Update from Akira
It’s been 4 days since I’ve been home. In that time, I experienced a magnetite 4.0. It feels like I’m constantly on a boat. The rocking motion feels like you’re a drunken sailor.
I walked around Tokyo and it’s no longer the Tokyo I knew. It’s dark and the food is gone from the store shelves. I never imagined Tokyo could be this dark.
Surprisingly conveniences we’ve all been used to are no longer there. 24 hour service stations are no longer open all day. Grocery store shelves have very little to offer.
All this change opens your eyes to just how dependent Tokyo is on electrical power generated by nuclear power plants far away.
Now with a crippled electrical grid and many thousands dead, things are not the same.
Earthquakes have become so frequent, that people are no longer surprised by them. The new fear is nuclear radiation that is affecting an ever expanding perimeter around Fukushima. People are fearful of the drinking water and the food supply.
When still in Europe, I thought I could pinpoint a devastated area that needed funds most desperately, but now that I’m here in Japan, I have come to realize that with a 500 KM long disaster zone, the need is so great, in so many places.
As time moves on, it seems that there will have been 26,000 people dead from this event, but there are still organizations and the community that are looking for survivors.
With all these relief efforts, the country has virtually stopped normal, every-day activities. But even so, I believe it’s important for our people to continue with action of all kinds, otherwise Japan will stop functioning in many ways. That’s why Tetsuya Okabe (former World Cup Slalom Skier) and I put on a small charity event up in Karuizawa with young kids. After the drills and exercises, I had a chance to speak with them. I said, “you guys are not hurting, so please continue to be strong for our people: eat enough, play a lot, study hard, and pray for the kids in Tahoku.”
As a father of two, children are a big focus in my life and I find it a worthy mission, to provide for those children who lost their parents and extended family in the Tahoku area. I will be visiting there to see the devastation first hand and I will update you all soon.
Thank you for all your support.