Allow me to introduce myself and my current situation, since this is my first blog.
I was working at a school in Mexico for one and a half years beginning in January, 2008.
85% of the students were from North America, and the rest were from Europe, Japan and South Korea.
During the summer about 100 people were studying at the school, which was the oldest language school in the town.
However many American students, who were the lifeline of the school, cancelled their plans to come to Mexico as a result of the United States financial crisis in autumn 2008.
In addition, public safety has deteriorated as a result of the drug war along the border between Mexico and the U.S.A.
Even more students from North America left Mexico because of constant U.S. reports of bad news from Mexico.
Lastly, Swine Flu hit Mexico in April, 2009.
In the end, there were only five students who remained at the school.
In reality, there was no panic in Mexico. The Mexicans did not even wear masks.
They just stopped going out to the bars for a few days. This is very unusual for Mexicans, who love eating and drinking with their “amigos”.
So life continued as normal, at least in the town where I lived.
A friend of mine went back to Japan on his parents orders, but unfortunately Swine Flu began to circulate around Japan immediately after he returned home.
That was the moment I realized that there is nowhere absolutely safe in this world.
I left the job in Mexico, and while I stayed in San Francisco for several months and had a lots of fun, I got news that the school had closed due to financial trouble.
I'm from Kobe.
When I was in the six grade of elementary school, The Hanshin Earthquake occurred.
I didn’t even understand what I was afraid of. My knees trembled all day long.
All the basic services in Kobe were disrupted, but my mom said to me,
“Your family and the house are safe, so look for something you can do to help.”
I went to an assembly hall with my sister.
“can we help with something?”
The women, who were preparing supplies for distribution, said that they didn’t need our help.
Before long, we found a poster asking for volunteers for the Kobe City hospital, where I was born.
We took water jugs from the water cart and carried them to each floor of the hospital.
"What a good girl!"
Some of the patients said to me, and I was a little proud.
I also got excited because I got to see the room for new-born babies.
I kept helping at the hospital in the mornings, even after school had restarted.
I finished helping after water once again began flowing from the faucets.
Even though it was a small accomplishment, I did what I could do.
Videos of the large earthquake and tsunami were broadcast all over the world.
Miyagi and Kyoto seem the same to foreigners who don't know much about Japan.
A negative impression has spread about Japan because of the earthquake and concerns over radiation from the nuclear plant emergency.
Unfortunately, foreign tourists may not choose Japan as a destination, with the exception of those people who have a specific reason for visiting.
The travel industry in Japan has entered a black hole.
However, I am working hard to make guests feel welcome in Kyoto, despite the disaster, and emphasize the high energy of the people of Japan.
That is what I can do.
Amor y Paz,