Obviously, I have failed miserably at my attempt to increase blogging so far this year. But, I do feel it is important to say a word or two about what is going on in Japan. Maybe tomorrow, I'll return to my irregularly scheduled blog about me.
The day before we left CT last week, Friday, March 11th, we woke up to hear about a tsunami that hit Japan. I think we were both shocked and starting to wake up. Joern said, "huh, a tsunami?" And then, I said, "well, they had an earthquake a few weeks ago." Of course, turns out that March 11th, 2011 became a day that would change the world, and still continues to change it. Japan was rocked by one of the largest recorded earthquakes in history, which later was identified as a magnitude of 9.0. Although the epicenter was in the Pacific, the earthquake itself shook the country like a leaf, and unleashed a tsunami that has devistated the north east of the country. The earthquake and tsunami have now caused what is expected to be a nuclear meltdown in the Fukushima power plant.
Since this day, we have been glued to the television. Probably, the majority of the world is experiencing this. I do not remember being this starved for news since September 11. We're a week out now, and every day, I find my thoughts frequently in Japan, and the first thing I do when I get home from work is switch on CNN for an update. I remember my mom talking about how the entire Vietnam War was played out on television, and how it had such an impact on Americans. Well, here we are now, and every day, I watch the stories of the survivors, the pain, anguish, and fear at the loss of loved ones, homes, lives. And of course, the daily tragedy unfolding with the power plant. We watch endless reports of the valiant workers and military members who are risking their lives, exposing themselves to frighteningly high levels of radiation in oder to prevent catrostophe.
This has also hit very close to home as our school has an extremely large population of Japanese families. During the past few years at work, I have eagerly learned about the Japanese culture, tried desperately to learn Japanese words to help out our kids, and shared many smiles and laughs with the moms. I even assist once a week in the Japanese mother tongue class. When I heard of the earthquake, tsunami, and power plant tragedy, I worried first for all those families that I know, and then my heart bled for the nation as a whole.
Our school hosted their mulitcultural evening tonight. In a prelude to the event, we had an assembly this morning, with a parade of nations represented at our school, an Indian dance, and then a very cool, and very touching presentation by some Japanese children. Children in our school are trying hard to raise money to send to Japan. Everyone wants to help in a situation where you feel so entirely helpless, and all you can do is watch.
I am truly so very heartbroken by this tragedy. My thoughts are and continue to be with the people of Japan whose lives have been so devistated.