Julian H.

I want to blog about something recent, but I can’t stop thinking about the eye opening experience of when we visited the disaster affected area of Ichinoseki. We had all heard about the disaster brought about by the earthquake and tsunami, we had all seen pictures of the affected areas, and we had all heard about the strength of the Japanese people. But knowing what to expect cannot always prepare a person for the bitter truth. As a group, I feel that we had been goofing off prior to this, treating this as a vacation, albeit no ordinary one. This harsh slap in the face as to why we were here started on a particularly gray morning, and the appropriately grim skies loomed over us through our trip to the area. From the bus, we saw piles of debris being shuffled and reshuffled by huge machines; there are few districts that would want to harbor remnants of destroyed buildings. Countless structures had windows destroyed by the water, rice fields were severely damaged by the oceanic salts, and the whole area seemed like a ghost town. Even after a year, the damages remained. We were shown a video of the tsunami sweeping the area by one Mr. Saito. The video showed his business being swept away by the tsunami as he cried to the heavens. Tears were shed, and again when we met with Mr. Saito at his rebuilt business. It was clear that this was not an easy subject for him to share, but he wanted to do all in his power to save as many lives as possible in the future. He told us of how he and those who remained in his immediate family survived with such methods as freezing puddles to cool food. His wish was to minimize future damage and save lives. To think that there are so many good-willed people such as Mr. Saito out there makes me feel something indescribable. Something like hope, something like inspiration, something like a feeling that humanity is capable of so much goodness. I may just be one person, but as a result of what I saw, I will try to help in any way I can and spread the word of the strength of the Japanese people. The world could benefit from putting others before oneself, and the abundance of this that I saw in Japan will stay with me forever.

7/16/2012 04:44:15 am

Julian, I don't know you but was very touched by what you wrote and the way you wrote. I know this incredible experience has changed all of you in this journey through Japan. I just hope that more young people like you can be inspired to do good for mankind going forth!
Your writing really touched my heart.... Happy trails to all of you!

7/17/2012 10:26:17 am

yes, I think this is the purpose of the trip... To feel empathy for them and their loss and struggle to rebuild and go forward.They are people even if they are on the other side of the earth. I am sure each of you will come home with different views on life. I do hope you can have some fun too.


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