A former Weyburn resident is sharing her experiences in Japan during the worst earthquake and tsunami in the country's history. Mary Fish, daughter of Dale and Anna Fish of Weyburn, has been working as a teacher in Japan for the past four-and-a-half years. She has left Japan for the safety of Malaysia but hopes to return to her job in Tokyo on March 27.
"It is hard to put the whole experience into words," said Fish via email."Friday (March 11) was the earthquake, Saturday was cleaning up the things that had broken and fallen in my apartment, Sunday seemed like a rather normal day, Monday the staff went to school, we debriefed the situation, there was a big aftershock, the talk about radiation was frightening and I had an emotional meltdown, Tuesday I packed to leave, Wednesday I went to the airport on the last bus of the day as the Narita Express trains were not running and I slept on the floor of the airport, Thursday I flew to Malaysia."Fish said she had mixed feeling about leaving the country.
"I truly love Japan," said Fish. "I hope things in Japan will be back to normal, or at least more normal than now, soon. It is full of such wonderful and gracious people. There is just so much uncertainty now. However, all that said, I was really ready to get to Malaysia. This trip has allowed me to take a break from powerful and constant aftershocks, unsettling news about radiation, and constant uncertainty about power cuts and food shortages."
Fish said that hitting turbulence on her flight to Malaysia brought back some awful memories of being in the magnitude 9 quake."Experiencing this earthquake has certainly made me much more skittish. I hope it is only temporary."
Her nerves were still unsettled when she arrived in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
"I was just drifting off when I heard a bang. I jumped up, thinking it was another earthquake. Imagine my relief when I realized it was fireworks."Fish said that after a few days into her trip she began to relax, especially upon the arrival of her sister Melanie Fish from Estevan. Visits with her parents via phone and Skype have also helped to ease her nerves. The devastation back in Japan is never far from her mind, however, and she checks the news every morning to monitor the situation."There is still a lot of uncertainty. At times, things seem to be looking up, but then quickly a new problem emerges. Today (March 21), what is happening at Number 5 and 6 reactors sounded positive, but later there was also white smoke billowing from one, and radiation discovered in some food, milk, and water. Also, we must not forget the thousands of people missing and the many more stuck in evacuation shelters.
There are small stories of hope - like the boy and his grandmother rescued after nine days, but there are thousands of Japanese people cold, hungry, and homeless. Please pray for them and support charities like the Japanese Red Cross to help these people who are in desperate need of the necessities of life."