ROAD vol.13 Evacuees' Short Comments
by Voices from the Field Admin - Friday, 16 August 2013, 12:38 PM



Read the prologue to the evacuees' comments listed below

My husband died from pneumonia last month. We had been staying at our son’s place in Sendai, but that was not good for him. I am left alone now.
(A woman in her 70s, Yamamoto, temporary housing, August 30, 2011)

I got separated from my grandchildren because of the disaster. I feel lonely.
(A woman in her 70s, Rikuzentakata, temporary housing, August 30, 2011)

I am lonely because I came to this temporary housing by myself from Yokoyama district. Since most people are from Ushibashi district, I don’t know anybody here.
(A woman in her 60s, Yamamoto, temporary housing, August 31, 2011)

Some volunteers coming from Tokyo helped me get things out of my house that got soaked in the tsunami and bought me necessities which I was lacking, such as futons and towel blankets. They were a big help! But I didn’t have a chance to thank them. So please convey my gratitude and appreciation.
(A woman in her 80s, Ishinomaki, Sep.24, 2011)

Where did volunteers like you come from? How did you get together? Did you start coming to help us after this disaster? If I were you, I couldn't do it. It’s very nice of you. I really appreciate it. I live with my newborn grandchild, and it used to take much time to heat up my house because the rooms were so spacious. But now, since the temporary housing is so small, we can get the baby to bed soon after giving him a warm bath. It’s better only in this respect.
(A man in his 50s, Rikuzentakata, Oct.10, 2011)

I start working tomorrow. You, the volunteers, lift my spirits. Thank you so much.
(A woman in her 60s, Rikuzentakata, Oct.10, 2011)

My hands show that I have worked for many years, don't they? I envy your pretty hands. I have a bad hip joint and poor circulation in my lower body. I evacuated when the typhoon came, and didn’t come back until 3 am. I have been counting down the days for this ashiyu service! … I don't know my neighbors very well.
(A woman in her 60's, Kesennuma, Sep 24, 2011)

My fingers are so bent, though there is nothing really wrong with them. It’s probably because I have worked as an artisan of Japanese sweets since I was young. Though my store was washed away by the tsunami, I’d like to start over. So I've come back from Shikoku prefecture again.
(I had been living with my daughter in Takamatsu City of Shikoku prefecture for a short while.)
(A woman in her80's, Rikuzentakada, Oct 10, 2011)

I really thank the people coming from all over the world. My fingers are a bit swollen. I wonder if it might be rheumatism.
(A woman in her60's, Rikuzentakada, Oct 10, 2011)

Many young people are coming from afar, which I really appreciate.
All volunteers are working hard so I hope I can make them smile when I talk to them.
(A woman in her 50s, Rikuzentakada, temporary housing, Sep 5, 2011)
Only when I was in the shelter, there were volunteers who would take a hot bath with us. Recently, I have not been well, so I haven’t been able to take a hot bath. But with some encouragement from a volunteer, I finally took a bath, and it felt so good. 
(A woman in her 80s, Kesennuma shelter, Sep 9, 2011)
This is the third time I took a foot bath. The first time was in the shelter. The second time was here in Rikuzentakada. In the beginning, volunteers came often, but recently they don’t come as often anymore. It is nice to have privacy (since coming to the temporary housing) but since we are all close by, I still have to be conscious of my relationship with neighbors.
(A woman in her 40s, Rikuzentakada shelter, Sep 13, 2011)