I’m taking a few minutes to post about Japan. I just can’t comprehend the level of destruction over there. I’ve watched the news, “talked” via Facebook to friends in Okinawa, and cried over the videos.
You see, I lived in Japan.
- I’ve walked on their sea walls.
- I’ve scuba dived in their oceans.
- I’ve flown in a Cessna over their islands.
- I’ve camped on their beaches.
- I’ve driven their little cars on the “wrong” side of the road.
- I ran my first marathon through their towns (And, I might add, I was passed by what appeared to be 70 and 80 year old Japanese men and women).
- I’ve taught in their schools.
- I learned to speak a little of their language and write a few characters.
- They are my friends.
My hubby and I moved to Okinawa when we were newly married in 1998. We lived “off base” when we first arrived. We had a beautiful, traditional Japanese home with tatami mat floors and rice paper walls. You could not imagine, from looking at the ugly outside of our home, how beautiful it was on the inside.
If you haven’t seen this video of a Japanese village literally being carried away by the water, you must. It was 6 minutes of hell for me to watch because I know that on the inside, the shack-like homes that are being tossed around like sacks of garbage are most likely as beautiful as our little house was. They are someone’s home. They represent a lifetime of memories, worries, and sacrifice. I cannot comprehend what these poor, poor people are going through. I doubt most of us can.
The Japanese people are some of the nicest, most polite, most humble and proud people I have ever met. I doubt they will ask for the help they so desperately need. I am so glad I had the opportunity to live and work among them for 2 1/2 years. It taught me so much about life, about new cultures, about myself.
Have you donated to the relief efforts yet? Here is a link to the Red Cross, if you are so inclined. Or, you can text the Red Cross at 90999 and a $10 donation will automatically be added to your cell phone bill.
You can also “like” Voskos Yogurt on Facebook. For each “like” they receive between now and March 22, they pledge to donate $1 to Japanese relief efforts.
I hope you can send something over there to help. I am asking you to help in any way you can.