I apologize for the long hiatus. No big news to report from me – you can interpret no news iss good news!
In the meantime, the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear plant disasters in Japan have been deeply disturbing to see and hear about. Based on e-mails and calls to Japan, the really bad disasters are focused in the northeast in the prefectures of Ibaragi, Miyagi and Fukushima. Tokyo, while not suffering from the physical disaster, is hurting from disruption to the distribution system and lack of food on shelves. My take is it’s more about distribution and not about lack of food. Due to rolling black outs in Tokyo, I understand it can get quite cold when there is no energy. Everyone I’ve contacted or asked about seems to be fine (even if cold or unable to get the types of food they would prefer).
The following are some suggestions provided by the American School in Japan on ways to help.
From Outside Japan
Donations to the Red Cross fund for Japan
*Donations can also be made through iTunes
Donations to Doctor’s Without Borders fund for Japan
Donations to NGO funds through Paypal
Donations through Global Giving
(http://www.globalgiving.org/projects/japan-earthquake-tsunami-relief/ or by texting JAPAN to 50555 to donate $10. The donation will be added to your next cell phone bill)
Donations to International Medical Corps
(https://www.internationalmedicalcorps.org/SSLPage.aspx?pid=1967 or by calling (800) 481-4462 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting (800) 481-4462 end_of_the_skype_highlighting. You can also text MED to 80888 to donate $10, which will be added to your next cellphone bill)
Needless to say, the trip to Shikoku and the 88 temples is on hold until things return to normal. Earliest would be some time spring of 2012.
More report soon on other things. Please keep those living in Japan in your heart.