Heritage Gateways

Official Sesquicentennial K-12 Education Project
sponsored by the Utah State Board of Education, the BYU-Public School Partnership and the Utah Education Network

Osamu Sekiguchi Journals

April 29, 1997

Location: Genoa, Nebraska - Location: 41:26:55N 97:43:49W Elevation: 1580 feet

Summary: Tuesday, April 29, 1997 (Cloudy then Rainy Day)

Journal entry:[Translated by Hajime Nakagawa]

When I woke up in this morning, I was so glad that our tent was not frozen. There is a big difference between daytime and nighttime temperatures here in Nebraska. Water froze last night. However, this morning, our tent was not frozen. Summer.....maybe Spring is coming step by step. After folding tents quickly in the morning, we had breakfast. We are blessed because we don't need to make breakfast by ourselves, staff or sometimes kind people along the way neighbors of our camp do it.

Though we are blessed to be here, getting up at 4:30 AM is very hard for children.

"I wan'na go back to Japan," Koji cried as soon as he woke up.

"Well........do you go back alone?" I asked then waited a minute.

"Yuji, how about you?"

"I'm not going home." Yuji answered strongly, feeling uneasy about Koji.

"Takako, how about you?"

"Well...I'm not going home either," she said worrying about Koji, too.

"Well Koji? Are you going home?" I asked looking for a decision.

"We are always together, aren't we?" Koji looked down.

"That's right" I couldn't find my voice. I thought of him as a child, but I realized that he is growing up step by step. My wife, Takako, and I exchanged glances.

"Well, shall we make up our minds after breakfast?" Takako prompted. What could we do? We had to make a decision after breakfast. If Koji really wanted to go back to Japan, I wouldn't know what to do, and I didn't know whether I could stay calm and deal kindly with him or not. Many thoughts rolled around in my mind. Takako's, too.

After breakfast, we looked for Koji, "Where is Koji?" He was playing with a dog in the distance.

"Jaeger, Jaeger," Koji called the dog's name. The big poodle-like dog was brought by Kimberly, who is from San Francisco. The dog has a German name because Kimberly lived in Germany 20 years ago.

"Jaeger! Jaeger!" Koji called.

"Koji, do you like Jaeger?"


"Why don't you be a playmate for him?"

"OK, I will."

"If so, you are not going home, are you?"

"No, I have changed my mind."

"Oh, you have?" sometimes problems are solved very easily.

Another problem happened that night. We camped in a pasture in Genoa, and were caught in a downpour like a typhoon. It sounded like a shower of bullets hitting on our tent in the dark. We noticed rain leaking into the tent from somewhere. We packed our all stuff into plastic bags, put a mat in the center of the tent and piled the mat high with the bags. It was thundering.

"Are you all right?" Bruce, the filming director who is traveling with us, called to my family in the tent.

"Yes. We are fine."

"OK," Bruce left us and ran to the other tents.

Later as the storm worsened, I said to my family, "Don't fall down and watch your step. Take the mat, Koji. Yuji and Takako take the sleeping bags. Go to the barn now and don't wait for me."

We ran to a neighborhood barn. When we reached the barn about 80 meters away, some familiar faces were already there.

"Are you all right?" they asked as they came toward us. We got here somehow, but we were dripping wet despite the ponchos we wore.

"Sleep there," Cathy pointed to a space about the size of two horses. We laid wooden boards on the ground. This night, we talked about Jesus Christ being born in a barn.

I was grateful shelter from the rain, everyone had the same feeling.