Talked with Eric briefly tonight and he was able to download a few photos, as well. Today they were able to set up and give away a lot of the goods that they had brought with them. Eric wrote that he overheard one “mature” lady saying, “So glad they finally got some granny underwear!” That was thanks to George and Aiko, who realized the last time they went that the Costco underwear that Eric and Peter were taking up might not work for all ages. They bought a bunch of granny pants this time for the guys to take up and apparently it was a big hit!
Then in the afternoon they set up for a BBQ in an area that Eric said has been very responsive and friendly. They were all happy to see that the “gutter and dishes” family from yesterday found them and came and joined in! The team wondered throughout the BBQ if they would run out of food as 250 or so came through the tlines, but there was enough for everyone – they ran out just before the staff were to eat (which was fine). One special treat was some watermelon that one of the members brought in.
Although everyone was pretty busy serving, once the food was served there was a chance to interact. Eric really enjoyed talking to the children….several of them knew his name from previous visits, and there was one fourth grader in particular who was shy at first but enjoying befriending Eric. Eric has promised to be back with another bbq in the summer. (Her mom told Eric that because of the tsunami, there probably won’t be any summer vacation – they started school so late and will probably have to go throughout the summer. Eric said they’ll make sure its a weekend next time too!)
This BBQ was in a mostly residential neighborhood. The tsunami came through and though it didn’t wipe away their homes, it left their first floors trashed and in many cases these homes have been condemned… the owners will not be allowed to rebuild because the foundations are not strong enough, but the residents in many cases are still living there because they don’t have anywhere else to go. Eric said there are still homes that don’t have water and electricity. Can’t imagine. Thankful for hip-high panties, hotdogs, and hope being brought to Tohoku!