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The 1st. Family Camp for Minami Sanriku-cho

2012/01/16 2:59 に 日下部拓 が投稿

During the weekend of January 14 & 15, the first Family Camp for Minami Sanriku-cho sponsored by the Mitsubishi Corporation and organized by Sendai YMCA Volunteer Support Center took place in Akiu Hot Spring, Sendai.

33 participants from 11 families (including 15 students from 4 elementary schools) have participated in the two day program, lead by 5 Sendai YMCA and 3 Sendai YMCA Volunteer Support Center staff members.

On Saturday, participants were picked up at several rally points through out Minami Sanriku-cho, then headed to “Marinepia Matsushima” in Matsushima-cho. After lunch, participants enjoyed the displays of many sea creatures from all over the world as well as from the local coast. The purpose of visiting this place was that, by witnessing the recovery of once Tsunami-destroyed facility, they too would be encouraged to face their daily challenges. From the conversation with many participants, we’ve learned that this purpose was fulfilled. Then the chartered bus took us to Akiu Hot Spring in the snow. Participants enjoyed bathing in the hot spring before a gorgeous full course dinner prepared by the Chefs of the hotel. There was a fun recreational time for everyone after dinner, followed by evening gathering for grown ups as a free choice. Four parents showed up and enjoyed the grown ups’ conversation which became very rare occasion since their new lives at the temporary housings.

Sunday morning, many participants enjoyed another hot spring bathing before and/or after breakfast. At the temporary housing units, the very small baths do not have reheating function which standard bath units usually have, so by the time the last family member takes it, the water is lukewarm or even cold. That is why we wanted to bring them to the hot springs hotel where they can enjoy the long hot bath as many times as they can manage. It was a big treat for the participants. After leaving the hotel, there was a free family time at a shopping mall in Rifu, also visiting the Shinkansen (bullet trains) depot as a free choice.

It has been a very short, but fun and relaxing weekend for the families that went through so much in the last 10 months. Thanks for the Mitsubishi Corporation for their financial support, also the National Council of YMCAs of Japan and Sendai YMCA for their generous support that made this family camp possible.