The final part of this first leg of the journey from London took me down the Tohoku coast of Japan – the region devastated by the huge earthquake and tsunami which rocked the country in March 2011. Having finished the journeying for the winter, I returned to the fishing town of Ishinomaki to volunteer for a week with the wonderful group ‘It’s Not Just Mud’. Humbled and moved by what I saw and now understood a little bit better, and having heard some of the stories from residents who remained and were now trying to rebuild their lives, I made this little video about my time there and also a slideshow.
It still makes me cry to watch it, but it also makes me smile. People tell me that what I do inspires them – that is very kind and I am glad to be of use. But if you would like to see some real inspiration and courage then watch this piece by the BBC about INJM founder Jamie and listen to the story of Matsumura-san in my video. That, my friends, is courage.
Lessons so far
My journey so far has shown me all sorts of things and taught me some wonderful lessons about life and what it is to be human. What home means to different people. What it is to risk failure and make a leap into the unknown. What it is to be succeed. What it is to be welcomed by strangers and to share their food and home and lives with them as though you were family.What it is to lose your livelihood, your family, your world. What it is to struggle. To survive. What it is to hope. And what it is to help.
It has shown me that we are all on journeys, wherever we are going and whoever we are – bikes or no bikes, internatonal or not, emotional or theoretical, this way or that. Static or errant, little or large, wherever we are going and for whatever reasons, we are all one. We are as different and varied as the flowers of spring, of the flags of the world , of the seasons and the weathers – but we will all flounder sometimes, be it on the road or in our heads and hearts. We all get tired and face challenges. And we all need refreshing from time to time. And we all need support and encouragement and reassurance and hugs. Most of all, I have learned that we all need each other.
Here’s to all of that and all of our journeys as we bound or plod or meander or wheel or think our way into a whole new year. I hope it’s a good one.
All very best from the east,
P.S: I am keen to use royalty free music for future videos – if you are keen for me to use your work then please drop me a line
P.P.S: Thanks to everyone who donated to the Winter Clothing Appeal. The money is being sent over right about now and will be used to buy thermal clothing for needy residents in Ishinomaki.
P.P.P.S: I am looking for a good link in to the following companies, preferably the Press Rooms: Canon, Sandisk, Transcend (of the SD cards), Air Canada, Aeroflot. Anyone?
P.P.P.P.S: With the return to school imminent or recently thrust upon many youngsters, I shall be restarting the Skype and live calls into classrooms. Please spread the word and drop us a line if you would like me to call your classroom.
Thanks Sarah, a moving video, words and actions. Such tragedies coupled with the power of compassion and courage to overcome such unforeseen challenges and suffering remind us we are one. One human race, one world, one love. We need to think collectively in these terms as a new year of accelerating global challenges dawns, your message touches a chord…there is always hope. Anna x
It goes to prove the adage: There’s always someone worse of than yourself.
Happy New Year, and pass on our thougths to those people. We havn’t forgotten them.
That you have undertaken such an incredible personal challenge while simultaneously turning outward, giving to and learning from those you encounter, speaks very well of you. I am inspired by both aspects of your journey.
This is lovely, ever so sad. Thanks for sharing this Oots
Hi again Sarah.Have just watched your latest clip. It is a shame that the press are only interested when the disaster happens. Then after the headlines have died down,the world seems to forget. It is only through people like you and the occasional documentery that we see how much work is to be done in the years ahead. Thankyou for that clip.It certainly opened my eyes. Till the next time.God Bless. Peter.Nottingham.
Ijust watched one of your vids and i have to say it was very moving but also very uplifting.Keep up the traing i know it is hard and tough but it is a means to an end.You’ll need it in the long run.
ps i can’t see enough photos of you smiling,pricelss!!
from your highland corrispondant
My dear Sarah,
What encouragement you give to us all. You don’t say ‘what can I do’?
You just get on and do it. To see such devastation and the courage of
the people – working with a determination to do everything they possibly
can to re-build. Well done to Jamie in setting up “It’s not just mud” to
give much needed practical help.
May God bless you on YOUR journey.
Only just watched this video, and wanted to say how special I found it. Thank you indeed. Looking forward to chatting 🙂 x