Three Years Ago We Graduated

IMG_3915There will be many posts like this.  There have been many for days.  March 11 had and is still having such a profound impact on so many people.  It is one of those incidents in history that people will ask, “Where were you?”

I was on an island with a total land area of only 13km2 (5sq mi) in the middle of the South Pacific.  We were busily preparing and rehearsing for our Junior High graduation ceremony.  The ceremony was important since those third graders would leave their island of 550 people and travel to the mainland for High School.  Then there were announcements and though we were surrounded by high cliffs, we had to wonder, would the Tsunami take us too?

It was surreal gathering around one of the TVs with students and teachers to watch so many hopes and dreams wash away.  I saw a truck trying to get away, and heard people around me telling it to turn.  It turned the wrong way.

Though we were in the same ocean, we were far enough south, and surrounded by tall enough cliffs.  Our students graduated the next day, but it wasn’t just the students who went to a new level.  The world came together in support, we had another reminder about the need for care with nuclear power, and Japan survived.

There is still much to do.

Life will never go back.

がんばれ。 日本。

Below are a few images I took while standing with my students. Consider donating to an Earthquake research institute (one example) to help prepare for the future.

You can now donate to the Taylor Anderson Memorial Fund to help schools and children effected rebuild.

If you’d prefer a more direct approach you can help the village of Kesennuma here

The world was shaken.  The past several years have been ones of upheaval and change.  Its time we graduate, go out into the world and make a difference.  Learn about another culture.  Make a new friend.  Support research and education.  The Earth is moving.  Are you?