At 845 AM, we were already assembled at the Kurosaki Station. Elders from Gensuikyo were setting up the banners and doing some individual stretching. Can’t help but recall the climate walk morning stretching and other pre-walk rituals.
The interpreter told me that it’s going to be really hot in the morning then rainy in the afternoon as the forecasts projected. It was hot indeed. We needed to stop several times to take a breather, and hide from the sun. Most of the marchers are senior citizens so we had to manage the pace. We walked near, along, under and across railroads. The route was extra scenic as we crossed bridges, passed by wide canals and waterways. As we walked farther from the city, we walked closer to the mountains.
We arrived at the mid day stop venue: Mizumaki town hall where another set of marchers, from the Chikuho course arrived simultaneously. They were visibly tired and dehydrated like we were. After the short welcome program, we were treated to lunch. Again…divine!
We resume the walk with new marchers. Most of them had parents or grandparents who were victims of the bombing of Nagasaki and Hiroshima. I remember meeting a man (on day 1) from a political party whose predecessors actively opposed the emperor’s plan of engaging the world in war. But that is all history now, and what he wishes is that the prime minister will listen to the pleas of the people to choose peace…and to say no to weapons of mass destruction.
As if the weather forecast was cast in stone, the skies started to darken and as we crossed another bridge, the rain began to pour. We arrived at the Onga town hall where we were greeted by the staff to cold tea and ice packs. We held a short program where the 3 regular marchers (including myself) gave a message. 2 hours later, we finally made it to the Okagaki-tobu community center where watermelons, sweet as sugar, hydrated us. The translator, Ms. Mayumi read my speech in Japanese. After the closing program, we bid goodbye to Abe, the handicapped marcher from Osaka who joins the march every weekend. The week has started, and so does his work. The new director, a funny man named Mr. Mikuma brought me to their office nearby before heading to the hotel. Upon reaching my room, what got my attention was the majestic view outside the window where the mists embraced the mountains. I can just imagined how the sunrise would be like tomorrow.
The day ended with dinner that was hosted by an awesome couple whose son and daughter are teachers in an elementary school here. The family fetched me from my hotel and brought me to a nearby restaurant.
– AG Saño, 20 July 2015