Tuesday, March 15, 2011


From the NY Times.
It's been a rough week. But not nearly as rough a week as it has been for the millions of Japanese affected by the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster still unfolding in Japan's north east. For me, it's been tough watching the footage of all the devastation, reading tweets and Facebook updates and looking at pictures online. It's a mixture of sadness, helplessness and, I have to say, a little bit of relief, because I very well could have been right there where the tsunami hit.

I applied to JET last year, as readers of this blog will know. My top choice was Sendai, what turned out to be one of the hardest hit cities. I could have been there when the earthquake and tsunami hit. I could have lost my apartment and all my possessions, like one JET teacher apparently did. But, had things gone differently, I would also be there right now, possibly helping in the relief effort. It's hard to look at pictures from so far away and not be able to help out. I donated to the Japan Society Relief Fund (and I encourage you to do the same; the box to the right of this story will take you to their site) but it still doesn't feel like enough.

I had pretty much decided I'd be staying in Korea for another year before this disaster struck. But I for sure won't be going to Japan for any length of time for awhile. Japanese nationals are being sent to foreign branches of companies to work. Friends of mine who were scheduled to go to Japan to teach English or go to school have been told to stay home. Of course, not all of Japan has been affected by this disaster but I imagine that ESL positions will suffer nation-wide. Priorities rightly will be shifted for probably years.

For now, I will continue to enjoy living in and exploring Korea, and I will continue to hope that the Japanese people are able to overcome this tragedy quickly.


  1. I completely understand, because the way you feel about Japan is the way I feel about Russia. And every time a disaster strikes Russia, I feel, as you say, sad and helpless. Terrible, terrible news.

  2. I don't know what to feel but I know it's not positive at all. I don't know what to do right now because i intended to study in Japan but now I can't anymore because of what happened.
    i mean i can still go but it won't be a positive experience. if i dare to smile in Japan... i don't know if i'd feel good about it.

    all i can do is pray for Japan. I am helpless..
    there is nothing we can do. we have to move forward..