Thinking of Japan

I shouldn’t be watching the news – but not watching seems like I’m sticking my head in the sand. What to do? Of course I’ll donate more money – but it feels so inadequate. I wish there were a solution…

I’m sure most of you have already been able to put a human face on the suffering that the Japanese people are experiencing. I’ve been lucky enough to visit Japan twice – and its people and its culture affected me in a way no other country has. It was, for me, the most amazing of all my travels thus far. I found an absolutely beautiful and fascinating country and a people who were kind and engaging.  Which has made watching this disaster all the more difficult for me…

One day in Osaka, I went to visit the castle, right in the center of the city. As I arrived, there were small groups of elementary school children roaming the park in front, all looking for Westerners with whom they could practice their English. I was lucky enough to be approached (OK, they actually chased me down – it made me feel like I was famous!) The kids were both shy and gregarious – and after quizzing me in English about various facets of Japanese culture, I was presented by each group with a handful of origami cranes and kites they’d made, along with a postcard thanking me for helping them with their studies. Needless to say, they remain my most cherished mementos of my visit.

Please give what you can to JSNC Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Relief Fund.

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