|Japan at day break|
You can never be prepared for the widespread devastation left in the wake of a natural disaster. The last several years have been punctuated by vast destruction in Haiti, New Orleans, Thailand, Australia, New Zealand and now Japan. Although similar in some respects, the crisis that has enveloped North-East Japan for the last three weeks seems uniquely unforgiving. One by one the coast was ravaged by:
an earthquake > a tsunami > the aftershocks > the nuclear power plant meltdowns > the radio active fallout > and food and oil shortages...
Six weeks ago I visited regions just shy of the hypo centre. Arriving with a basic knowledge of Japan and it's history, I left with a new appreciation for the true resilience of the Japanese peoples. In speaking to friends and family back home about the disaster I remind them of this fact. Everyday the media reveals more about the predicament and the uphill battle the nation is now forced to wage. Nevertheless, I find some relief knowing that Japan is a country with a strong and united origin and that the foundation for its reconstruction is already in place.
All in all, it has been quite an interesting year to be living in Asia. Please bare in mind that I am not insinuating that North Korea's attack on the South in November 2010 resembles the current state of Japan. Both events are unique and independent of each other, but together have greatly affected my perception of myself in relationship to the rest of the world.
Stay informed. Count your blessings.