Tea Love: Instilling a Love of Tea, One Sip At A Time

Posts tagged ‘Narita’

Special Post – Fukushima Earthquake Rememberance

This post is something special to me.

Back in 2011, I went overseas, from New Jersey to Japan in order to visit my friend Sara, who happened to be studying Japanese as an exchange student at the time.   Sara’s mother, Sherri, and i boarded our flight in Newark, New Jersey, and landed in Narita Airport March 11, 2011.   We disembarked the plane and were walking through customs when the first wave hit – a 4.0 earthquake.   Sure, it was scary.   I remember not knowing what was going on at first and even thinking that it was turbulence from a plane taking off.   But once I saw people starting to duck and cover their heads, it hit me – this is an earthquake.

Sherri and I joined a group that was huddled in the middle of the room, drawing other frightened tourists towards us and covering our heads to protect ourselves.   Fortunately, that wave passed and we laughed it off.   Nothing big at all.   We must have looked pretty silly to those who go through earthquakes on a regular basis.

When the second one hit though, that was about a 7.2 magnitude.   Though Sherri and I did not speak any Japanese, we understood that we had to exit the building.   Watching the windows ebb and flow like ocean waves was a bit terrifying.

Sherri and I managed to leave the airport and stood outside with the others who were stranded.   Sherri, understandably, was worried about Sara, who is legally blind and was taking mass transit to meet us at Narita Airport.   We met a woman who became our angel for the trip, Masana, who stayed with us the entire time, making sure we were safe, cared for, and that we would be able to find my friend.

Finally, Sara, through walking and hitch-hiking, managed to meet us at the airport and found our rag-tag group of friends that we had made – an exchange student named Peter, Masana, mother Maureen who was meeting her daughter Meghan, and Mithras.

Through a series of events involving rolling brown-outs, frightened nights reading about nuclear reactors melting, and even a volcanic eruption, our ten-day trip all around Japan turned into a five-day race, staying with people who were nothing short of angels throughout our trip (I will never be able to give Masana, Peter, Maureen, Mithras, Hiroko, the girls dormitory of Soka University, and Momo the fully proper thank you that they deserve).

And now, I ask for your help.   Though it has been years since the earthquake occurred, the repairs will take nothing short of decades.   Please, consider donating some funds to the various relief efforts to try and rebuild after this devastating disaster.   This nation has been through so much, and any assistance that you can give to help these brave people are most appreciated.

Thank you.

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Japan Earthquake – Three Years Later

As some of you are aware, March 11, 2014 marks the third-year anniversary of the now infamous Japanese earthquake, an 8.9 magnitude quake that triggered a tsunami, a volcanic eruption, and a nuclear meltdown.   According to Global Research, Centre for Research on Globalization, “On April 12, 2011 the Japanese government officially announced that the severity of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster had reached level 7, the highest on the International Nuclear Event Scale. Before Fukushima, the only level 7 case was the 1986 Chernobyl disaster…”

People know Japan for their famed tea ceremonies, matcha tea, and amazing atmosphere.   During the 2010-2011 school year, my good friend since fifth grade, Sara, decided to go study at Soka University, immersing herself fully into the Japanese culture and gaining some amazing friends in the process.   Sara’s mother and I decided to go on a visit to see Sara in March.   About ten minutes after Sara’s mother and my plane landed in Narita Airport, the earthquake hit and we went on a wild ride consisting of sleeping in airports, feeling tremors throughout the night, meeting amazing angels who took us in at a moment’s notice, and thanking God the moment we touched down on American soil five days later.

I could go into more detail regarding our experiences, but that might be a post for another day.

I will, however, say that the people we met there were so magnanimous, beyond compare to anyone I have ever met before.   Masana, who stayed with Sara’s mother and me while we struggled to get a hold of Sara via cell phone during the midst of the earthquake.   Not only that, she, along with foreign exchange student Peter, bought us food, drink, and kept us safe and calm during all the events while we were at the airport without any funds to support ourselves.   Hairoko, who housed us during the rolling black-outs that plagued the towns we were visiting.   Momoko, who welcomed us into the Soka University dorm room where Sara’s mother arranged our flight information.   Momoko and her friends also fed us and kept us calm during the disaster.

I still thank them for all of their help to this day, and still look at them as angels for all that they did for complete strangers.

Our Group Of Vagabonds, Eating Breakfast Thanks To Generous Strangers

Our Group Of Vagabonds, Eating Breakfast Thanks To Generous Strangers

Now, three years later, the Japanese government is still dealing with radiation levels.   They now also have to deal with radiation-contaminated water.   People are still missing after all of this time.   The people still need help.

To help the people of Japan, please consider donating to the Red Cross.   The funds aid in long-term recovery projects and general assistance to those in need.

Don’t forget these people.   They still need our help.

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