Last night I logged onto Skype and had a message from Madoka-sensei. “Hey, are you there?” Mado and I hadn’t spoken in about a week, so I was really excited when she video called. Behind her I saw one of my students from Soma Higashi. This student (I cannot say names for student confidentiality/privacy) had lost her home in the Tsunami and is now living in an evacuation center. Despite her loss she had the most brilliant smile on her face and we talked for almost 90 minutes. “Sensei! I miss you!”, she said, “When can you return?”.
So many people have questioned my motivations to return to Soma, citing that it’s still too dangerous…still too precarious. However, within my community there is a need for support and a need to stand up and fight to… return to normal. Honestly no one can truthfully determine the level of danger in Soma at this time…there is no accurate measurement of risk at this time. What I do know is that I am lucky to have an interesting job in an incredible place full of incredible people and am looking forward to returning.
This morning I received an email from another student, who I hadn’t heard from since before March 11th. She talked about her feelings regarding the Earthquake and she talked about her plans for University. She is now entering into her final year of High School. She plans to study abroad and is excited about studying English.
Thank you to my students for giving me strength – you inspire me.
Recently, my family received the shocking and terrible news that my Uncle Van suddenly passed away . This weekend my family will all be together to celebrate his life and remember what is really important in the world. My father wrote the obituary and in doing so asked friends and family of my Uncle Van to contribute to Friends of Soma. We are working hard to do well for the students in Soma and for my Uncle Van, remembering that Family and Friendship are most important in life.