Japan Quake Rpt: Obata Jan 22 ’14
親しくしている梨屋さんの富沢さんが、愛宕梨100個をくださるというので、さっそく、南三陸の名足小学校にプレゼント。東北道は雪と強風で思わぬ時間がかかってしまい、着いたときは、ほとんどの子どもたちは帰った後だったが、それでも遊んでいた子どもたちを校長先生が呼び集め、みんなに見せた。「これカボチャ？」という子もいて、みんな大はしゃぎ。全校の児童が６３名だから、一人に１個づつあげられる。いつも先生たちは遠慮しているが、今度は大丈夫。先生方にも１個づつ。子どもたちは、もう私の顔を覚えていてくれて、サンキュー！ 一人づつ、握手をして、バイ、バーイ！ 津波で破壊された校舎も、昨年の秋には復旧し、やっとわが校舎にもどってこられて、子どもたちは生気をとりもどしたよう！
Close friends of mine, Mr. & Mrs. Tomizawa, raise nashi (Asian pears). He gave us 100 Atago nashi which weighed 1 kilogram (2.2 pounds) each. We quickly took them to Minami Sanriku in Miyagi Prefecture to the Natari Elementary School. We gave them out to the children as presents. Because of snow and strong wind on the Tohoku Expressway we were delayed and most of the children had gone home when we arrived. But there were still some children playing in the school yard and the principal of the school called them together. We showed them the big nashi. “Are these pumpkins?” some of them said. They were all amazed. There are 63 children in the school so we could give one to each. The teachers always restrain themselves so the children can have gifts, but this time it was okay. We were able to give one to each of the teachers as well. The children remembered me and would say, “Sankyu-“ (“Thank you” with Japanese accent). As we gave them out we shook hands and they responded. The school building was reopened last fall after being destroyed by the tsunami and finally the students’ feelings are returning to normal.