Posted by: wesleysensei | June 9, 2011

Volunteer Surprise: The Fastest Application Process Ever

What a first day! It began by waking up at 5:27….and at the time I couldn’t tell if it was AM or PM. I was worried Will and I had somehow slept all day because of jetlag. Fortunately it was 5:27am so I went back to bed for a few more hours. Eventually, we both got up around 7:30 am and headed downstairs to get breakfast. We are trying to keep this trip as cheap as possible, and we planned to eat breakfast at the hostel. Turns out though the hostel doesn’t provide breakfast just coffee and tea; we had coffee. While sitting in the lounge sipping our instant coffee, Will and I filled out our applications for 2nd Harvest, the volunteer organization we’ll be working with in Tokyo.

The plan was to walk to 2nd Harvest, turn in our application, and then adjust to Japan and shop for supplies we’ll need up north. The lady I had been in contact with told us our work schedule already and today they wouldn’t need us. So, we walked to 2nd Harvest–about a 20 minute walk from our hostel–and met Megumi to turn in our paperwork. After a casual introduction, we handed her our applications, she barely glimpsed at them, and then she looked up and started assigning us work. Fastest. Application Process. Ever. Fine by me though! I was pumped to get started right away and not have to waste a day.

We were taken immediately to a small warehouse where one man was already sorting boxes. The work day began with just the three of us arranging boxes into categories (e.g. Rice, milk, sweets, etc.). The goal was to make 270 boxes, package them, and load them in a truck that would deliver them to Tohoku (northern Japan). The three of us started to work out a system and became more effecient. Thirty minutes had passed when a volunteer group from the Bloomberg company arrived and added ten more workers. We integrated them into the system and made some slight adjustments and before too long we had prepared almost 100 boxes.

Below are a few pictures from the day included one of my breakfast since none was provided at the hostel. Green tea and an onigiri: cheap, delicious, and just enough.





Written about June 8, 2011






  1. Great to have this connection to you both. Looks like they will keep you busy while you are there….good! Keep up the excellent work. db

  2. Yay for blogs! Keep us updated! Sounds like a fun trip already… an onigiri for me!

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