day 7, thursday march 17

the day was a blur. i had been scheduled to go to work, but instead getting up early, going to the travel agent, calling another travel agent, making ticket reservations, and then…packing, trying to make sure to call everyone i needed to tell i was going out of japan. for my part time job teaching english, 2 of my students that evening rescheduled their lesson, and another i did via skype.

with the exception of the night before, when i was treated to a home cooked meal by my student’s mother, i didn’t really have much of an appetite. and i hadn’t been sleeping well or enough all week. every night i would stay up too late, and every morning i would wake up and remember, this wasn’t a nightmare, this terrible thing had really happened.  of course i was worried about the seriousness of the nuclear reactor, but it was more than that. the international media didn’t really address it, but the horror of this huge disaster, the victims still stranded in the cold, they were the real tragedy.

i felt really grateful to have so many people who support me, both the people who continued to send messages from overseas, and also the people i know in japan who were wonderful and understanding in the midst of this crises.  everything seemed in sharp focus, especially kindness.

it was hard to know what to pack, hoping to be back very very soon…but just in case bringing more files and papers than i would usually bring for a 2 week vacation. technically, the university had spring break, although i hadn’t had any plans to go anywhere.

other programs of students coming from UW seattle had been cancelled, and i got a few emails from the faculty advisor, as the university had issued a travel warning.

i tried to sleep a little more that night.


About liz

from the u.s., recently moved from kobe to sendai, japan, researching community-based housing recovery after disaster.


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