Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Going on Vacation

Airplane tickets:  purchased and confirmed
Condo rental: confirmed
Hotel reservation:  confirmed
Electronic gadgets to ocupy children:  purchased
Electronic gadgets to document children's delight:  found
Gifts for people we visit:  purchased
Enough appropriate clothing for everyone for duration of vacation:  check

According to my schedule, I would be cleaning and packing for the next two days before we leave on Saturday.

Big problem:  our destination is Tokyo, Japan.

Flights:  canceled
Condo:  canceled
Hotel:  canceled
Electronic gadgets for kids:  kids are playing with them
Electronic gadgets for documentation:  back in the closet
Clothing:  in a pile, still waiting to be washed

As it turns out, our family vacation is the least of anyone's problems. (In case you're wondering, my family is in the Tokyo area, safe from the tsunami. All accounted for, but struggling with the current situation. And scared to death for what the future may hold.) Though optimistic when I first heard the news, over the course of the weekend, I've come to realize that the situation is intensely bleak.

We, here in the U.S., we don't get the full effect of what has happened. We have NHK, a Japanese broadcaster, through our cable. Currently, it just plays news around the clock, with updates and reports regarding the tsunami, the earthquakes, and the nuclear power plant. When I sit to watch it, I just cry. When things get bleak, my silver lining is always that all things end at some point. This situation in Japan, hower, doesn't seem to end. Each new day has brought a new tragedy.

I have learned that (since an oil refinery blew up) there is no gasoline, even in Tokyo. My aunt is facing empty store shelves and packages not being delivered. She and her husband run the cafeteria of a dormitory, and there have been no food deliveries. Adding to this problem are the rolling blackouts. Twice a day, for three hours at a time.

Add to this, the fact that no one had reliable information. If you have been trying to follow this nuclear thing, you know that everyone is saying something different. It is becoming clear that no one is telling the whole truth. At this point, I'm hearing a lot of speculation.

So, dear friends, pray for a miracle.

Our last visit to Japan. That's little Ellie and my mom.


Wendy P said...

I have been thinking about you and your family a lot during this, and I wondered what you knew since I figured you knew more that the average person. I will pray for a miracle. I am so sorry that this happened.

Kim said...

Katie! I didn't realize you still had family there! What an awful mess. Lots of prayers from Washington!