Friday, March 11, 2011

Archive Photo of the Day: Japanese volunteer at Mount Rainier

In the wake of last night's massive earthquake in Japan, my thoughts (and prayers) keep turning to the many people I know who either live in Japan or have family and friends there. As the volunteer program manager at Mount Rainier National Park, I think particularly of the members of the Japan Volunteers-in-Parks Association (JVIPA).

Every year, anywhere from one to two dozen volunteers come to Mount Rainier National Park from Waseda University in Tokyo, Japan through JVIPA. They do work on trails, maintenance projects, restoration sites, wherever they're needed, and stay with host families in the community, most of the park employees. Over the years they've contributed thousands of hours of volunteer service, and enriched our lives with their friendship.

At the end of every term, the students host a farewell party for all involved, and cook traditional Japanese food to share. In 2007, the group also came prepared to dress in traditional Japanese garb. Here are two photos from that event. Click here for more photos of JVIPA students over the years.

As of this writing, I've heard from a few friends in Tokyo who are doing fine, but there are many others I have yet to hear from.

Japanese Volunteer, originally uploaded by The Bacher Family.

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