08/1996 Kagoshima, Japan

02 August – 20 August 1996


Kon ni chi wa, watashi no namae wa Leopold desu.

Yes, i picked up some words in japanese, which are still an earwig to me. Japan was great for me and i count it as one of my favorite countries. We did spend about 3 weeks in Kagoshima and almost 4 weeks in Nagoya.


Yes, it was in Kagoshima, when we experienced a Taifun. The storm started on August 13th and became stronger all night. Many of us were up, did watch and firerounds. Every hour the captain did a report. All the other ships left the port, but we had the engine open for repair. The cars on the parking spot moved like toy cars and crashed against each other. Water came in the ship from small slits in doors and windows. Doulos was shaken, ropes tore and Tarpaulins were shredded. We had to cut the fine wire of the horn. And some on you know what happend to Steve – a song was made of his embarrassing mishap.


Two times I was invited to see the Kagoshima Vulcano. With Lukose I was invited by Family Mugita, where we experienced Japanese life at home. For this event, there even came a reporter from a local newspaper to do an interview.

3 days we were on a Faith-Team together with 4 others. In this time we had enormous interaction with most friendly Japanese. Imagine drivers who take 6 hitchhikers at once. Many of them got out of the way in their helpfulnes. We came to Akune the first day (75km). Friendly strangers invited us to a restaurant in the forest (running noodles) and we could stay overnight in a meeting room. Another 20km to Izumi the next day, where we visited a museum for cranes and butterflies. Mr. Isamu went with us first to the island Nagashima wher we did an international programm for children in a school. On the evening we went over the new bridge to the small island Ikara. In one of the schools we visited we could sleep on the classroom floor. I have so many names written in my diary from this 3 days, so many helping hands and generous drivers. I wish I could come in contact with all of them again and ask if the remember this 6 Douloids travelling without food and money in the Kagoshima prefecture. Hideo, a young man brought us back to the ship.

Another helpful driver was Matt. He was a volunteer on the ship and went with us to downtown a few times. Only 10 weeks later I was able to spend a day with Matt in Portland, Oregon, but this shall be another story of the serie “20 years ago”.