Monday, March 14, 2011

Watching the disaster

When I travel I tend to spend more time watching the news than I might normally do when home. I generally turn on Fox News when I get up in the morning and it provides me the backgroud noise as I prepare for my day. Last Friday I woke and turned on the news to hear that a tsunami had hit northeast Japan and was expected to hit Hawaii shortly. I was stunned, much like the most of you were I am sure.

Thankfully, the impact on hawaii was minimal, unlike the destruction rained down upon Japan. A country I have always loved since I lived there so long ago. My first reaction after watching the videos was to find sources of information that were not from the US, as we tend to get filtered news from our providers. I can live with some of that, but they are providing filter versions of filtered news so it was really hard to get any details. However, the Japanese have a national news organization called NHK, that has an english site and a constant feed that I could tap for updates on the situation.

I only wish that I could provide some form of help to them, but I am not in a position to do more than pray for the Japanese people. Don't get me wrong, prayer is quite a powerful way to help, but sometimes you just want to do something physical.

When I lived there we were at Yokota Air Force Base, specifically living in Haijima. I loved the time there, and although I love my life here, I sometimes wish I could go back. I quickly checked the situation there and it seems that there really isn't all that much damage there, and they were quite distant from the epicenter since the base is west of Tokyo, and the epicenter is well north and east of Tokyo. The people there were always so friendly, and I have fond memories of a friend of my fathers, Jimmy Shimizu. He ran the book store just off base that we always went to for books for my father, and comic books for myself. Jimmy often invited us into their home for dinner, which I have since learned is a very big honor, and my father spent many hours talking with this man who taught me the wonders of the cuisine of his culture. Just the thought of the sukiyaki at his table makes me giddy. The tastes I experienced and the way it was all presented! Oh, that I could experience that again. but I digress.

The Japanese are a proud people and a strong people. I have no doubt that they will turn this into a victory and come out stronger for it. For now, I find myself watching the news on NHK, and praying for the victims. Please do what you can for them.

--TT

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