For the last several weeks before his return home, IB has been volunteering in Ishinomaki, a fishing village in Japan, wiped out by the Tsunami a year and a half ago. He has worked through the organization It’s Not Just Mud, responding to the requests of residents to build, clear debris, paint, repair, dig items out of the mud, weed, plant. He said that there is something about working with one’s hands and one’s heart that is so satisfying.
The photo above was taken inside a school. “Meet my new friends,” IB said. “Behind their heads you can see the water line left behind by the tsunami floods. The school is now closed, and the top floor is being used as temporary housing. Doing my best to bring the laughter and joy of children back into these desolate halls.”
IB has flourished in the dedicated community of international volunteers who subside on donations of food and housing from the larger community. He has shared he originally became involved with this organization to give back to Japan in appreciation of all that Japan has given him over this past year.
It is definitely satisfying when one can make literal transformation, when one can alter and change what is ajar and out of synch in one’s environment, when one’s agency is powerful and focused, especially accomplished within a community of like-minded and compassionate peers.