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  • Today I met Tsugio Akama (pictured on the right of me), a survivor of the March 11, 2011 earthquake/tsunami disaster. I met him while serving tea for a Tea Relief Caravan that I have been part of for the past week. We meet with residents of temporary housing that lost their homes in the tsunami and served tea as a way to connect.

    I formed a very close connection with Akama-san because he introduced himself to me in English and wanted to speak with me. He was lively and had the most energizing smile. He was so stoked to be able to speak with me, having not practiced English in 20 years. He told me his head was gone and he was lost many of his memories, I'm assuming Alzheimer's. Having outlived his wife and many of his friends he has gone through a lot in his life, yet still has the energy to smile.

    This connection has moved me. I am going to sleep very happy tonight knowing why I have come to Japan to do the work I am doing. I learned a valuable lesson from Akama-san today: Always be happy, no matter what.
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