Hanami in Japan
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Hanami in Japan

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Akemi reports on her recent trip to Japan…

At the beginning of April, I and some of our volunteers travelled to Japan to visit some of our Tsunami orphans.

We went with the children and their carers to see the cherry blossoms in Hanamiyama, Fukushima. Cherry Blossom viewing is a Japanese tradition at this time of year and is a great family day out. Sadly, of course, our orphans have no family but we made it a lovely fun day and they really enjoyed it.

Because of our connection with the NPO Hanamiyama o Mamoruka, this is our second visit there and we thank all our hosts who helped us.

It is now a year since we last met these children but, even so, I was so surprised how much taller they had grown and how much more more mature they had become. It was most satisfying to see the results of our efforts and that they are growing up into good people.

All the children are now very interested in the English language with one even taking extra English lessons at the local cramming school. Most impressive!

I was so happy to see the children’s smiling faces when they found they were able to actually speak real English to real English people.

I also realised that without the help of their carers, none of the children would be able to join us. So we really appreciate the efforts of the carers and I hope they will continue to help the children to come and join our activities and build such wonderful relationships.

I am so glad that we are all connected together.

Our next plan is to invite some of the children to England this summer.

My wish is that many more orphans of the Tsunami will get our invitation to experience England. They are great kids and will not only love coming here but will really appreciate it.

So, here’s to everyone who works so hard to make their dreams come true.

Akemi