Made my donation with the family earlier this week.
This disaster hit close to what I call my 2nd home. I was an ALT (Assistant Language Teacher) teaching English to students in a little countryside town for 2 years in Miyagi Prefecture and made many friends and “family” while I was there. I often visited the seaside town of Ishinomaki, about a 30 min drive, to hang out with fellow Japanese friends and other ALTs.
So when I heard that the same area was hit again with a large earthquake, I didn’t think much of it as the area was always volatile, but when I saw it was a 9.0 and images of the tsunami flooded the media, I was shocked, worried, and heartbroken. I immediately tried contacting all the people I knew and luckily the town I lived in was far enough inland that there was no worry of the tsunami, however, I knew of friends in Ishinomaki. I finally was able to contact all of them, but some of their homes were washed away.
Ishinomaki is one of the hardest hit towns and seeing images of rubble strewn streets and buildings completely gone, it feels like a part of my home is gone. The places where we used to hang out and eat, the pier where we caught crabs, and the river banks where we watched fireworks completely disappeared, leaving only the memories left in my mind.
I cannot imagine what it is like right now over there. The news I have from my host mom is that electricity was restored on Monday and after almost 2 weeks running water was finally working, but the weather has been cold and with a lack of fuel, it is difficult to get warm. I hope to return one day, and help rebuild what I can. During that time, I hope to take photos and show how your donations have helped.
If there is anything I learned while in Japan is that the people there are resilient. They are kind, caring and willing to help each other in times of need no questions asked. It may take years for them to rebuild and get back any kind of resemblance of their lives prior to the earthquake, but with your help and generosity I know they will. I’m definitely not a local person or one who can be a proper representative for them, but after experiencing their kindness to me during my short 2 year stay, I thank you all from the bottom of my heart for your generosity to all the people affected in Japan.
Pictures taken by another ALT who teaches in the same town I was in.
Wakuya - the town I was stationed in