Tomorrow will be the 4th anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami. March 11, 2:46pm.
This tragedy is never far from my mind. I think about the people who lost family and friends. Everyday, but especially March 11th, must be so painful. I can’t even begin to imagine what they’re feeling. There are still thousands of people classified ‘missing’. I read an article about a man who lost his entire family. His wife’s body was found many weeks later, but to this day he still goes back to the area in hopes of finding his young child. His perseverance is both inspiring and saddening.
I also think about all those families who have spent the past four years in confined temporary housing not knowing when they will be able to move on. How desperate they must be to get out of there and have their own permanent home again. Imagine your home being taken away from you without any warning… your clothes, treasured possessions, even pets!
And we keep seeing images of tons and tons of radioactive soil sitting in bags, and hundreds of tanks of radioactive water that has leaked from the power plant. That coastline seems to be turning into a radioactive debris storage ground. I think the situation is far from under control and often wonder how much is the government not telling us.
I think for the Tohoku region to get back on its feet, we need to support the local people. Go visit a few sightseeing spots or a hot spring, check out a local festival, or stay in a family-run ryokan. Talk to the locals and support their businesses. We’re all in this life together!
March 11 was my one-month anniversary of moving to Japan! I was thrilled to be following my dream of living in Japan, and excited for the adventures to come! I had been in Nagoya for a few ‘orientation’ days with my new company, and then had spent two weeks in training in Gunma. The final step was moving to my placement city. I’d moved to Koriyama, in Fukushima Prefecture, on the previous Monday, 11 days prior.
That day, Friday, I was scheduled to teach late-afternoon classes, but since I was still new to the job, I wanted to get there a few hours early to prepare and chill before the students arrived. It was about a 20-minute walk from Sukagawa Station to the classroom. Around half way, there was a busy main road and the only way to cross it was via an underground pass. I had entered the underpass…
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