OK, you guys! Get some Kleenex… I finally got letters and pictures from our contacts in Japan about our frogs at the festival on the 20th! Anne Thomas sent several e-mails with pictures of the children getting their frogs. As you look through these pictures you might see your frog! She’s sending more pics to me on a CD, so I’ll try to get some those posted later. Some of you pouch-makers will see your pouches there too. I have enough pouches now that I am able to match frogs with the best color pouch. Way too much fun!
WE really made this happen, you guys! There are our frogs in Japan, bringing love and healing. I’m so sad the last box didn’t make it in time for this festival… all MY frogs were in there. But don’t worry, they will have more opportunities. Another box is accumulating here now! Many blessings ~ Deb
(Letter from Anne)
Hello My Dear Sisters of Love and Generosity!
Yesterday was a day that will ALWAYS be a highlight for so many! The festival was grand, with many, many coming to celebrate, to take their minds off their worries. Everyone came with that positive attitude to make it a special day. Mika had a booth and gave The Frogs a prominent place, as you can see in the photos. People were absolutely fascinated by the Frog Project. They came, looked, asked questions, selected a frog, had their photo taken, and then sent friends for their turn.
It was a raging success from beginning to end. The adults were as excited about it as the kids. But unfortunately we had to say “Sorry, but frogs are for kids only.” Otherwise we would not have had enough. Everyone was really, really impressed by the variety and quality of the frogs. They loved the names and places written on the bottom of each frog. And they were delighted that some had messages in Japanese!
And they were also impressed by the bags! I was very impressed how well you matched the designs on the frogs and those of the bags. All the love and care you put into this project was very, very touching and impressive! The third box did not get there in time. But Mika said not to worry. There will be other occasions when they can be distributed. She will let me know. My two friends, Junko and Satsuki went with me. They were real gems. Junko helped give out frogs. Satsuki enjoyed taking photos. I hope to make a CD to send to you so you can enjoy all the shots, but for now here are a few. Plus I will send on another few e-mails with adorable shots of kids so you won’t have to wait too long to see the photos. I want to label each photo before I out them on CDs, so it will take time.
I have heard that many, many families in Fukushima have been relocated to other areas of Japan. You are sweet to think having some go to the USA. Actually, Japanese are deeply attached to the land itself. Usually their land has been in their families for generations. Plus everyone here has a tremendous sense of being in this together and working together to work out way through this, albeit slowly. No one knows what will happen. We do know the government is covering up a tremendous amount. But if they let all the facts out, it would cause complete panic and probably most of the Northeast region would have to be evacuated. So they are taking very timid steps. And the rest of us are holding hands and soldiering on. Bless us all.
The Japanese spirit is truly amazing. I did not have a chance to talk to Satsuki yesterday about Fukushima, where she comes from, and frog distribution there. But I will in the near future. I just found out she has started her doctorate, so is a bit busy, but I will knock on her door soon. But anyway, all that said, Japanese also know how to party and make a happy break from suffering. And yesterday that happened for sure, from beginning to end. Higashi Fukushima is a rural area, so the festival was very local in atmosphere, although folks came for far away places this special year. Many of them were volunteers in this area. It was simply a great day from beginning to end. Thank you so much for letting me part of it. The link with the world was fantastic!
~ Love Anne