311fromjapan / A Mountain to Climb

2012

03

29

◆(The Original Article)A mountain to climb- Volunteer Report – Jeff Jensen

*There is a word list below the script.  The list includes blue colored words which are in the script.

※この記事はラングリッチのオンラインレッスン向けのテキストですが、会員でない人に向けても公開しています。未だ復興されない東北を忘れないために、3.11復興支援情報サイト、助けあいジャパン英語版サイトから記事を選んで教材化しました。この教材で英語を学びつつ、時には311の事を思い出してください。

※Script(本文)の下にWORDS(単語帳)があります。本文で青文字となっている単語をまとめました。

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Script

(1) Despite his years of wilderness training and being a veteran of numerous mountain rescues, the scenes of destruction that greeted Jeff Jensen in Ishinomaki took his breath away. “It was just so big, the vastness of it. So many people were affected. You can read about it or see it on TV, but you really don’t get an idea of how bad it is till you actually see what’s happening and talk to the people. It’s pretty crazy up there.” Having never volunteered before, it was the scale and immediacy of the disaster that moved Jeff to act. “I realised they need every person they can get. Everything’s gone; it’s going to take minimum two or three years to get close to where it was before.”

(2) As part of the first volunteer team on the ground, Jeff describes how the city had an almost surreal quality to it. “During your lunch break all around you there is debris five, ten feet deep. We were sitting next to a circular debris pool ten feet deep facing the ocean. It had homes and cars in it, and you knew it had people in it too. But we were sitting next to it eating lunch and goofing around. It’s such a weird vibe; it’s hard to wrap your brain around.” During the back-breaking labour of clearing mud from the civic buildings, Jeff began to realise the extent of the disaster. “We were clearing mud out of schools so the kids could get back to school, but there were no desks, no books, no printers. There was nothing.”

(3) Despite the bleak picture Jeff initially paints, he was astounded by the reactions of the local people. “The local people are amazing, they are living through some harsh times but they are real about it.     Spirits are high.” He saw a stark contrast to the media fuelled panic in Tokyo. “Here, people are hoarding groceries and panicking over gas shortages, but up there people can appreciate that they walked away with their lives.” Jeff also saw how even the smallest donation can make a difference to people, “At the bazaars (supply distribution centres), one day we had six small jars of instant coffee and people were just ecstatic: ‘Oh my god I haven’t had coffee in two and half weeks!’” It’s these small things, coupled with the sharing of stories, that Jeff believes can really help people overcome the tragedy and move on. “Up there I talked to one lady who was joyously showing me the destruction of her home on her cell-phone. She was laughing and smiling the whole time she told me.”

(4) The volunteer effort is essential to the physical rebuilding of the city, but Jeff believes that as people the volunteers can also play another crucial role. “I was clearing mud with one of the administrators from an old folks’ home and the whole time we were laughing and joking. You could see her becoming more relaxed and in a better place herself. That’s something we have an opportunity to do as volunteers, to bring back some brightness into their lives.” He believes that the volunteers have a responsibility not just to rebuild the city but also to the local people themselves. “I know the volunteers are doing as much as they can, but we have to remember that we get to go home but they live there.”

(5) During his time in Ishinomaki, Jeff realised that in order for the volunteer effort to continue to improve he could put his wilderness experience to good use. On their return to Tokyo he and his business partner David Paddock set to work with Peace Boat developing the training system for volunteers on the health and safety aspects of working in the disaster torn city. “We are coming up with manuals to help everyone in the volunteer chain, to make sure no-one gets hurt or sick.” The pair have committed one day a week for six months to the training, but know they will need to spend some more of their time on the ground too. “We will need to go up a couple more times before the summer as advisors, things are ever changing so we’ll need to tweak and change manuals.”

(6) Jeff knows that rebuilding the crippled city will be a long term effort and that more and more volunteers will be needed over the coming weeks and months. “Don’t forget that even though it’s not front page news any more they still need as much help as they can get. There is plenty of time and many ways to volunteer.  This will be a long haul but one person makes a difference, they really do.”

 

WORDS

(1) wilderness /ˈwɪldənɪs/ noun, an uncultivated, uninhabited, and inhospitable region

veteran /ˈvɛt(ə)r(ə)n/ noun, a person who has had long experience in a particular field

numerous /ˈnjuːm(ə)rəs/ adjective, great in number, many

vastness /vɑːst/ noun, an immense space

get idea of verb, understand how to do something or understand what another person is telling

immediacy  /ɪˈmiːdɪəsi/ noun, the quality of bringing one into direct and instant, involvement with something, giving rise to a sense of urgency or excitement

(2) surreal /səˈrɪəl/ adjective, having the qualities of surrealism, bizarre

debris /ˈdɛbriː, ˈdeɪbriː/ noun, scattered pieces of rubbish or remains

circular /ˈsɜː.kjʊ.lər / adjective, shaped like a circle

goofing around, idiom, to act silly

vibe /vaɪb/ noun, the mood or character of a place, situation, or a piece of music

wrap /ræp/ verb, to cover something or someone with paper, cloth or other material

back-breaking hard labor that causes one’s back to ache

civic /ˈsɪv·ɪk/ adjective, of a town or city or the people who live in it

(3) bleak /bliːk/ adjective, not hopeful or encouraging; unlikely to have a favorable outcome

astounded /əˈstaʊnd/ verb, shocked or greatly suprised

harsh /hɑːʃ/ adjective, unpleasantly rough or jarring to the senses

spirit /ˈspɪr·ɪt/ noun, a state of mind or attitude

stark /stɑːk/ adjective, severe or bare in appearance or outline

contrast /ˈkɑn·træst/ noun, an easily noticed or understood difference between two or more things

hoarding /ˈhɔːdɪŋ/ verb, accumulate (money or valued objects) and hide or store away

bazaar /bəˈzɑr/ noun, an open market where people sell things, or any group of small shops or people selling goods

ecstatic /ɪkˈstatɪk, ɛk-/ adjective, feeling or expressing overwhelming happiness or joyful excitement

coupled /ˈkʌp·əld/ noun, two or a few things that are similar or the same, or two or a few people who are in some way connected

overcome /əʊvəˈkʌm/ verb, succeed in dealing with something

tragedy /ˈtradʒɪdi/ noun, an event causing great suffering, destruction, and distress, such as a serious accident, crime or natural catastrophe

move on, to start to continue with your life after you have dealt successfully with a bad experience

joyously /ˈdʒɔɪ.əs.li/ adjective, full of joy, very happy

(4) essential /ɪˈsɛnʃ(ə)l/ adjective, absolutely necessary; extremely important

crucial /ˈkruːʃ(ə)l/ adjective, decisive or critical, especially in the success or failure of something

opportunity /ɒpəˈtjuːnɪti/ noun, a time or set of circumstances that makes it possible to do something

(5) tweak /twiːk/ verb, twist or pull something sharply; improve by making adjustments

(6) cripple /ˈkrɪp·əl/ verb, to make something much less effective; to damage

long term adjective, lasting for a long time

front page noun, something that is or is worthy of being printed on the cover page of a newspaper or magazine

haul /hɔːl/ verb, pull or drag with effort or force

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