After staying with friends in Sendai for the night, we started making our way home. Since we planned to do one more show at a shelter in Koriyama, which is about 75 km from the Fukushima power plant and radiation readings for that area was high, we all painted a little iodine on our wrists before heading out.
We met up with Enson and Dan, who joined us for the show. Enson passed out some toys he had brought for the kids, Gene and Florence sang their heart-warming songs, and we made the kids laugh with our comedy and magic routine. It was a great way to wrap up another visit to the Tohoku area.
Just as we were ending our show and saying our good-byes, another strong aftershock shook the gym we were in. Yuki helped some of the kids who were frightened to hide under tables. Some people crouched down on the ground, others rushed to the TV to see where it had hit and whether it would affect the recovery work at the nuclear plant.
The situation at each evacuation shelter is different, some are just up the road from neighborhoods that have been washed away by the tsunami, others are further removed from the shore and well stocked. Some shelters have evacuees who have houses in the 20 km evacuation radius around the nuclear plant, they have houses but they aren’t able to return. Other shelters in the tsunami hit areas house those who have lost everything.
While the situation varies in each of the places we’ve visited, the one need they all had in common was the need for love and encouragement. The way that we’ve found we’re able to give love and encouragement is through making the kids (and grown-ups too) laugh, and giving the something to smile about. If you’d like to help us make more trips to evacuation centers, please contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org