We’ve just arrived in Ise Bay and are driving around the port trying to find a boat. It’s a harder task than I thought it would be. It needs to be big enough to carry everyone in the group, not damaged by the tsunami that came through and also easy enough to start the engine. The SDF are out checking a bunch of different boats, by nothing has come up yet.

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Any idea what’s on the back of these boats?

I finally got a reply from Karaoke Kei. From looking at his Facebook posts, things seemed to be going alright for him. However, although Osaka seems to be getting safer and safer, he bumped into someone else from the karaoke building who had some bad news.

Apparently, after he left, two or three of the infected climbed up the rope that he’d left hanging from the window at night. Only a couple of the residents were able to get out of the building alive, leaving at least ten people alone in there. The guy Kei had been talking to got out before it finished, and wasn’t sure if the people who remained were able to get rid of the infected or if they all fell victim to the attack. Naturally, Kei seems pretty distraught by the news. I definitely understand why he wanted to get out of there, but being so careless about leaving the rope hanging down like that… It’s pretty unforgivable.

It’s really rough. For all the talk of things clearing up, there definitely still seems to be pockets of the infection around. I’m really glad we can get away for a little while until we’re sure things are actually alright. Risa and Ayako are visibly relieved to be at the port, and getting ready to leave for the island. The three of us having been walking around swinging our arm, and even laughing. I’m so glad I met them and have been able to go through everything with them by my side. I know that when I get back to New Zealand, this kind of experience is not something that anyone will be able to relate to, so I really hope they’re able to come with me.

I still find myself thinking about Toru and Alex. Toru, Ayako’s husband who had  happily embraced his brother without realising he was infected. Alex, my friend from up in Osaka who went out in a blaze of glory helping the SDF escape. If I have one goal in my life, it’s to make sure that I do everything I can to preserve the memory of those two men by doing everything I can to look after Ayako and her daughter. Everything seems to have so much perspective now. Before this happen I just wanted to meander through life traveling and hopefully getting some interest in my art. Everything I wanted to do was for my own experience or for me to look impressive to other people. Now, all I can think about is what I can do for other people. Now, my dream of having my own exhibitions and selling my art all over the world seems shallow and boring compared to forming real bonds with real people.

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