Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Tuesday, May 22, 2012 Dead Trees, Flat Tires, and the Yorkies

Tsuchiya-san tells us there are still some dead trees at the danchi (subsidized apartments), so Jonathan and I grab the chain saw and follow him.
Jonathan likes the smell of the cedar log and has this inspiration that we could use slices from the tree trunk to make car deodorizers. Beth takes a group to pass out flyers which go real fast at the apartments, or the 7-11 where they're fine with us leaving a stack. Note to self: if you see a group of official looking guys who seem to be assessing damage or inspecting buildings, do not try to hand them a flyer. Phil who has worked in Tokyo for nine years, and his daughter Kayla are preparing for a stateside trip, so they brought a lot of good household goods for the team members who live in the apartments.

In the afternoon, I take Nelson on a tour of the city, driving to hiyoriyama park where we can see the whole city and the extent of the damage. The only vehicle available was the big truck, and as we get back into it at the park, Nelson says "your right front tire is almost flat." Down the hill is an Eneos station and we ask if they can air the tire up, and the nice young man asks for the keys so he can position the truck in the service area, and points to the spacious waiting room inside the station. The guy comes back in, and between Nelson's useable Japanese and my pitiful Japanese, and the picture the attendant draws, he tells us (this takes about ten minutes) that we have a leak, but they think they can plug it for us. Finally the adult attendant takes us to show us with a spray bottle that the leak is fixed. And then he says "boruntea?" (volunteer?) and we say hai, and he smiles and says no charge, and that was really cool and humbling.

Phil and Nelson and I are woken up at midnight or so when Chad arrives with the "yorkies" (my joke) from York College, The Let's Start Talking team of Amber, Austin, and Marissa.

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