"Let's Encourage Tohoku with Mile Donation Project" Travel Memories Backnumber

Warm smiles and a new appreciation for travel

Thank you very much for the valuable miles that were donated to us through this project. In February 2011, my father passed away. Soon after the funeral and three days after purchasing the butsudan (family Buddhist altar found in Japanese homes) to honor him, the March 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake devastated our region. Our home was hit by the tsunami and burned down by the fire; we lost everything. During that terrible time, a friend in Sydney helped us out by sending us much-needed supplies. With the gift miles given to us through this project, we were able to take a trip to thank our Sydney friend for her help and encouragement.
In taking our trip, we also enjoyed our flight. Through the warm words and friendly smiles of the flight attendants, we were able to experience JAL's spirit of hospitality.
Upon reaching Sydney, the hotel staff and the people we met there all expressed concern over the earthquake and tsunami. Their words of sympathy and warm smiles helped us develop a new appreciation for travel. Our friend and her husband had also made arrangements for an outing to the Blue Mountains, where the four of us took pictures with smiles on our faces and the determination in our spirits to live to the fullest.
Although I still feel pain and sadness when I think about everything that we experienced, I am comforted and renewed by the thought of everyone who worried about us and tried to help.
I will never forget the assistance and support that was extended to us after the earthquake and tsunami. It is my hope to return the favor someday by extending help whenever anyone else is in need.

From Mon-chan
(Miyagi Prefecture / Age:40s / Gender:Female)

Reunion with friends

Taking advantage of the summer holidays, my children spent three weeks at their grandmother's house in Ofunato City, Iwate Prefecture. We previously all lived together, but our part of the family subsequently moved to another prefecture after the earthquake-tsunami. For that reason, in addition to looking forward to seeing their grandmother, the children very much wanted to reunite and play with their friends. Due to the distance and difficulty involved, I had abandoned the idea of making such a trip. It is thanks to this JAL mileage project that I was able to fulfill my children's wishes.
Even before the start of summer vacation, my four children were excitedly in contact with their respective friends to make arrangements. Their plans included a variety of activities such as sleepovers, homework sessions at the library, a summer festival at the pool, and radio calisthenics. Normal, annual activities somehow seemed more special this year.
In addition to my children, four cousins also came to stay at grandmother's house. The large number of people there, including the adults, made it seem almost like a large lodging house! The children seemed to really enjoy the atmosphere that resulted from this situation.
Thank you very much for the memorable summer vacation for the children. We truly appreciate your kindness.

From Bunbun
(Osaka Prefecture / Age:40s / Gender:Female)

Trip to wonderful Okinawa

I would like to express my gratitude to everyone at JAL Mileage Bank and all the JMB members. Thanks to your kindness, we were able to take a trip to Okinawa.
My workplace is located only 2km from the coast and incurred damage from the tsunami. We were in the process of bringing our lives back to normal when we received this wonderful gift.
For our trip, my husband, my first-grade daughter, and I went to Okinawa. The three of us love Okinawa and often visited there before the earthquake-tsunami. This latest trip was made in the middle of summer, and so we were able to enjoy a variety of water-related activities including snorkeling and a visit to the pool.
This year, we are celebrating our daughter's Japanese rite of passage ceremony. In this connection, we also had her photo taken at a photo studio, wearing traditional Okinawan clothing. Our daughter was able to make many special memories on our trip and proudly talked about her experiences with her friends at school.
Thank you for this wonderful opportunity that was made possible through your project.

~A letter from her daughter~
To everyone at JAL,
Thank you for giving us the miles. Okinawa was so much fun.
I told my friends at school that we went to Okinawa. They asked me what we ate.
The ocean was pretty. We found a lot of sea shells there. There was even a sea shell shaped like a mango pudding and a sea shell shaped like a plate.
We went to the beach and rode a banana boat and went snorkeling. I played with the toys in the ocean. We had Okinawan fish and soft chewy tofu to eat. I ate until I was full. We stayed at 3 hotels. We also went to the pool. We had a great time. Mommy and daddy and I really like Okinawa.
At Churaumi Aquarium, we stamped my "stamp rally" sheet with a lot of stamps. It was really fun.
Thank you for giving us the miles. We really had a lot of fun.

From Once-in-a-lifetime chance
(Watari County, Miyagi Prefecture / Age:40s / Gender:Female)

Your encouragement is making a difference. Thank you.

It will soon be three years since the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake. I am sure that everyone went through a lot. At the time, we temporarily relocated to Chiba Prefecture and stayed there until the May holidays. Our home suffered partial damage and we were forced to temporarily relocate, but our family was safe and unharmed. Sadly, not all of our friends and relatives were as lucky, and many of our friends also lost their homes.
For some time after the disaster, I could find no enjoyment in life and merely faced each painful day one day at a time. My husband applied to JAL's Let's Encourage Tohoku with Mile Donation Project and we were lucky enough to receive a mileage gift. Upon learning about the gift, I remember thinking that life is not all bad. I felt happier in general and we would often excitedly talk about where we would go. Our first trip abroad together was a visit to Guam. For this reason, we decided to go back to the origins of how we first started.
At the JAL check-in counter on the day of our departure, I was overwhelmed with emotions and needed to hold back my tears when I expressed my gratitude for this project and for the opportunity to take this trip. Receiving miles from this program helped make me strongly aware that kindness and human bonds really do exist even if they are not always apparent. After reaching Guam, we went sight-seeing and enjoyed a dinner show and did not waste a single moment of our time there.
During our trip, we received many warm smiles from the wonderful people in Guam and from other Japanese travelers. Thank you very much to everyone who contributed miles to this project and to everyone at JAL.

From fuzz
(Kitakami City, Iwate Prefecture / Age:40s / Gender:Female)

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