Monday, March 14, 2011

Business as Usual?

Today was a little strange for me. Obviously, the last few days have been absolutely horrendous for so many people in the northern part of Japan. Obviously, there are not even words that come close to describing the chaos and horrors so many people faced last Friday afternoon and the tragedy that will continue for some time. Now, what was strange for me today?

What seemed so strange to me was the fact that, when I spent the afternoon downtown in Kobe with my family, everything seemed so normal. Life in Kobe seemed like, “business as usual.”

I have been blessed my entire life to this point. I have never had a personal or even geographical connection to any sort of major disaster. I have never had to face the bleak reality so many, not so far away, are now having to cope with. I suppose because the 24 hours news cycle of horror and tragedy, I expected to see people on the streets of this city acting differently in some way.

That would be absurd though. Of course people here in Kobe are going on with their regular lives. They are going to work, school and dealing with life as the normally would. Kobe is quite far away from the disaster are in Fukushima, Iwate, Sendai Miyagi, etc. This city is far away from the disaster, but I am sure that every person here and in the rest of Japan is thinking about the situation constantly.

As my family and I went home in late afternoon, I did begin to notice something different. Dozens of high school students seemed to be on every street corner and busy area of Sannomiya and Motomachi with boxes. They were standing in large groups and asking for donations to the Red Cross and other NGOs helping the disaster relief in northern Japan.

I have to admit that I probably won’t be blogging much more about this tragedy. I will keep some updates on this blog and on You Tube, but I will, for the most part get down to business as usual myself. I am not a reporter. I am not a journalist. I have often, in the past imagined what it would be like to have such a career, but at the end of the day, I am a teacher. I suppose I will stick to what I know best, sharing my knowledge of education, travel and general silliness.

I will of course continue sharing interesting information about the disaster on Twitter and of course that feed is here on the side of my blog. You can also follow me on Twitter (@jlandkev…which means…”Japan-Land Kevin).

Now here are a few non-earthquake related scenes and videos I took this afternoon with my phone while I was walking around downtown Kobe with my son.

This is the first time myself and family have seen a cherry blossom this spring. I think this tree blossomed a little earlier than most!This was on the grounds of Ikuta Shrine in Kobe.

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