thoughts on japan with marsha

join me in welcoming my dear friend marsha as she shares her thoughts on japan.

My husband is in the US NAVY, and in 2009-2010, our family had the privilege of living in Sasebo, Japan for 18 months.
Recently Annalea asked me if I would like to share some thoughts on the current situation in Japan. I quickly said “Yes!” Then I started to think about what I would write and I felt… inadequate and far-removed, maybe not the right person to be writing anything about Japan.
You see, Sasebo, Japan is on Kyushu, one of the Southern islands, and was not affected by the recent tsunami. I have many friends whose spouses are on ships participating in relief efforts, but the area where we lived was unharmed. I kept thinking about the offer to share some thoughts and eventually decided that the best I can do is to share my experiences with the Japanese people and their beautiful country.
The Japanese people are such amazingly giving and caring people.  They do not see the US military presence as an intrusion or a bother, rather they want to know us, share with us, and are actually quite grateful to have us there.
So many of the Japanese people I met went above and beyond what was necessary, just to be nice or to help a fumbling foreigner like myself, who had no idea how to speak or even understand their language. So many times, they were truly happy to help, not annoyed by my lack of understanding.
I am hearing so many stories from friends of mine who are still over in Japan and Thanks seem to be a common theme. The Japanese are Thankful and Grateful for all our military is doing. One friend in particular shared a story of how another friend of hers was walking along and encountered a Japanese man praying intently and as she neared him he quickly waved her over and thanked her profusely for what the US was doing for Japan. He bowed to her continuously and as she walked away he continued to bow until she was out of sight… This is in no way surprising to me.

I feel so very blessed to have been able to live in such a beautiful country like Japan, with such amazing people. My first daughter learned to speak Japanese while we were there and our second daughter was born in a Japanese hospital… Japan will always have a very special place in my heart and right now my heart aches for Japan and its people
Please pray for Japan during this indescribably difficult time
Also, pray for the service members and their families who are currently in Japan and participating in relief efforts
Thank you so much for reading,

thank you so much marsha for taking the time to share your experience.  you have given me a glimpse at the face - the heart -  of the japanese people.  i will join you in praying for them and everyone participating in the relief efforts.   

 (all photos provided by marsha)


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