I have participated in the second session of Snow Busters 2009!
It was my second visit to Iketani. For many years I had been living in Cairo that when I went for the first time in September, it was like an adventure more than a volunteering trip. It was my first time going into a farming site so far into the mountainside. As expected I missed the train, got lost in no-human station, and ended up being late. Despite these difficulties even reaching to Tokamachi station, my time at Iketani had been a memorable one.
For the first time through JEN’s activities, I was given the opportunity to experience and face the issues of Japan. As I returned to Tokyo last year, I had been quite down realizing the disparity between the images of Japan I had when I was in Cairo and the reality. The sight of culture and tradition disappearance, the lack of Japanese identity in people shocked me. But Iketani was different. The motivation and the movement of the wide network of people along with JEN to face the issue of depopulation and rice prices at Iketani very much moved me. Iketani have awakened me and gave me the power to become more positive living in Japan. I became determined to work together with the people involving in Iketani to make my country a better place by preservation of tradition and reformation.
Many of the participants at Snow busters second session were repeaters. Some were third or fourth time visitors. I feel that there is something that every participant has towards Iketani like myself. I hope through this energy of people involved in Iketani, there will be some changes and improvements made on such a precious area of Japan.