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Thursday, November 17, 2011

Farewell #1

My 1st day as a volunteer with All Hands I had tears in my eyes when a person I barely meet gave their farewell, and almost every meeting there after the tears would come again and again. I knew if I felt this much I would only be in worse shape to give my own. Therefore I wrote what I wanted to say down. On September 2nd, after 28 days on Project Tohoku almost balling (typical Terri) and barely able to see what I wrote I shoved the following out of my mouth.

"Why do you volunteer, and why do you leave your home to do it?

This a question almost all of us at All Hands have been asked by out our loved ones, the curious ones, and those that never will understand.

Here is my response:

I volunteer because I can
I volunteer because I have been blessed with the opportunity to do so
I volunteer because it is my duty as a citizen of this beautiful world

I volunteer because I want to be rich!

If I had all the money in the world I would be volunteering full-time, but instead I work to be able to volunteer and am on the way with all of you to become some of the riches people I will ever know.

Some of us may not have much in our bank accounts, but we have:

Made my our families proud by not just traveling to see the Imperial Palace, or climb Mt. Fuji but to help to return smiles to the faces of Japan

Gotten muddy, suborned, rained on while doing true physical labor like half of
the world that doesn't have a choice

Cried tears of joy and heartbreak when we helped to return photos to a family
who had lost so much including one of their beautiful daughters on March 11th

Sang and swayed to "Lean On Me" with our brothers and sisters from around
the world, bringing even more meaning to such a sweet diddy

Had so many dreams come true, including ones we didn't even know we had
and made new even bigger ones

Painted a mural that will brighten and inspire people who come, return or live
in Ofunato for years to come

Said hello and see you later to more friends then most people do in 5 years

Seen a river lightened up by paper lanterns of the one that have gone before

Had some of the best conversations with only are hands and facial
expressions because we have yet to become a J-Heart

Danced in the streets wearing our very own beautiful yukatas and mastered
the art of float traffic jams during Tanabata

All Hands staff and my fellow volunteers thanks for allowing me to invest not only in Japan, but the entire world and myself. Thanks for making me rich!"

Location:Ofunato, I-wate, Japan

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