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    Happy Birthday Megumi Project!

    Happy Birthday Megumi Project!

    Today (May 7th) Megumi Project turns 3 years old. When I thought about writing the blog post for this occasion, I thought to myself, ‘Wow, Megumi is already three years old! How quickly time has passed...”
    During the course of these three years, we have had many volunteers come, both from within Japan and overseas, and being able to hear them share about the foods and culture of where they live, has been so stimulating. Along with that, we have had staff members leave Megumi, which while sad, has provided an opportunity for us to cheer each other one as we pursue new goals. In terms of production, I am surprised at how many new products we've come up with! Megumi is truly a place where we can all freely suggest new ways to try things, all in an effort to further improve our products.
    And these are all reasons why I truly adore Megumi Project.
    Along with that, at Megumi Project:
    -not one day goes by without laughing together
    -we all enjoy eating!
    -The staff are truly considerate of others and attentive to each other's needs

    There are many, many other things I could say but I hope with this, you can sense (even if it’s just a little) how great this place is.

    My memories

    My memories

    Many of you are probably noticing the recent number of newspaper articles appearing about the 2011 disasters. As we near the 6th year anniversary of these disasters, there are many ways of experiencing the way time has passed, whether it’s a sense of ‘six years already’ or ’ only six years?’? As for myself, I lost many relatives and friends to the tsunami, and my feelings of grief are still raw.

    At the time the disasters struck, I drove my two boys, a four-year-old and three months old to the Onagawa athletic center evacuation grounds. Even after evacuating to higher ground, I remember returning multiple times to my house below [to pick up extra belongings etc].

    When I returned to the athletic center for the last time, I remember someone screaming, ‘the tsunami is here! It's coming up high!, and with that, I saw all of Onagawa being consumed all at once by black water. There is a saying, ‘for every nine deaths, one life’. This saying captured what we experienced.

    As of April, my two sons will be entering the first grade and fifth grade. And above all, I am grateful my sons are in good health. [After the disasters] I stopped taking as many things for granted. We at Megumi Project began our lives post-disaster in temporary housing. Even so, our workplace has been always bright, we support one another, and we are people who smile, no matter what we are doing. We have gradually one-by-one moved out of temporary housing and rebuilt our homes. And my house, last to be completed, will be done in April.

    Because I get to work with these gutsy and positive Megumi Project members daily, I myself am also able to keep on moving forward. I want to thank all the Megumi members, from the bottom of my heart.

    Bonds with many people

    Bonds with many people

    At Megumi Project, we have visitors who come from within and even outside Japan, who help us by doing things like unthreading kimonos and making display items for our products. One of the volunteers who came to help recently is Miranda, a very cheerful, cute young lady!This baby-pink kimono bolero looks so good on her, don't you think?

    We also had Camillo, a volunteer from Austria come. He was very thorough in his work, and is so good at Japanese!

    Terrie leads weekly English lessons for us. We look forward to the days when Terrie comes to teach! Her lessons are always fun and full of humor.Recently, I've thought about how fortunate we are to make all these connections with so many people at Megumi Project, and once again, realize how supported we are!

    Thank you Chami!

    Thank you Chami!

    With a 2-ton truck loaded up with boxes, Chami and David moved to Tokyo today, moving towards a new hope. It's been truly such an honor to have been able to work with you from the very beginning. Rather than "farewell", I'd like to say "off you go!" Just as the flowers outside our production trailer stretch up towards the blue sky, my prayer is that Megumi Project and Chami, basking in the light, will continue flourishing.


    Today was one hot day, wasn't it!

    On this hot day, a group of middle schoolers from Hokkaido came to Onagawa on a school trip!


    It looks like they all had a good time eating ice-cream at the Sea Pal Pier Promenade, stopping by stores they were interested in. Right before they left, they earnestly performed in a "chorus of thanks" for all of us. The sound of their clear singing voices was really wonderful (^o^)

    The days that we are on shift to work at our store at Sea Pal Pier, we get to meet such a variety of people and get to hear directly from our customers--a really refreshing experience.

    Our products have expanded, and you will feel excited as you look at our summery colored new products!

    So please, come to our shop at least once! ~♪