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Earth Camp 1st Pre-Opening in Minamisanriku (October 2012)

The 1st Pre-Opening of Earth Camp was held in October, 2012.

 

406828_372656606154139_2146269802_nAfter greeting our first ever Earth Campers who traveled from Sendai by car, we started off at the Community Learning Center of O.G.A. for Aid, an international organization that has been in Minamisanriku from the time of the earthquake in 2011. Today, they offer English lessons for local citizens, PC lessons, free internet and hot tea, and also hold community events on a regular basis.
Right about when we started getting hungry, we headed up to Minshuku Yasuragi, where we will be spending the night today. The damage of the tsunami was devastating in this area, however, the couple had opened up their minshuku soon after to accommodate volunteers and workers.
Dinner time! With local fresh seafood and an American style BBQ, we could not stop eating. We were happy to have a few other guests joining us as well – Matt from O.G.A., and an American/Japanese family living in Minamisanriku, which made it an even more diverse and delightful time. The more the merrier! We talked about various topics, and we were also able to learn about the time of the earthquake and after in the town.
In the morning, after a nice breakfast and a farewell for now to the couple at Yasuragi, we packed up and headed to the main event of the trip – “farming” at Green Farmers Association (GFA)! Here at GFA, run by O.G.A. for AID together with 8 local citizens, they are working towards creating sustainable farms to revive the agriculture in Minamisanriku.

541140_373102079442925_2098537274_nPeter, head of GFA, first showed us around the farms, telling us their story and the many challenges that they face. At the end of the tour, our youngest Earth Camper, K-kun jumped up with joy seeing the tractor inside one of the greenhouses!

Off to planting broad beans (soramame) in the fields! How fun it is to do this while having exciting conversations in English. In no time the fields were complete, planted with seeds for new life.
“We did it!” – excited and full of joy, we ended the farm work for today. This farm is on a mountain about 30 meters high, surrounded by a breathtaking panorama view of the ocean and mountains. On a warm day, it could get fairly hot, but on a day like this with a little breeze, it starts to get a cool..

Now off to the hot springs at Hotel Kanyo!

After warming up in the baths, we finished off with a final English activity back at the Community Learning Center.

Even though we only spent the weekend together, it was such an exciting and valuable two days. Thank you, Earth Campers, and see you again soon!
I actually had a chance to meet K-kun (who is still 3 years old!) again after this trip. I was delighted to hear from his mother that he clearly remembers his first-ever farming experience, and often speaks of it with a grin on his face. Please come and join us again, K-kun!

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