A year ago, I was sitting at my computer like I am now. I remember thinking that I ought to go to bed but finding an excuse to stay on facebook a little longer. The status updates about an earthquake didn’t really phase me, as they were a norm in Miyagi. It didn’t occur to me that this had been the “big one” we were warned about until I hopped over to Yahoo! and saw the headlines. Thus began the most stressful week of my life, and I was safe and sound in America.
I still can’t imagine what my friends in Miyagi had to endure. If I was being haunted by nightmares and images from the news, how could they get any sleep with no power or running water and constant aftershocks? I truly admire their strength. My heart still aches for Taylor and her loved ones—Monty too, even though I didn’t know him. There’s a sense of camaraderie that comes with being a JET and a feeling that Japan is another home.
Japan remains in the back of my mind even when I am preoccupied with more urgent matters. Just when it seems as though I am about to forget, I get a nightmare or a nostalgic feeling that brings my thoughts back to Miyagi. I very much wish I can go over and see all the JETs who have remained there and all the Japanese friends I had made. Some day, in the near future hopefully, I will go back.
Even though I can’t return to my second home, I will be seeing some of my former students and old friends later this month and in August via two different exchange programs. Radiation concerns have put a damper on our end of the exchange program, but my hometown is still sending students. I think it’s important to continue sending people back and forth. It’s another way to show our support through both boosting the economy and their morale. We must not forget about Japan or think that they don’t need help anymore. がんばろう日本！
Listening to: “Eien ni Yume wo Kasanete” by Duel Jewel