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Wednesday, March 16, 2011


Those of you who have known me the longest... know that I lived in Japan for almost six years. And left it very begrudgingly last April, only because the contract for my job was lost to a lower bidding company.

This disaster has had a profound effect on me. I have found myself on the verge of tears - or even crying - dozens of times over the past five days. It's hard for me to tear myself away from CNN in order to come to work.

All of my friends seem to be ok, so far, though the nuclear threat looms ever larger. My best friend in the country is in an area that was affected by the quake, but not the tsunami, and she tells me that supplies are running out. They've been told that regular supply could be delayed for up to a month, as they are going to be re-directing everything to the hardest hit areas first (of course). She is looking to get out of her area as soon as she can, either to visit friends in other parts of Japan or to spend a few weeks at home (New Zealand) until things calm down.

What most people don't know is that if I had taken the job I was offered when my contract was gobbled up (I had about 2-hours to decide... move within Japan or move back to the US), I would have been in Miyagi Prefecture, one of the most devastated areas.

I have been coping the best I can with what's going on, but it's been extremely difficult. I have fleeting feelings of guilt (I should have been there, and I wasn't... I could be helping because I am young and strong and Japanese-capable, but I can't, because I'm not there...), more guilt because I am relieved that I wasn't there, worry for friends, friends of friends, and friends' families who may yet be in the path of nuclear fallout if it comes to that, and the constant onslaught of information in this oh-so-connected age... new videos cropping up on youtube every hour, streaming Japanese news, email updates and pleas for charity relief...

At this point, I wish I could just curl up in my bed and hide under the covers for a while with my teddy bear. Teddy bears can't heal the world, but they do their best.


Jayden said...

Oh hon, you shouldn't feel guilty. Maybe this is God/Fate/Whatever saving you for some other further use down the road. *HUGS*