Kyoto, our neighbourhood of Mukajima

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Our neighborhood of Mukajima is situated on the outskirts of Kyoto. It is like a shadow of the ancient and cultural city. Until the war, it was a stretch of swamps. Little by little, new arrivals constructed little houses there. Many were handicapped or those excluded from society, or elderly. Some live alone, while others do not receive any social aid. At the moment immigrants from China are increasing. The police have told us that our neighborhood has a very high crime rate.

The relationships with our neighbors are simple and friendly. Just beside our house lives a family with four children, the oldest is five years old. In the mornings, while waiting for their mother to take them to child care, they play in front of our house and we play with them. When the mother is a little angry, they gather flowers from our yard and give them to her, all ends with a smile. For us it a ray of sunshine given to us at the beginning of each day!

This year, thanks to Maria Kazuko's job in a home caring for elderly people, we could enter more deeply into the life of the neighbourhood. Maria Kazuko discovered the solitude and confusion of the elderly who are often abandoned with all their health limitations. They await the 'rose lady', helpers who wear a rose uniform, who go shopping for them, do a little cooking, cleaning, help them get a bath or push them in their wheelchairs to the hospital.

A few years ago, there was an international congress about climate change, in Kyoto. The participants of the congress decided to put limits on the emission of carbon gas. As inhabitants of Kyoto, we would like to be very conscious of the problems which are posed to preserve the beauty of our earth.