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Hello everyone. It’s Teacher Asuka.
Today‘s topic is ‘What’s your favorite sweet in your childhood?’
My favorite one is a fancy cake which has a strawberry on top of it. I used to buy such cakes on special occasions like Birthday or Christmas, just like most of you!
The cake shop, which is selling the cakes above is one of the famous shops in Kobe.
Kobe is my hometown, and one of the beautiful port cities in West Japan, which is known as, not only sweets but also Kobe beef, breads, Japanese sake and so on.
As you know, the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake attacked in and around Kobe area on January 17, 1995. My favorite cake shop’s factories were destroyed heavily so that the owner decided to close for a while. All the pâtissiers of the shop were laid off and went back to their hometown due to the severe damages of their factories. They couldn’t work there. However, just after the earthquake, the owner gave a lot of letters from his customers all over Japan. Every letter says, ‘Are you and your pâtissiers all right?’’ Is your shop still open?’’ If possible, I’d like to buy your cakes again!’ These letters encouraged and inspired the owner to reopen his business as soon as possible. He decided to buy some new machines for the factories instead of repaired ones and all the pâtissiers went back to his factories at once to make cakes to sell and deliver them to their customers. The shop reopening was just 15 days after being destroyed. What a heart-warming and amazing story it is!
The story I told you is one of my reports. I mean, I did volunteer work as a reporter on ‘Phoenix’, a nickname for Hyogo prefectural FM radio broadcast for emergency disaster information in spite that I was the one of those affected. I had an experience to evacuate to the nearest evacuation spot at night for a while because my house was terrible damaged and couldn’t use electricity and water for a week, gas for 3 months. I had found the importance of the good information instead of faked or disinformation there.
At first, ‘Phoenix’ was broadcasted living information only such as the place where people could get some food, water, taking a bath and so forth. But the audience wanted to hear something more useful and cheerful to make them more encouraged. Therefore, some new programs came to appear gradually.
One of them was ‘Volunteer Report’ which I joined and reported some articles several times in the evening after I had collected some news to brighten up the mood of the audience in the morning. ’Phoenix' was organized by all volunteer staffs who were some sort of damaged by the disaster.
A fancy cake with a strawberry always reminds me of my hardships as well as such sweet and bitter memories amid the earthquake.
Thank you for joining this time as well.
See you next time. Bye for now.