Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The first faux pas

The worst affected areas are in a region known as Tohoku . 
That's easy, it was thinking I could successfully blog on this phone. Yes people do, but I'm me and technology has a severe allergic reaction when it nears!! So after losing tonight's first blog to the cyber Gods this will be shorter.

Today started 20 hours ago, a taxi driver's last fare to the first Tokyo flight of the day. Chuck and Chie met me and my Okinawan donations and whisked us off to Costco. After making a considerable dent in their dog and cat supplies
section, we headed to Niigata. A prefecture on the other side of the country where we will do our da.y trips to affected zones from.Several prefectures have been left reeling from this triple whammy of  disasters.They are collectively known as "Tohoku", the "north east road".

Monday, March 28, 2011

Naha airport

Today I'm experimenting with blogging from my iphone because this will be my main form of communication when I am up there. Just wish the battery would last a smidgen longer. Anyway, back on task. I hit up the ANA cargo desk for the 75kilos/165lbs of donations I have received. The very kind and helpful staff helped me pack stuff up in the most economical way possible.THANK YOU ladies! They didn't want to be photographed in uniform so they took my photo as we were heading into the building. A very artsy diagonal shot if I may say so myself :-) Two boxes, one suitcase and a weighing scales later we we were ready to start into the paperwork. No dotting the i's or crossing the t's here, it is all in the stroke order. when my Kanji-fied address  and my Katakana-ed name were all in the right place we moved on to the financial side of the transaction. Like I said before, any donations received are SOLELY for the animals. To my mind transportation costs of donated goods does not fall into that category. I dug deep and let's just say the first shipment will be waiting for me in Tokyo bright and early tomorrow morning with the first leg of the journey complete.

Thank you to everyone who has made this happen in such a short time frame. I have my last pick up of donations this evening at 8pm on Okinawa.Then I am Tokyo bound bright and early tomorrow morning where I have a rendez-vous with a truck driver who has a lot of empty space he is hoping I fill.Oh go on then, smirk just a little;-) you know you want to!

Things are coming together!

This is a roller coaster ride for sure! Since deciding last week that I could not just sit and watch the destruction on TV anymore, there have been emotional peaks and valleys. The peaks keep getting higher and here is where you would expect me to say the valleys are getting lower... but they are not. I am overwhelmed by how truly selfless people have been when it comes to giving. In a few short days I met my first "ideal one month goal" with donations coming in from all over the world.

With local donations I hit the pet product shelves and while I tried my best to clear them, I hit a zone of confusion: Quantity versus Quality. Initially thoughts of feeding the 5,000 crossed my mind, sanity came to the fore and my brain reasoned any poor four-legged soul who acquiesces to our good intentions will be in dire need of decent nutrition. That should all be capitalized really. DECENT NUTRITION.  
          One of my own dogs was thrilled to pieces when I opened my car doors after this "Shopping for Tohoku" mission and I suddenly became a far off blurry voice, as his focus was honed in on all things important.

          This picture represents the tip of the iceberg of what is needed on the ground up there. I am calling for donations of both the monetary and product kind. I am bringing all local (Okinawan) donations with me and all cash donations will go to a Japanese based card system. Which will ensure trouble-free purchasing power at a large Tokyo box store. Fasten your seat belts because the next bit gets exciting:-)

Today,  a contact pulled through, I  received wonderful news that I will be picked up in Tokyo on Tuesday (29/03) by a volunteer with a two tonne flatbed truck. -interlude: apart from the "Tokyo" bit does that not sound like fodder for a country music song?.....(pause for re-reading of prior sentence ;-)) - Anyway, this piece of truly great news means I have a whole lot of room in my paypal account for a whole lot of "greenies" that work in the pet products sections of major retailers. I'm 200lbs of donations up right now, I have a good bit to go, please help me fill this truck!