Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Staying cool

The Japanese people are tough! I am impressed by their stoic reserve to get through this. Yes, maybe there is some denial, but any psychiatrist will tell you that is a basic coping mechanism and not necessarily a bad thing. You do what you can do, and then you get busy living. On my quick tour this morning in Kamakura, I found plenty of vegetables at the farmer's market and saw the gas line was a bit shorter but still there. People are out & talking so stress levels seem manageable and there is way more hustle going on today as we creep away from the weekend. I loved seeing the KorroNekko delivery guy on his bike vs. the truck! I had to snap a photo of that!

Today is the moose's last day of yochien. Tomorrow is his graduation; he has attended the school these past three years learning Japanese, making friends, and being a part of a unique culture. I hope wearing a mask and instructing him to wash his hands doesn't over shadow the last days.

Meanwhile we are keeping an eye on radiation levels, washing hands, keeping the windows shut, and washing a lot of laundry that is not drying very fast in the living room. I can't wait to look back on this experience instead of living it. The aftershocks are nerve wracking. It would be nice if they would stop- last night we had a 3.0 aftershock that had Ben and I scrambling. Geologically Japan has moved four feet from where it used to be. I didn't ascertain if that was to the north, south, east, or west, but at some point I plan to figure that one out. I keep feeling dizzy like we are shaking, but I think it is my weak nerves!

I don't have a survival story for you, but just enduring this experience even from the safety of 200 miles from the disaster area feels challenging. I can't fathom the grace people have demonstrated in surviving on buildings for days awaiting water and rescue, evacuating their homes, and generally not panicking while everything seems to come at you. Living with my fears while watching a nuclear power plant fall apart in the news is tough mostly because it is so vague and unknown- a most difficult fear to manage. It helped that a friend called yesterday just as I was gearing into hyper flip out mode, followed immediately by another friend stopping over, and then later a neighbor over for tea- contact with friends and family helps manage the unease. This was all followed by my husband peeling the rest of me off the ceiling and giving me the radiation exposure lecture I needed to hear. The US Navy is monitoring the situation. There are lots of Navy personnel experienced with radiation and nuclear subs and ships including more than a few Navy doctors here to give us perspective.

News from a Bahraini friend reminded me too that while we are hyper focused on the battle to cool nuclear reactors in northern Japan, life is going on elsewhere in the world. I pray for my Bahraini friends. So much change and happenings are going on and with the internet we can keep so much more abreast of it. Rumors and bad information can easily spread; it is a new age that requires your analytical skills to be very sharp indeed.

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