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02/25/2010

The Third Session of Snow Busters Is Over!!

This year’s final session of Snow Busters, which lasted from February 19th to 21st, was a huge success.

100225_3sb_2 Sixteen people (eight female and eight male participants) participated as volunteers in this end-of-the-year session. Although there were many first-timers and participants who came by themselves, everyone bonded immediately. Not only did they participate in the volunteer activities, but they also voluntarily prepared meals and cleaned afterward.

100225_3sb_4 The next morning, participants sat at a presentation of the village revitalization project and were trained in safety and know-how’s of snow shoveling by Mr. Hiroshi Yamamoto, the chief representative of the Tokamachi Regional Development Planning Committee. Later, they shoveled snow off the roof and around the entrance of the Iketani branch school.

100225_3sb_5 After that, we trekked to a snow-covered mountain in Iriyama, the neighboring village of Iketani. Volunteers carried heavy luggage and walked through the snowy streets to have lunch at a lodge in Iriyama. Those who were in charge of preparing lunch refrained from trekking and cooked curry and rice. In Iriyama, adult participants had a lot of fun, having snowball fights and sledding, in addition to shoveling snow. It is curious that snow and nature take us back to childhood.

At night was the party where we exchanged ideas with the villagers, which has always been the tradition. The participants had a wonderful time with the villagers and felt inclined to come back to the village.

100225_3sb_7 On the last day, the volunteers dedicated themselves to cleaning the snow around the branch school and the villagers’ houses. Being the true snow busters, they operated the “snow dump” with such ease! Their vehemence was unprecedented. After the 2010 Snow Busters, we are certain that many experiences and encounters made in Iketani will serve as an inspiration to the participants.

JEN looks forward to seeing you at Snow Busters 2011!

February 25, 2010 in Niigata |