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Japan, Project Tohoku, volunteering

Scraping By

Work continues at our soon-to-be base across the street with volunteers scraping off the old, mouldy lino and today I got to help them. I am now missing approximately one-third of the skin from my hands as they’ve gone soft since Haiti and blistered up the in first ten minutes. They also cramped quickly into claws, I couldn’t straighten my fingers or pinch them together with any strength. At the end of the day I couldn’t even pull the duct tape off that I’d stuck around my palms and thumbs to prevent further skin loss. Don’t think for a second that those are complaints, I’m more than happy to trade a bit of flesh for some good, hard field work. And boy did everybody work.

At first it was infuriating. We spent 20 minutes cleaning a few square inches each. Then we got some solvent, masked up and got down to it. Then we found out we could ditch the masks as water worked just as well so we started sloshing it around and carving up huge chunks. Much more satisfying. And, because the lovely Nick is helping me out with Base Managing I just have to get emails done before and after the work day and I can go out again tomorrow. I might have to sneak away in the afternoon but I promise you won’t mind when you see what I come back with!


About Jess UK

Fell in love with the crazy, inspiring, all-or-nothing world of disaster response and the wonderfully ridiculous, hard-working people who are drawn to it. Currently working in the Philippines as part of the recovery efforts after Typhoon Washi/Sendong! Want to know more? Check out disasterchasers.wordpress.com.


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