Arriving at the power station was a strange experience. It had been so long since I’d been around this many people, and they all seemed so comfortable. Finally, after all of this time it seems like we can let our guards done a little. The camp is located within the power station, which in turn is surrounded by a wall with barbed wire, and access is limited to one road. There are also armed members of the Self Defence Force that are on duty around the clock. I can’t help but regret not coming here with Taro directly instead of stopping by his family’s house.

BlanketsOn the day we arrived, there was a new shipment of blankets, so not only did we have our own cots, but we also had new bedding. That’s quite a luxury for us. We haven’t been to bed yet, but I know that all of us are looking forward to unbroken sleep. I don’t know about the others, but on the road I could never sleep deeply. I always felt like I could be on the edge of sleep, but had to always be ready to react to changes around me. Here, it seems we can finally let go of some of our self responsibility and let the soldiers watch over us. Japan hasn’t been allowed to have a standing army since the end of World War Two. Instead, it has a sizeable defence force, which although is far bigger than New Zealand’s actual army, is restricted in scope and cannot be deployed overseas. They seem nice and everyone has been very welcoming of us.

I’m hoping we’ll have a chance to get a bit more information on the base and it’s purpose soon. This evening we should have a chance to meet a few more of the non-military occupants, so that will be an opportunity to share information and stories. We didn’t see any of the other civilians when we went into the makeshift dormitory, but their cots are obviously in use, so that’s something to look forward to. Meals are eaten communally and prepared by a team of people working in the kitchen. If we don’t catch up with anyone before then, we’ll have chance at dinnertime. Everyone has to do some kind of work, so tomorrow or the day after we’ll hear about what kinds of things we’ll be helping out with.

img_3565The station is big, and there is a lot of machinery that I have never seen before. Risa and Ayako are still resting on their cots, while I’ve been out for a wander around the camp. Alex is talking with some of the soldiers, and they seem to be getting along well. There are some other children around, so once Risa has had some food and recovered a little from our travels, I’m hoping she’ll be able to make some friends. At the moment, she seems shy around everyone else though, and just wants to stay close to us. I might see if she wants to go for a walk after. At the very least that might give Ayako a chance to have a bit of time to herself. For now, I’ve actually just received an email from the people in the castle, so I’ll type up a post about that. My thumbs are really starting to get tired from writing this much on my phone! If all goes well, there won’t be anything to update you on soon though, so I’ll persevere for now. See you soon!

 

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