The Japan earthquake and tsunami disaster is happening in Fukashima, the prefecture I lived in last year while I was teaching in Japan. I've received a lot of emails from people asking how my friends are, especially Masumi and Kensuke who came to my wedding a few months ago. With all the bad news, I'm happy to report that Masumi and Kensuke are both okay and so are their families. It took two days for them to get in touch with Kensuke's sister in Sendai but she is thankfully okay.
Masumi says that as of today they have water at their house as well as power. The building Masumi and Kensuke work in is damaged and not safe to go to. Today Masumi helped at the evacuation center.
I was quite scared for a couple of days about my coworker Katie who lives by the beach with her husband. I couldn't sign into facebook so I had a few friends send her messages. Today, Katie emailed me and she and her husband are doing okay. They had to evacuate their home though because it is too close to one of the nuclear reactors that is having problems.
We're glued to the TV/internet here and wishing we could do more. Thanks for all the emails about my friends and I'll keep you posted!
Monday, March 14, 2011
(PICTURE: Huyen's neighbor's midnight dinner.)
At midnight on the lunar new year, everyone puts out food for their deceased ancestors. This food is usually put on the family altar. However, Huyen's neighbor put their food out in the middle of their yard which I've been told is quite common. Once the food sits for a little bit, the family then eats it. I've always found this practice to be a great way to remember the dead. This ritual makes sure that we think of our passed loved ones during happy times and honor them by putting them first.