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November 2019

This is Komo’s English@Sanriku November, 2019 activity report.

  • Participants : 24
  • Volunteer coaches : 11 (includes 7 total participation and 4 partial participation)

We offered 7 sections of English classes on Friday evening, all-day Saturday, and Sunday morning. Our basic policy since our foundation and which we still follow to date is to “have each participant pick his/her theme, give one-one-one lessons when possible, and emphasize the importance of reading out loud.” One additional motto of ours is to embrace “casual chatting” as we consider it to be one of the program’s important aspects. We would like Komo’s English to be a place where people meet and enjoy each other’s company. With that principal, we had another successful month. :)

As we’ve noted, we have two spin-off programs.

One is the “Day-Care-Center-Visit.” We’ve been practicing the first chorus of a song, “Furusato (Hometown)”, for one year. We were impressed to find that there are some residents who can now sing the song in English if they are given a card with lyrics. Next month is the beginning of the second year of this program and we will move onto the second chorus of the song. We are encouraged to know that some of the center residents remember us and look forward to this monthly program.

Another spin-off program is the Wine & Whisky English Club@Rikuzentakata (a.k.a. W&W). During the W&W session, we learn more practical English words and phrases associated with wine & whisky drinking that are suitable for a bar situation. We will have the 4th session next month since its commencement.

On the way over to the lesson on Friday, we stopped off at the Rikuzentakata board of education. Because we are dissolving the foundation as a legal entity, we are at a turning point. Although we will keep providing existing programs going forward, we should revisit our core values to make sure they are in alignment with the constantly changing local needs. Through a candid discussion with the board of education members, we were able to come up with many new ideas for future activities.

The annual Rikuzentakata Booster Marathon was also on Sunday. Though most of the volunteer coaches did not participate, Mr. T and Mr. K along with many other people who have some relationship with the Foundation ran the marathon.

There is much more we would’ve love to report from this month visit. Through different programs and activities, we feel our purpose is slowly changing from ‘support the locals’ to ‘share with the locals’. Many of us are truly enjoying the relationship born and cultivated after the disaster – it is the definitely the case for this author and she speculates that many other participants feel the same!

See you next month!

(Komo&Hiroko)

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