Tuesday, 22 October 2013

One big balloon and glowing smiles

I have to admit I volunteered eagerly to be able to photograph this year's festival at the Prefectural Children's Hospital. The red roof is a familiar landmark (which I am sure the helicopter ambulance pilots appreciate) out in the fields of Azumino. My school has deep ties with the hospital, going back over a generation and still going strong now. We really do know how much good is done there, and how much the staff care about the children in their care. We know that some of the patients are very poorly indeed, and others just need to be there for a long time. It is a beacon of hope, as well as excellence.

Once a year, they open their doors and put on an event for visitors and patients. It is remarkable how many people attended, but not that the place was buzzing with tenderness and love. From dawn, a hot air balloon all the way from Saku was anchored, then inflated, in the car park, offering rides above the hospital roof for a pristine view of the Alps on a beautiful clear morning. It was wonderfully heartwarming to see clearly unwell children be brave again, and enjoy the thrill of a very unusual ride. A very big 'wow' event.

Click on the slideshow below for all the smiles!


You can download the slideshow (free) at http://studio.stupeflix.com/v/9p4ld9OFML/