Posted by: japanecolodge | June 4, 2011

One typical day at Kawakita Volunteer Center

You might wonder what we do all day. So, we are introducing our typical daily schedule at Kawakita Volunteer Center. If you are thinking about coming to help, read this for your reference. (The site is weather dependent and the availability of the number of the volunteers also changes what we are able to carry out)


breakfast – rice and miso soup are ready to serve by this time. Side dishes are leftovers and ones that are brought by someone.

lunch preparation- make rice balls – you make your own

other preparations – once everybody is ready to roll, all of us gather to start loading goods (shovels, wheelbarrow)

cleaning – clean the center where we use daily, there is no one in charge for this task, but gets done by people who have time to spare


morning meeting – allocate vehicles for the day’s task

mud busters are now on duty

today, we work at Tanichi district to remove the cement block walls

it’s quite hot during the day, people sweat with manual labor

remove the blocks by hammering into small pieces

after the work, it looks quite nice

a whole picture of a house, now the block wall is removed, the debris  that you see in front are the ones been worked on

15:00 work completion

smiles after safe return, Bunkyo University #6 delegation joined from today

tidy away – each person helps to clean the tools and instruments used on the day to prepare for tomorrow

dinner preparation – everybody gets together to prepare dinner, it is more effective

taking a bath – if one wishes, he or she can go to a bath, to a hotspring near the roadside station. the one without a car can share a ride. sometimes our neighbors invite us into their houses for baths


dinner is served during 18:00 – 20:30


study at night – local junior and senior high students show up to study, the teachers are the volunteers. if you are not good at teaching, don’t worry, take the chance to be a teacher.

the kids are looking forward to listening to your stories, where you come from, the life experience you share


night meeting – review agenda for tomorrow, but also share comments based on the work done

free time – depending on the physical condition, one can go to sleep if desired. one can continue to communicate with others, but not too late to obstacle tomorrow’s job

These are pretty much what we do for a day, a case for mud musters. There are other teams working, investigation team, goods distribution team, cooking team, etc. There are many involved here at the center to make it work, including me who oversees the coordination tasks among other volunteer centers and offers orientation for the new comers.

Working with a computer is a challenge for me. One day an elementary school kid called me ‘computer uncle’. I wish he would have called me at least ‘a brother’.



  1. you will get updates on our association and partners’ efforts – track where your donation money goes
  2. your contribution of every last yen will be used on relief efforts – entirely used to purchase goods or offer services
  3. count on environmental friendliness – buy local, buy green products, help revitalize the local economy

PAYMENT INSTRUCTIONS for Tohoku earthquake & Tsunami Disaster Relief Fund

Choose from two payment methods

  1. International transaction to Bank of Kyoto
  2. Paypal

Please see the payment instruction (pdf) on our website;


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