I know I haven’t posted in 2 weeks. Work projects always seem to be creeping up more than usual lately. Sigh.
I wanted to talk about something more serious than food, fashion, and sports (March Madness) this post. I wanted to talk about life and my second home Japan. Why is Japan your second home? Because I spent most of my adolescent years in Japan. I’ve mentioned that I’m a military brat. I lived there from the young age of 10 to the adolescent age of 17. 7 awesome years. There’s just something about living overseas. While the experiences I are pretty much the same as those that grew up state side, mine just seems a tad different. Those years were spent on a Naval Base that is along the coast in a Bay area about 300 miles south of the epicenter. I have a couple friends that still live there and some of friends’ parents are still working there (contracted via government services) so I was getting updates through them via Facebook as no one could get through when calling. The base had to evacuate and go to higher ground but eventually were all able to back home within a matter of hours. The ships had to leave the port immediately in case the tsunami came through and from what I understand went to Sendai to assist the victims thereafter. When you hear “7th Fleet” on the news, they’re talking about our base command along with others. It was comforting to know that the base was spared.
I used to take trips to various bases in Japan to play soccer and volleyball. Oneof the bases was an army base near Sendai (15 miles north). From what I’ve read, they had to evacuate the entire base during, oddly enough, a rescue exercise. The tsunami, thankfully, did not reach them; however, they’ve lost power and heat. Rescue workers are arriving at the base to assist those merely 30 minutes away.
I’ve heard reports from various friends of the power outages the have to go through in each section of the country. About 4-5 hours a day maybe even more depending where you are. Supermarkets are out of food. There is no gasoline.
And while everyone in Japan is suffering from the earthquakes effects, nothing compares to the disaster in Hachinohe. The tsunami swept so much away and my heart breaks every time I see the footage on TV. My co-worker’s father lives in Sendai with her stepmother and brother and she was unable to get through to him on Friday. Google finder sadly did not help and apparently were reporting some people dead when they weren’t. She has not been able to talk to her dad; however, he was able to send a text to her cousin in Tokyo to alert everyone that he and the family were safe. Unfortunately, their house was destroyed. She doesn’t know the exact details of where they are and how they’re doing, except that they’re OK. If you watch the news, some people have been allowed back to certain areas in attempts to salvage some of their belongings. Others have been advise to stay away due to potential bacteria and radiation.
I am currently in the UK and was watching Sky News this morning as I was getting ready and they were talking about ShelterBoxes. It was really interesting. It’s basically a kit for survivors that consists a tent, heater, food, blankets, etc. I wanted to help others but I didn’t want my money going to marketing (for example, while a good chunk goes to research of American Cancer Society, a good chunk also goes to marketing). I went to networkforgood.org and was able to get a list of the various organizations that are assisting with the Tsunami/Earthquake victims. I ended up donating to ShelterBox after I found out 91% of the donations go to disaster victims, which to sound so generous. I wish I could donate more. I even wish more that I could volunteer and help those in need especially in a country where I had some of my fondest memories.
Sadly, this is just the beginning for everyone. Nuclear plants are going off and people are exposed to radiation. Victims have lost their homes. The entire country is going through a schedule power outage. So please help. While the earthquake shut things down and most buildings were table as Japanese architecture is made for that design, no one was aware of the tsunami come. While all other countries including the west coast states in the US were warned of the tsunami, this one was not clear. Here’s a perspective for you, this earthquake is 100… maybe even a 1000 times worse than the Haiti earthquake (which was a magnitude of about 7.5) due to the magnitude of almost teetering a 9.0 and the tsunami. Do your part and help others. There should be more kindness in the world. May God be with us.