Sunday, March 20, 2011

Salutes, Stoicism and Survival Kits

Last night, the kiddo and I spent a frightening three hours listening to our windows being lashed by almost tropical-storm-quality gusts of winds measuring in the 60 mph range. The storm left many trees in our neighborhood uprooted and our yard a mess. With hubby away on business, it'll probably take at least a week to clean things up. But you know what...this is barely a millionth of what the Japanese are going through.

You may not realize it but there's been a lot of sadness over here at FunSchooling Academy over what's happening in Japan. We have no family there but have long felt connected to that beautiful country in spirit. The fact that we learn Japanese as a foreign language is not the only reason for this.

I've been feeling this big, gaping hole-like thing inside me over all the news. In fact, our recent book-shopping trip wasn't just to feed our love for books. It was an attempt to cheer myself up and get myself away from the computer and those sad, sad, headlines.

Somehow, what's happening in Libya has totally escaped me and I was stunned to read a headline this evening about the recent bombing campaign. Wait, when did *that* begin? I'm so lost because all my attention has been on our distant neighbor over the Pacific, what I'd do if I were ever in that situation and how helpless I feel because I'm not doing more to help.

Remember 2004? Hubby, kiddo and I were supposed to be in a beachside hotel (and very possibly the very beach) in Phuket at the exact time the tsunami hit. It was a stroke of very good luck that prevented us from visiting Thailand that Christmas. The latest tsunami not only makes me tear-up for the Japanese people but also brought those memories, the complete horror of possibly watching my loved ones die, crashing back.

More than anything my respect for the Japanese people has grown a hundred-thousand-fold. I have never witnessed such calm acceptance. There have been no stories of looting. Little report of mankind's uglier side rearing its often violent head despite all that's been happening. If such a triple-whammy ever hit my neighborhood, I don't know if I could trust myself to keep my head or my heart in the right place. I'm so amazed.

I also realize how unprepared and naive I am about such dangers. It's only after what happened in Japan that I've taken steps to assemble an emergency kit for our home. I take things like electricity and gas and cooking healthy food, eating healthy fruit so much for granted. I don't even keep spare bottles of water handy because we have one of those convenient sinktop filtered water dispensers. Well, all that will change. Apart from ordering some emergency food and water supplies, we will also stock up on dust masks, blankets, sleeping bags, waterproof matches and anything else that will make sense and yet not be too heavy to carry around.

Each time I scan sites to research survival kits, my mind keeps going back to what's happening in Japan.

If I prayed, I'd pray for them. But I don't. So I'm just sending all the positive vibes I can. Do you think you could spare a minute to do that too? If you have, thank you so very much dear reader.


  1. Oh Suji, you have such a kind soul. You've encapsulated my own feelings toward Japan and Libya very well. I too am so awed by the spirit of the Japanese as well. My heart broke for the 50 workers who remained with the reactors. Such sacrifice.

    Take care, dear friend. Since we can't get on a plane and help, it might be wise to take breaks from the news. It is wonderful to try to share their pain, but it can be also be a lot to bear.

  2. Apart from your ideas Suji, I have a couple of suggestions based on my own recent experiences of devastating earthquakes here in New Zealand. Always keep your car half full of gas. If power goes out petrol stations are shut meaning you don't have the option of fleeing if you need to. Always keep an emergency supply of money somewhere. Sometimes the shops were open but electronic banking was out. No money meant you couldn't buy what you needed - althoguh some shopkeepers did operate an honour system but I wouldn't want to be reliant on that myself. If you have a prepaid cellphone always keep it topped up. With the line phone system down you'll need it to contact everyone. Mine was low and I was going to top it up but the earthquake struck first. I'm immensely grateful to my brother in law who had a spare credit voucher. Otherwise my parents would have spend a very anxious 24 hours or longer. A battery powered radio is crucial for keeping up to date with essential information. And chocolate is great for shock.

  3. Suji, I share in your sadness and grief for the Japanese disasters. And yes, what's happening in Japan definitely has us thinking about disaster planning as well.


Comments are moderated and I will approve your comment as soon as I can. Thanks for taking the time to write a note!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...