Wednesday, March 16, 2011

"Everyone in the whole big city is our neighbor"

At some point my brain made the shift from "we can handle this" to "maybe we had better sit this one out." I think my friends and family from home and their worry was the last nudge I needed. We were very lucky to get tickets to fly out tomorrow, friday the 18th. Our tickets are for 3 weeks. We'll be visiting my mom in Palo Alto. My husband decided to stay.

I cried for the first time today, not about anything in particular, I guess I had just used up my bravado reserves and the bad news has worn me down, and I am worried about all our friends and my husband who we will leave behind.

Still, despite the shortages, everyone around us is doing their best to get on with daily life. The kids even had dentist appointments yesterday. I went out to lunch with a friend and enjoyed the fabulous tea bar it offered. I've just skimmed the surface of a life in Japan as an expat. Everyday we acquire my language and more understanding and that enrichens our experience. I want to come back.

Now for the soapbox. Earthquake (any disaster) preparedness is not only an individual's responsibility but rather a community's. It is not just having a kit, but that is a good start. It is about building resilient communities in the first place and that includes plans. You need to be involved in your community and where ever you are involved (church, school, office) start there. This is a team sport, folks. And think comprehensive. Think about things like not being dependent on transported food or water piped in from mountains hundreds of miles away. It might mean ripping up your front yard and putting in veggies and herbs or adding rain barrels to your church. It means knowing your neighbors and talking about this ahead of time.

My 3 year old daughter yesterday said "everyone in the whole big city is our neighbor."

So figure out what circle of influence you are comfortable working with. Start somewhere. Think out of the box. I'm on my way back tomorrow, if I see you, expect to be nagged.

1 comment:

  1. Hi, I just found your blog today and love it! I'm glad that your family is safe after the earthquake and pray that you won't run into hard times. My husband and I are moving to Japan next year to teach English so I'm looking forward to reading your posts for information about life in Japan. Good luck!!