to do some things to help out. I hope one day, I can go back to Ishinomaki. Until then, I hope for a fast recovery.”
More of Saya’s photographs can also be seen on her Flickr page here.