Monthly Archives: March 2014

Peace Boat Fukushima Youth Project 2014

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Peace Boat and Fukushima Youth Project, in Sri Lanka

In their ongoing support of the disaster affected Tohoku region, Peace Boat travelled with a group of elementary and junior high school kids from Minamisouma.  Minamisouma is a city in Fukushima severely affected by the nuclear disaster.  Study, play, forced relocation…every aspect of their lives were affected.

 

The participants spent a couple of weeks onboard sailing from Japan, to Singapore, and finally to Sri Lanka, where they came by to see ME!  A fellow chemist and I took them through the labs.  Of course we talked about the tests and experiments we do, but we also talked about how labs in Sri Lanka and Japan are different, about safety and hygiene.  We even had discussions about deep things like “what is volunteerism?” and “what is development?”

 

With all that they have been through, I was very glad to see that they were so eager and optimistic about the outside world.  Maybe it was just the fact that these were kids, spending their spring break traveling the oceans with other kids, but their happiness was contagious and gave me a much needed boost of motivation to continue working to improve water safety in Sri Lanka.

 

These kids certainly have a unique view on the meaning of life.  It’s inspiring and tragic at the same time, but I have no doubt they’ll keep being awesome and make real, positive change in the world.
Also great to see old friends, in new places!

 

ピースボート、福島子どもプロジェクト、in スリランカ

春休みを使って小中学生たちが世界の船旅を出来る「ピースボート福島子どもプロジェクト」がスリランカに寄港!そして、なんと、僕の活動先に訪問しに来てくれた。「スリランカのラボなんて見て楽しいのかな。。。」と緊張してたけど、同僚ケミストの協力も得て結構楽しい時間を過ごせた。

 

ラボツアーをしながら、「日本とスリランカの違い」とか「安全・衛生」についてかなり熱く語ってくれる子どもたち。「ボランティアって、何?」「開発って、何?」見たいな深~い話も!

 

僕が想像できる以上大変な現状と向かい合っている子どもたち。でも、あんなに仲良く、明るく、前向きで。。。尊敬した。この子たちは政治や世界や人生について今までなかったような考えて方をしている気がする。今までなかったような素晴らしい大人になって行くと思う。

詳細リンク (links…no English)

http://pbv.or.jp/blog_fukushima/

http://pbv.or.jp/download/other/20140529_FukushimaKids_Report.pdf

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It’s World Water Day again.

Where I am living, I walk past this kind of water everyday.  It smells like it’s giving me cancer.  And it’s going directly into the ocean.  Please be aware that this is still the reality.

Sneaky Wallets

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Got bored and inspired at the same time…and came up with these.  Don’t have to worry about pick-pockets anymore, but gotta be careful no one throws it away by mistake!

ちょっと暇だったので、ゴミから財布を作ってみた。盗られるより、捨てられることが心配!

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Dirty Work

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Today, we went go get some algae samples.  What better spot than Beira Lake in the heart of Colombo!

We had to make sure we got really really good samples, so we:

Sampled from the dock

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Then the park,

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Then from the middle, by paddle duck

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It’s a tough, dirty job, but someone has to do it.  You’re welcome!

Food Generation

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After the last batch of my tomatoes, basil and other vegetables, I just cut the stalks and left the pots fallow.  It rained a few days last week, and with no effort on my part, a new generation of life has sprung up, like weeds, but actually food.  In the US and Japan, I often found it very difficult to grow tomatoes from the seeds of the previous generation.  Here, it only takes a little bit of rain.  I’m pleasantly surprised, but worried about possible unpleasant truths about the modification/engineering of American/Japanese crops and seeds.

前回の収獲後、そのまま放置していた「畑」が先週の雨により新しい命を生み出した。日本・アメリカでもこのような畑をやっていて、出来た物の種からまた野菜を作るのはとても難しいことだった。しかし、スリランカでは落ちた実をそのまま放置しただけでまた生えて来る。結果嬉しいがもしかしたら、先進国の物は一回きりで終わるようにいじらてるのでは?との心配も。。。

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New generation of tomato, basil and kankun

Lazy tea…

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SONY DSCやっちゃった。テェーコラ(茶葉)、粉ミルクと砂糖を適量に混ぜた。コップに入れてお湯をたすだけ。。。便利だよ~

Tea making has been streamlined.  Leaves, sugar and powdered milk have been combined so all I have to add is hot water and DONE!  It’s so easy, we could have a party!