I'm in Niigata airport ready to fly home with a head full of stories bursting to be written down. The beginning is always a great place to start so it is there I will share with you first.
|Some of my own crew "pre-approving" the donations!|
Post office: Turned out to be surprisingly cheap. I was able to get several 15 -20 kg packets out with them. But had a meltdown over the last and heaviest package. The large dog crate I donated myself which I had filled with donated dog food. The one I had weighed so carefully the night before, the one that read under the 30kilo limit at home but seemed to have put on weight in the half mile between the house and the Post Office. Again the same line was used and the same reception of said line was received in return. (I really am going to have to work on my lines!!) I was so utterly disappointed about the bureaucratic inflexibilities I encountered. There was absolutely no budging the staff over the set boundaries created for 'normal circumstances'.
I wished I had my camera so I could show them their fellow country men receiving these donations the last time. To explain the story of the middle-aged woman who broke down in tears when we asked her did she have enough food for her dog. To share pictures of Ryu-chan's life in a cardboard box outside a freezing evacuation center in Iwate until our donations gave him a crate and blankets. Or if they were cat people maybe they would have been moved just a little by Fu, Mi and Shou who had lived in their owner's car for three weeks.Having these stories in my head made me more determined. That package was heading North.
Since I didn't have the time before flying as I had morning classes to teach on departure day, my wonderful better half found a courier service that was ready to oblige with the task of dispatching the crate and food. All donations were divided up between the three JEARS shelters The tangibles went to Tokushima and Shiga prefectures and the monetary donations went to offset vet bills in the Niigata shelter.