Day 2: Close Encounter of The Third Sludge

Traffic and a bit of unpreparedness delayed us in the morning but we arrived early enough to do some work.

Our 30-strong group was divided into three teams and off we went. Our team's morning tasks were pretty simple, removing furniture, including a piano, and clear, from a garden, the 4-5cm layer of clayish dark mud that came with the tsunami.

In the neighbourhood where we worked the water came about one-meter high. We saw little earthquake damage, even the first home that didn't look that new nor strong.

After breaking for lunch, we got our first real assignment, ripping floorboards in order to remove the layer of sludge that got into the foundation of a house (see the picture). The team was happy to get some real work and we got down to business. The young couple looked a little bewildered at first, but when they realized we knew what we were doing and that most of us could communicate in Japanese, they relaxed and assisted us well.

We didn't have time to finish all rooms before the oh-so official 3:30pm finish time so we'll need to go back tomorrow, if the operations aren't officially called off because of the rain. As you can deduce, there's a bit of red tape, but less than in regular-life Japan.

We're heading back to camp, where we'll clean up before heading out to eat. Dinner is gonna taste good tonight.

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