This is Aya
It has been 9 years since we started the store ( I think ...)
All these years, I was allowed to continue under my belief,
to be able to follow my spirit.
But sometimes, the direction has gradually swayed.
Yet,I was able to adjust it again, when things allow me to learn in different ways.
I am able to continue on such routine,
but there are times I can not manage my feelings.
Even from the same background, people would have many different values.
And many many different thoughts and feelings,
so when I cross the border, often times,
there are thoughts I can hardly understand.
I would believe in something or someone, but then I get hurt.
And I would wake up seven times but still be hurt again.
But there are always warm hearts that I am able to meet,
and from that encounter, I will be able to wake up much stronger.
And it never seems to end repeating...
Just recently, I had it again,
I had trusted so much!!!
But I was put down so hard.
Yet, in such timing,
I wan given sooooooo much warm and deep heart from my customers,
that I thought to myself!!
This is what I want to do with my life!!!
And I was able to wake up again!!!
Not just for LOLO, but more of the origin of my reason to work.
My heart and my beliefs
allow me to write them in this blog with pictures of Tuvalu.
Pictures I haven't seen in a while and many are unpublished in the report.
When my oldest child, Akane, was almost 2 years old,
I really wanted to visit Tuvalu together.
I became a mother, and because I wanted to be clear on how and what I am going ti do,
we've gone to Tuvalu.
Akane, was shocked to see kids in Tuvalu to be so different.
Drifting on a tube to enjoy the beautiful ocean of Tuvalu.
A first time to see a living thing being treated as food.
And first time to see how our used stuff ends up looking like.
( they're all garbage)
A child being demanded for labour as a family member.
Children playing in a kids's society
In order to start working with the mothers,
I first learned how to do it in a traditional way.
A girl who taught me instead of her mother who became exhausted to teach.
LOLO SITOA is in Tuvalu language.
Meaning, LOLO (coconut milk) SITOA (store)
In the tropical island,
Coconut is a prosperous plant that can be used for clothing, food and shelter.
LOLO SITOA have begun in a spirit of appreciating such prosperity of nature,
and to always remember what is happening in Tuvalu.
We carried back our trash to be aware of the waste we create.
Through this store, I want people to feel
having the awareness of reducing waste from our usage as much as possible.
The food we eat, and things we use,
if we could know where and how it's made, by whom with what kind of feelings,
then we carry more intimate feeling to material, and things become more affectionate.
That we can feel warmth,
that we become less human-centered and self-centered,
by feeling the others, close by and far away, we can live with more fulfilled feelings.
It was a voyage to reaffirm such feelings.
When Genki was 2 years old, I was a parent of two children.
And I care more and more about the next generation and the future of this planet Earth.
I wanted to value the nature more.
By bringing my children to my activity, I wished to learn from them.
Genki had atopic, asthma and severe food allergies.
He couldn't eat anything in Tuvalu.
So I had to carry rice to everywhere we go.
A mother we've met at the airport,
heard about Genki's allergy that she cooked rice for Genki every day.
A child in a house we've stayed.
A such a large family that I could only know she was a nephew to the mother I know,
but I couldn't figure out the other family member's structure.
Genki sits down everywhere we go.
They came with me to every place I visit and were treated by many different mothers.
We enjoyed the beach within a busy schedule.
But in a hot climate, being tired, Genki have cried many times.
when he was weeping, one of the mothers hugged and calmed him down.
Like a real son
And looking after her like a real sister.
They spent everyday being so exhausted
That they fall a sleep in the same clothes.
On following days, they would help each other to follow my job.
I sincerely wanted to bring back their messages and their feelings.
So we have talked to plenty of people and received many messages.
And again, reminded ourselves to remember being aware of our waste.
Through this trip, I have felt
The preciousness that children exist in this world,
The importance of mother's role,
People's warmth and kindness,
And no matter how much we are overwhelmed with inhuman materials,
If there is human heart,
Such heartless material world
will become colorful. In instance, they carry warmth.
And it would create truly a wealthy world.
I wish deeply, as LOLO would,
that in a world today, overwhelmed with materials,
I wish to be a place where I can convey the heart.
For LOLO, for me,
It wasn't the store I wanted to do
Nor was it a cafe I wanted to do
Through this place,
I wish people can feel their own heart.
To feel the bond between people,
the bond between hearts,
the bond between human and nature.
To create such place,
It was my initial wish and my belief.
" do not forget your initial heart"
A saying in Japanese that I value very much.
It is easy to forget the initial heart.
That is why it is so important for me to make an effort in remembering them.
Humans heart can easily change, and can easily be forgotten.
That is why,
I always and forever wish to remember the feeling that I dare not to forget.
Always recall my heart, and believe in my heart
In order to
Although I got hurt very much, such incident have strongly recall that feeling in me.
That it is also a gratiful thing to happen.
I can truly feel
But what allows me to feel this way,
is because of your warm feeling that you have given me.
How wonderful it is that a warm heart can heal people's heart and bring out a strength!!!
Truly and sincerely, from my heart,
Thank you very much!!!!!
A RI GA TO U !!!!!!!
( translated by Naoto)