Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Three Years Later, Three Months Later

Three Years Later

Its hard to believe that the large earthquake/tsunami that devastated Japan is celebrating its 3 year anniversary.  I remember the details of 3/11/11 like it was yesterday.  The uncertainty, panic and most of all, the feeling of helplessness for my host country.  While I had a warm bed to sleep in, and my family around me, the victims up north had lost loved ones, their homes, their livelihoods.  In all the sadness, I was fortunate to have been a part of relief efforts on base.  This work provided purpose, bonding, and a door that opened to some wonderful friendships.  After the relief efforts on base were shut down, another loving and giving soul named Masako, created a group called Helping Hands for Tohoku.  This group is still active today and has hundreds of members in Japan, and around the world.  I'm grateful to Masako for starting the group, for being a part of something huge, and for all the people who have spent countless hours translating, shipping, shopping, donating, and visiting the people who were given assistance in some shape or form.  I know that Japan will take a long time to recover from the effects of Fukushima and the tsunami, but the one thing that I learned from the Japanese is that they are strong.  They will never forget, but they will persevere.  That's what they do.

A little piece of Japan in my front yard!

Three Months Later

We left Japan almost three months ago!!  Where has all the time gone?  We are still getting things organized. Now, if we could just get some sunshine to stay for awhile, we would be able to tackle our outdoor projects. The kids are in school, the younger two in scouts, Justin's getting settled into work, and I've been job hunting.  The pickings are pretty slim here on the peninsula, but I'm sure the right position will eventually turn up.  I've also joined the YMCA.  This is not CrossFit, but I had to make a decision on many levels, and its working for now. We are looking forward to spring and some outings that are already planned.  I love that I have a cherry tree (Sakura) blossoming right now in my front yard.  It reminds me of Japan and makes me smile.

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