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2012.02.24 10:59

Curry Event (Sunday 19th February 2012 • Tochigasawa temporary housing estate, Takatacho, Rikuzentakata, Iwate Prefecture)

Rentai Tohoku Staff, Liu and Tahir here.

On Sunday 19th of December 2012, we held a Pakistan curry event at the Tochigasawa temporary housing estate in Takatacho, Rikuzentakata, Iwate Prefecture.

When we first visited the Tochigasawa temporary housing estate in Takatacho in the autumn of 2011, we promised to hold an event in order to revitalize communication between residents. This finally materialized. However since there is no community hall at this temporary housing estate, with the help of the President of a wood processing company located next to the estate, we held the event on its grounds.

• Departure

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At 7am we departed from Minami Exchange Center in Sennmayacho. This week the snow had stopped and visibility was good and we arrived at the temporary housing estate without any delays.

• Event preparation

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Even though there was no warm community hall, we put all the ingredients on a portable table and we prepared the ingredients surrounded by the nice scent of wood.

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The company owner let us use their office for our preparation work, and the residents helped us prepare the vegetables and meat in an efficient manner. Preparing the total of 40kg of material was complete in about an hour.

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After completing the preparation, everyone had a break, including the company President who provided with the venue, as well as the Coordinator of the Temporary Housing Association.

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Outside the office, cooking has begun in large pots, using all the ingredients the residents prepared.

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Not only our volunteers took part in the curry making, but the residents also tried their hand at it.

We felt a little nervous as there was a nutritionist among the people who helped us. However, we were relieved to find out that this curry, containing many different kinds of nutrients, is most suitable in such cold weather.

• The meal begins

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Now the curry was ready to be served. Everybody received their portion as they listened to the nutritionist giving advice on healthy eating. The lively conversations revolved around the taste of the curry and how it was made.

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After the curry, we finish off with Pakistani chai.

• Gift from the residents

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While we were relaxing, drinking chai, there was a nice aroma. It was grilled onigiri. We asked if this was our dessert, but it turned out to be a present from the residents to us volunteers. We ate them together with homemade pickles. The residents' words were full of kindness when they said, ' thank for your hard work, please come again ! '

Categories:Staff reports

2012.02.24 10:59 admin

2012.02.17 09:56

Curry Event (Sunday 12th February 2012 • Miyata temporary housing estate, Takkoncho, Ofunato City Iwate Prefecture)

Rentai Tohoku Staff, Liu and Tahir here.

The average age of the people residing in the Miyata temporary housing estate is high, and there are more than 40 elderly residents living alone. Since residents with children tend to move to temporary housing estates located near schools, there are only 5 families with children left at the Miyata temporary housing estate. With the hope of being able to help enliven the residents who normally don't have much opportunity to interact, we held this curry event on the 12th of February 2012.

• Departure

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We depart in our car loaded with supplies and food prepared the day before at Sennmayacho Exchange Center. There has been heavy snowfall in the southern part of Iwate prefecture but we head for Ofunato with thoughts of the people awaiting our arrival.

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• Preparing for the event

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Coordinator of the Temporary Housing Residents Association welcomed us and helped us setting up the tent and cooking equipment in the cold, as well as preparation of the meal.

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Although it was difficult to check the contents of the cooking pots due to the cold temperature outside, the residents actively participated in the making of this meal.

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In the community hall, we cut up all the ingredients with the help of many ladies.

• The meal begins

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Due to the limited space in the community hall everyone enjoyed the meal in turns. Despite this, they spent such an enjoyable time as to forget the cold outside. The stars of the Miyata temporary housing (the three children) also seemed very satisfied with the unusual Pakistani curry.

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Categories:Staff reports

2012.02.17 09:56 admin

2012.02.06 21:38

Chinese New Year Party (Sunday 29th January 2012 • Takinosato industrial park temporary housing estate in Rikuzentakata, Iwate Prefecture)

Rentai Tohoku Staff, Liu and Tahir here.

We received a request through a supermarket chain in Rikuzentakata to hold a Pakistani curry and Chinese dumpling party at the Takinosato industrial park temporary housing estate, and therefore held this Chinese New Year Party on the 29th of January. The event didn't simply involve provision of meals, but rather we had residents taking part at each stage of the party from preparation to participation.

• Preparation

In order to provide the best possible ethnic food (Pakistani curry and Chinese dumplings) to the temporary housing residents we started preparing this meal with the help of local residents on the 28th of January at the Minami Konashi Exchange Center in Sennmayacho.

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Although it was quite difficult to get the ingredients ready for 250 meals worth of curry and dumplings, everyone is very pleased with the result at the tasting session. We are looking forward to the real event tomorrow.

• Leaving for the temporary housing estate

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On the 29th of January we headed for Rikuzentakata from Sennmayacho along roads where snow still remained. At Takinosato industrial park temporary housing estate, we chose the tent site together with the residents and erected the tent, and then carried the supplies from the car into the assembly hall of the temporary housing.

• The making begins - Dumpling team

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Although it is very difficult to make the dumpling skins, volunteer ladies from China taught the residents how to make them, and once they got the hang of it, they seemed to enjoy themselves.

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The team continued to make dumplings without break.

• The making begins - Curry team

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Malik, a Pakistani doctor from Rentai Tohoku, participated in the curry team. He dealt with the chicken (cutting the meat and removing the skin) as though it was a surgical operation. There was a feeling of tension in the air!

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  In contrast, the vegetable preparation team members were chatting together in a friendly mood while preparing vegetables.

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The men's team in the tent outside were stirring the curry, standing by pots of 1m diameter with huge ladles. Although it was hard work stirring continuously with these big ladles to prevent the curry from catching the bottom of the pan, it was a good opportunity for exercise.

• Completion

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600 dumplings were made before 12 o'clock. They were cooked in boiling water and were placed in egg soup, ready to eat.

• The meal begins

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At 12 o'clock, nearly 200 people gathered in the assembly hall; however there wasn't enough space and some people enjoyed eating outside. The weather was good, so it felt like a picnic.

• A gift from the residents

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After the Chinese New Year Party, when we were leaving the temporary housing, the residents gave us a postcard with the character 'road' written on it. Reading the message on the postcard gave us great strength. Since then we feel that, 'bond' isn't simply a character, but is a true link between hearts.

We will continue to support making bonds between hearts.

Categories:Staff reports

2012.02.06 21:38 admin

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Latest articles

  • Curry Event (Sunday 19th February 2012 • Tochigasawa temporary housing estate, Takatacho, Rikuzentakata, Iwate Prefecture)
  • Curry Event (Sunday 12th February 2012 • Miyata temporary housing estate, Takkoncho, Ofunato City Iwate Prefecture)
  • Chinese New Year Party (Sunday 29th January 2012 • Takinosato industrial park temporary housing estate in Rikuzentakata, Iwate Prefecture)