Thank you so much for all your emails, Facebook messages, Skype chats, prayers, and overall concern for my safety and well being as this natural disaster continues to unfold in Japan. I feel more blessed than you know and thank the Lord for each and everyone of you and for all your safety and love.
Rest assured, where I live and teach is quite a distance from the epicenter of the earthquake. Consequently, we did not feel a thing when the quake struck last Friday afternoon; it was business as usual: classes continued, grocery stores clerks rang the daily bread through, kids played in the parks. It almost felt like we were as far away from the disaster as we would have been back home. It was almost as if it did not even happen.
In reality, though, it did happen, right in our own backyard.There is a heaviness in the air here; one of uncertainty, bewilderment, and downright shock, but amidst all the irresolution there is a sense of hope and trust. Japan will get through this catastrophe, together.
Everyone is working as hard as they can to restore the ravaged areas of Japan – many countries and agencies have stepped up in this dire time of need, as you have likely seen throughout various media avenues.
Since the quake/tsunami, life has pretty much continued on as normal here in Kudamatsu. My daily routine has been about as much the same, minus all the talk about the earthquake. Thankfully no one I have spoken with (teachers, members of the community, etc.) have lost anyone or are unsure of anyone’s whereabouts.
It is hard to not feel helpless in this situation, which begs the question:
How can I help?
3. Stay informed, but try not to get too obsessed with sensationalistic news coverage.
Here is an example from JetWit.com:
Sendai: “Want to make a point here for everyone: western media are greatly sensationalizing this story. Yes, entire areas are devastated but I saw a newspaper story this morning that claimed the city of Sendai had been “annihilated”, this is not the case as damage in the city center and other residential areas is mostly minor (broken windows, cracked sidewalks, collapsed tiles, etc.). The threat at the nuclear plants in Fukushima also appears exaggerated as Japanese TV is reporting the situation much less dramatically than western outlets. Please don’t panic or let others panic unreasonably.”
Since you may not know exactly where the earthquake happened in relation to where I live and work, here is a map detailing exactly where the earthquake and tsunami took place (thanks to my friend Brandon!).
Also, I am relieved to report all my friends in Japan are safe and sound, even those closer to the epicenter. Tokyo was affected by the earthquake and the friends and their families that I know that live and work there are doing okay.
Please keep the people of the Tohoku region in your thoughts and prayers.
And thanks again for all the communications over the past few days. I really appreciate it. Stay in touch.
Love and Peace from Japan,
Other blogs posts regarding the earthquake: