Sunday, March 20, 2011

Spring, a time for Beginnings.

The week since the great quake has certainly been one of the strangest of my life, filled with hopes, fears, friends, endings, beginnings and more. People around the globe have had an eye on the unfolding nuclear crisis in Fukushima. While the affected reactors are pretty far away, they are close enough that everybody in the Kanto region have been keeping at least one eye on the news.

There has been a bit of an exodus here of late, with a lot of ALTs taking a quick vacation home. Some aren't coming back either. I'm not sure how I feel about that to be honest. I understand the desire to ensure your own safety, and to seek comfort in family and friends. But I also feel that the crisis, while certainly very serious, has been blown out of proportion by the media. Though I also wonder if I should be less sanguine about it all. I'm watching the news, and prepared to leave if I have to, but I'm not losing any sleep about my possibly glowing in the dark someday. I suppose only time will tell if I am foolish or simply sensible.

The weather is turning warm as April approaches, which makes things seem even more surreal in some ways. The weather this weekend has been amazing. Warm, sunny, the sort of days that just make you want stroll aimlessly around enjoying the blue skies and budding flowers. There is a stark contrast between the feelings of rebirth and hope offered by the changing seasons, and the feelings of sadness and fear coming from the disaster area and the departure of close friends and confidants.

I had my own last days at my current schools this week. I was really sad to say goodbye, especially at the elementary schools. Even now the kids are so full of life and energy that you can't not smile when you see them. While I won't deny that my eyes filled with tears a few times, it was a good sadness, and a nice counterpart to everything else.

The aftershocks are slowing down, but are still coming. Last night another large one hit while I was driving, and I will admit to an awful sense of deja vu. Thankfully it was soon over and caused no damage. Counting the large foreshocks last Wednesday there have been 613 earthquakes in Japan in a week and a half. To see an amazing visual representation I highly recommend this website. It is hypnotic, and almost beautiful, like fireworks. Relatively few of these movements have made it to us here in Gunma, but enough have that I figure I am OK if I never feel the earth move again.


victoriasart said...

I can only imagine your ambivalence toward your compatriots as they opt to leave Japan, but I feel for the Japanese who watch all the gaijin flee their country when times get tough. Like rats jumping off a sinking ship. Since I hold that the American press are in to flouting disasters for their own benefit, I am of like mine as you are. Yet no-one can fault those who want to leave, either. I am proud of you. PS The map is amazing-I just posted it on my wall.

Mia said...

I'd stay, too. At keast until everything started glowing at night.

If nothing else, you can get large apartments for less now.