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05/20/2010

The Relationship is Getting Closer

May is the busiest time in the year for seedling and soil preparation for rice planting , gathering wild vegetables and planting vegetables. Recently many people had begun visiting the village in weekends whether there was any event or not.

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The purposes for their visits were vary from volunteer for wild vegetables gathering and agriculture to photos taking.  They stayed at Yama-no-manabiya, renovated by volunteers for the revival from earthquake  , and changed their plan flexibly depending on the weather and villagers’ schedules.

There were variety of ways for staying, such as “The villagers took them for wild vegetable gathering and they gave foot acupressure point massage to the villagers in return”, “They took photos and held a small photo exhibition then they invited the villagers to it” and “They receive some instructions for growing vegetables through helping agriculture”. They had been participants for “Village Revitalization Volunteer” or “Let’s Go to TAMBO” and they repeatedly visited the village. It seemed that each of them carried out “the things which they can help the village with their fun”. We felt that the elderly villagers gradually remembered the volunteers’ names and the category such as volunteers and recipients became unclear, then they were personally getting closer and closer.
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Who made the stay possible was migrants  to the village, who stayed continuously in the village. They were supporting many people’s stay by detail operations  such as arrangement and contact with villagers, preparation for the stays, lifts and shopping  Moreover, some volunteers started staying for medium-long tern, more than 1 week, this year. The migrants and the medium-long-stay volunteers let the relationship between villagers and other volunteers be close, the Village revitalization seemed to move on to the next stage

By Momiyama

May 20, 2010 in Niigata |