Posted by Mark J. Balaz
(New Jersey, USA)


August 19-21, 2011


So I am a junior high teacher and love Japan and my Japanese wife.
I taught my students about the quake and tsunami back in March.
This summer we took our year old son to Japan to see his grandparents and cousins.
My wife found out that I could go and help clean up after this great disaster.

I took a few days out of our trip to coach up past Sendai with some other gaijin to do what we could.
I did not know what to expect really. So I merely jumped in a did what I could.

Motorcycle engines, iceboxes, wood beams…I moved it all.

We packed our gear in an abandoned house and was haunted by a school class picture we found, as most of the kids in the picture are not with us anymore.

I felt a bit guilty going to ryokan at the end of each volunteering day, but I did push myself pretty hard knowing my time there was limited.
I took a bunch of pictures which I will use to teach my students about empathy, a world view, science, and being thankful.
I am thankful to have helped in my own small way.

◆◇◆ Profoile : Mark J. Balaz ◆◇◆

Teacher, married to Japanese, needed to help tsunami area.
“A sense of humor is part of the art of leadership, of getting along with people, of getting things done.”
Dwight D. Eisenhower
34th president

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