Maple Syrup Relief
Organized by: Jef Van de Graaf
1. Go to Kumamoto from May 4 to May 6
2. Make French Toast with Maple Syrup
3. Bring a little cheer to the people living in the shelters.
Raise $500 to cover costs of bread, maple syrup, butter, paper plates and chop sticks.
May 2, 2016
Over a year and a half ago, I left the comfort of my country to explore the world. I went to Tokyo with a friend and my bicycle to begin a cross continental adventure toward Europe. However, I did not get very far because hidden in the countryside of Japan was a wonderful opportunity which attracted me to stay.
I became semi-settled and began teaching English privately. Every week, I cycled to the homes of Japanese families to teach children alongside their parents. I have had a rare opportunity to develop deep and meaningful relationships with these people and they may never have had the opportunity to meet someone from abroad. Thanks to my students, their families and many friends I have been given this unique experience that I will never be able to forget.
THE REASON I NEED MONEY:
On Friday April 15th, 2016 at about 1 am in the morning a devastating earth quake struck the eastern part of Japan in Kyushu. Having never experienced an earth quake before, I woke up in a panic. I quickly packed a few belongings into a bag and stood beneath my front door, wavering back and forth. As a city siren blared in the distance, I kept wondering whether a tsunami would come afterwards.
As the week progressed, I continued with my day to day life: teaching classes, meeting new people, and making educational YouTube videos. Then a day came when my student told me that a video I recently made was inappropriate. She told me that the girls in the video, talking about world peace, were too fun and cute. Apparently, the timing of the video and the disaster that occured was poorly timed. I walked away from that lesson deep in thought. Usually I receive criticism well, but this bothered me. I dug into that internal discomfort and realized that I have a deeply rooted belief that all people deserve of happiness, and after a crisis, happiness is needed for the road of recovery.
When I discovered this, I made a quick decision to change the itinerary of my Golden Week Vacation from a 1000 km cycle tour into 3 days of interacting with the people of Kumamoto and putting a smile on their faces.