Every so often I check the stats on my blog. Usually I get about a few hundred visits a week, mostly friends and family I guess. Yesterday, I was totally shocked to see that my stats were 3,500+ on May 11th! On May 10th I had 1800 hits, then 700, and now it’s around 150+ a day.  I thought I was seeing things but Matthias was able to figure out where the traffic was coming from. Apparently, an online Japanese newspaper recommended my blog and some of the things I had written about being in the disaster area. I felt a little excited but a little nervous, too. Here is the link (in Japanese):

http://news.searchina.ne.jp/disp.cgi?y=2011&d=0511&f=national_0511_039.shtml

In case you are wondering, we have small earthquakes here every day, and I notice them early in the morning or the middle of the night. I hardly notice them, but the inn we are staying in is quite jittery and even the trucks passing cause the whole building to shake. It’s sobering to think that at any moment another huge one could come. I am actually grateful that I have experienced some rather big earthquakes back in 2003 when I lived in Sendai. If I had never experience an earthquake, I think I’d be a bit more nervous right now. WOW! Right after I wrote this sentence, we had an earthquake! It felt like a giant gush of wind descending on the inn and only lasted about 5 seconds.

Today we played with some wonderful kids in the morning and afternoon. Then I totally crashed and took a nap for a few hours and took a long walk before sunset. Tomorrow we are having a sports event for the kids that will last most of the day. I will try post a video or two very soon.

Here is a photo of some of the awesome World Vision volunteers we’ve been working with:

We took this one this morning at the play area. We just love these kids!!

Tonight as I took a walk, I thought soberly of all the people in this region who are quietly mourning, including those in shelter five minutes from our inn. Many have lost siblings, parents, children, grandparents, neighbors, and close friends in the tsunami. I can only imagine how much suffering the people of northeast Japan are going through. I prayed for them, and I am glad we can do something small to serve those who are hurting so badly.

By the way, when we are at the evacuation center, I am always impressed with the quiet strength I see in the people there. I often see the elderly taking long walks and everyone keeps busy helping with cleaning and various chores and talking with their friends in the shelter. I really wish we had more freedom to visit the shelter more often and make friends. I am dying to play the piano for them, but I am not sure that would be okay with the officials. I think some of the folks are just starting recognize us, and we always bow and greet people when we see them. I wish we were going to be here long-term, not just a few more weeks.

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