It’s hard to imagine but the view from my window is of one of the busiest parts of Tokyo. It’s Shinjuku and the skyline looks limited. Harder to imagine is that this is Shinjuku at 7:00 PM on a Friday night. The darkness you see here offers light elsewhere. Today we all went back to work as my office was officially reopened from 9:00 AM to 5:30 PM. Right at 5:30 teams were dispatched to ask workers to leave and lights were immediately turned off. Anywhere else in the world people hastily leaving for home on a Friday evening would be normal. But in Japan, this type of occurrence literally takes a near end of the world event.
My day was good. Nothing shook me today. The same concerns about when the people at the reactor will finally have complete control. Reassured from my personal research about the radioactive dangers, I’m not putting down my guard until I have confirmation that all controls to the reactors have been accomplished. For 2 weeks now there has only been damage control and very little gains at that site. As for the Tohoku area in the north. It appears that things are still very challenging for the victims.
The weather is still bitterly cold and aid seems to come at a trickle. The people have been incredibly noble, patient, and appreciative. I’ve engaged many volunteer groups and will make sure I will go there to assist in anyway possible. One of my good friends an artist/musician in California is with Habitat for Humanity and I’m urging him to include me when they start rebuilding homes. Also a friend’s church here has been setting plans for groups to go to the hard hit areas to assist people. Although I may have a different type of spirituality, I’ll go with any group who reaches out to help others with sincere compassion and assistance.
Japan has been a great country to me and I owe it to the good people here to give back what I can. I’m going to relentlessly find a way to do something positive in all this strife. As the night is getting on, I’m cutting my writing short. I think I’ve expressed everything today, I cant’ find anymore words. Now I’ll cut the lights too and drift off to sleep. It’s been a while since I’ve had a good nights sleep…
Linh Vien Thai is Amerasian, born in Dalat, South Vietnam, where he continued to lived during the war. He left for the U.S. and is now an American living in Tokyo. He enjoys adventure traveling and doing what’s right to make the world a better place.