Miyagi, Fukushima-Day 3 / 宮城・福島にて-3日

-From Chad Cannon, ICEP Coodinator

Today we had wonderful visits to the Higashimatsushima Omagari Elementary School and to the Fukushima National Hospital. The weather was cool, but beautiful, with rainbows appearing over Fukushima National Hospital after some rainfall in the afternoon. Wenhong was very happy because her name in Chinese means “rainbow”!

We were welcomed at Omagari by the principal, Mr. Suzuki, and by Mr.Sugiyama, a loyal supporter of Music Sharing who has helped us with programs in Tohoku in the past. Mr. Suzuki told me a bit about the school and its experience with the 2011 Tsunami and Earthquake. The school had been submerged by 1.9m (about 6 feet) of water, so was not destroyed but was badly damaged. They lost 11 students in the actual disaster, and enrollment at the school has dropped from 425 to 269, about -40%, as many families have decided to relocate to other areas after having lost everything in the disaster. Even though the number of students declined, the teachers warmly and strongly touched the students unchanged.
The students were very engaged when Midori and the quartet members performed. I was happy to be able to visit Miyagi again this long after the tsunami, so that in a small way we send a message that the victims of the tsunami have not been forgotten!

In Fukushima, I enjoyed meeting the wonderful staff members at the National Hospital, who do such a great job of caring for their patients. While I was in the back of the room, I made friends with one of patient, who was able to speak a little English to Wenhong! He seemed to really enjoy when Wenhong performed a little bit of Bach just for him. We visited 3 parts of the hospital, and then performed a concert for the students of the nursing school, which is just next door to the hospital. The students were mostly female, and had very positive reactions to the performance.

Then the quartet rehearsed at the hospital until late in the evening, and now we are on the shinkansen to Yonezawa!




福島病院では、患者のお世話という大切な仕事をしているスタッフの方々に会いました。また、ウェンホンに一生懸命英語で話しかけていた患者の一人と友達になりました! ウェンホンが彼だけのためにバッハを少し演奏した時は本当に喜んでいました。私たちは病院の中の3箇所と、病院のすぐ隣の附属看護学校の看護学生のためにコンサートを行いました。ほとんどが女学生でしたが、とても積極的に演奏を聴いてくれました。


-From Midori, Violin

I totally missed writing my first blog entry. I was supposed to do it on Monday, which was our first day of activities. Today is already Wednesday, and in the last two days, everything is going well (sort of). There have not been any major accidents, and the presentations have left us with inspiration. That Jeremias had forgotten to change back to his shoes after the hospital visit yesterday and had arrived at the train station in slippers, or that I realized in the middle of the first school presentation today that I was wearing my T-shirt backwards are just minor accidents. Everything is actually going really well, and we are covering many miles already!

This morning arrived for us at a small pension near the Yamoto Station, about 70 minutes on the train from Sendai. We played for two groups of classes as well as for the special ed. class at the Oomagari Elementary School.

The morning school has had about a 40% decrease in the number of students, according to the principal, from the Earthquake/Tsunami in 2011. Eleven had lost their lives but the rest have been re-located in the aftermath. Today, we played for the 5th and 6th grade class first followed by the 4th graders, then the special ed class. They all were very attentive!

We train-ed from Rikuzenakai Station to Sugagawa Station, with a lunch stop at Sendai Station. There were rows of restaurants at the station, and it was extremely impressive how quickly the lunch was served despite it not being a fast restaurant. It was efficient, and right after lunch, we efficiently got to the Fukushima National Hospital. After three presentations, some individual room visits, and a performance for the students of the Nursing School, we rehearsed. We are now back on the train, on our way to Yonezawa. Tomorrow will bring more adventures.

~ 五嶋みどり(ヴァイオリン)より



次の訪問先に向けて、陸前赤井の駅から須賀川駅へ移動する途中、仙台駅でランチ。選びきれないほどのレストランがあって、ファストフードのお店でもないのにすぐにオーダーしたものが出てきて感動!極めて効率よくランチを済ませ、また電車を乗り継ぎ、国立病院機構 福島病院に到着。3回プレゼンテーションを行い、病室をいくつか回り、看護学校の生徒たちにも演奏をした後、そのまま居残り練習。そしてまた電車に飛び乗って、山形牛で有名な米沢に向かっています。明日はもっと色々なことがありそう。



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