This is my last day in Japan. We leave at 4. Its been an strange experience – mixed joy with
uncertainty over this world’s future, and the future of the US. I read the paper each day but still have been
unable to watch any news coverage. Please, if any of you have cable and a VCR – could you tape some
coverage for me so I can at lease have a record of what happened when I get back?
Things on the ship are quite sketchy right now. Some students seem unaffected, others are distraught –
especially those whose parents are in the military. We are going to be re-routed just no one knows where or when yet. I don’t think we’ll be travelling to Malaysia or India at this point, we’ll probaby head to
Africa or Australia. We are waiting to hear.
Other than that, Japan has been very memorable. The people here are warm and welcoming. Every Japanese person I’ve met, upon learning we’re from the US, has bowed and offered his or her consolation for what has happened. Despite the enormous language barrier – I have been touched by their grace and serenity. I have seen more temples and shrines than I can count – the most memorable of those in Kyoto, the ancient capital.
It was set in a hillside, with dense rainforest rising above it into mist and clouds, with the city in the
background and ornate 10th century buildings, whose size and magnitude took my breath away.
Other memories :getting caught in a downpour and drenched to the skin, gathering with Japanese and
other students under a bamboo roof, being served some hot sake with rice in a bowl, enjoying the view and distinct smells which made me so heightened and aware of being in a distant and unfamiliar place.
Yesterday was sobering. We visited the peace memorial museum in Hiroshima. I saw images which will stay in my mind’s eye forever. Last night was full of dreams. It was ever more poignant when I thought about how we might all be on the brink of war which will result in more death and suffering….
Anyway, I better go…I love you all and will write to you next from China…..