Curtis's Reviews > 2:46: Aftershocks: Stories from the Japan Earthquake

2 by Jake Adelstein
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Aug 07, 11

Read from July 27 to August 07, 2011

My fiancée and I were staying with a college friend and his family in Zama, southwest of Tokyo, when the earthquake hit. We had been hoping to stay in Japan for a while by finding work and long-term visas, but the earthquake and the effects of the damaged Fukushima reactor on the greater Tokyo area disrupted all of our plans. Our friend and his family graciously continued to help feed us and gave us a place to stay for several weeks after the initial earthquake, but after long periods of silence from hiring managers we had been speaking with, we decided that we were presenting too big a burden on our hosts. Still, as many of these stories describe, it was amazing to see how Japan and it's people reacted to the crisis.
I found myself nodding agreeably at many of these stories, and getting close to tears while reading a few of them. It does feel awkward to read about a major disaster that you were part of, but it was very comforting at the same time. I still wonder if we made the right decision to leave Japan before our visas had fully expired and without meaningfully contributing to the recovery, but after reading these stories I realize how common our situation was and that there were many more qualified people than us that were and still are volunteering for relief efforts. Hopefully we will be able to return to Japan in the near future, but in the meantime I'm continuing to discover ways to contribute from the other side of the Pacific.
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