The day passed pleasantly, but the family did not appear. In the evening, we charged all of Bugsthe rechargeable cellphone batteries using the USB inputs in the car. I hadn’t thought about how important this would be, but thankfully Alex had brought a collection of them down. With no power in the shack, the only electronic devices we can use are our cellphones. At first I wished I had brought my computer, but actually I wouldn’t have been able to charge it, so it’s probably for the better. I wonder how my apartment is doing… We slept well again, despite the insects. As I was trying to get to sleep on the floor, I could hear them, so I used the torch on my phone to have a look. I kind of wish I hadn’t, as I hadn’t realised just how many there were.

Nevertheless, in the morning, we went down to the river for another soak in the hot spring. While we were there, we heard the sound of a car driving by in the in the quiet of the valley. We looked up to see where it was coming from, and soon saw a car coming around the corner. It quickly got out of the water, and put out clothes on without drying. We had forgotten to bring towels.

The car stopped by the hot spring, and the man we had met before got out and waved us over. We jogged over to him and could see his wife and child in the seat.

“I’m sorry we’re late,” he said immediately. “It was a big decision to trust you.”

“That’s okay,” I answered. “Kawayu isn’t a bad place to spend a night or two.”

The man nodded and then said, “Get in your car and follow us. There’s a school nearby that we’re staying at.” With that he got back into his car.

Alex had packed all of our possessions into the car after we woke up, so we hopped in, and followed Taro’s car up the windy roads between the mountains. After about half an hour, the road opened up there was a small village, with rice fields and a school. There wasn’t much else. Just a few houses and a small corner shop. Taro and the family pulled into the driveway of the school, and up a small ramp to the school. He parked in front of the playground, and got out. Alex circled the car around the field and parked it, so that faced the driveway, then we got out.

The woman and child disappeared while the man showed us around. They were staying in a tatami room used for entertain guests to the school. There was a sink, but he said there wasn’t any running water. He told us that we could stay anywhere we wanted, and we found a classroom to settle down in.

The family had already gathered things they could use in their room, but there wasn’t much. They did have a few bicycles though, which could be useful in a pinch. We had talked a little about how  we could reinforce any weak areas or up the defence. The closest things to weapons were baseball bats and these poles. The family had been planning on using them to keep anyone at bay. I’d seen them in schools before, and they are used in case of aggressive people. You cup people in the semi-circle at the end of the sticks to pin people against the wall until the police get there, but I had always wondered about their effectiveness… I have a feeling that they are good in theory, but not necessarily all that practical. If push comes to shove, they might be better than nothing though.



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