A blog entry by Benjamin, for 8 June / 6月8日のブログ(ベンジャミン)

A blog entry by Benjamin, for 8 June

We are on our 5th day, and it’s very hard to believe that only so little time has passed; I have the feeling I was a different man when I arrived. Keiko, who we didn’t know a week ago, is already part of the family, as she saved us countless times. Searching for restaurants and making reservations, arranging last-minute train connections, booking tickets, locating missing items… Whatever happens, we can count on our guardian angel to save the day and make things work.

Yonezawa Hospital:
We played for the largest group of people who were dually-diagnosed with developmental and physical disabilities thus far. A man at the front was wearing a tie especially for us, because he was attending our performance. At the end of our presentation, 8 patients teamed up to perform for us with hand- (or foot-) bells–a piece that they have put in much of their practice time to prepare for our visit. The doctors told us that one of those patients was able to move his foot only because of his strong desire to play along.
Some patients we met today have never been outside of their hospital room, and most likely never will. Most of them cannot articulate themselves through words. One was communicating through a board of Japanese alphabets. In another section of the hospital, where I went to pay individual room calls, a terminally ill older woman grabbed my hand when I finish playing for her, and she wouldn’t let me go.

When the kids at the orphanage ask us if we will come back tomorrow, Keiko drops a tear.


6月8日のブログ (ベンジャミン)

もうツアー5日目を迎えましたが、時間があっという間に過ぎて信じられません。日本に到着した時より、まるで自分が別の人間に生まれ変わったような気持ちでいます。一週間前までには知らない人だったコーディネーターの桂子さんは何度となくメンバーを救ってくれて、今はもう家族の一員のようです。彼女はレストランの検索や予約、直前の電車の乗継確認、チケットの予約、忘れ物を探したりもしてくれています… 何が起ころうとも、私たちは守護神・桂子さんを頼りに、その日を乗り切り、物事をうまく進めています。