As you may have noticed, I haven’t written anything since my return from Lisbon recently. The simple reason for it is that I was – and still am – shocked by the Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami in Japan. I haven’t visited the area myself and I do not know anyone from the area, but since my two trips to Japan in 2009 and 2010 I feel just very close to the Japanese people in general. Somehow the Japanese have touched my heart during those trips and now it just hurts me to see the horror and not being able to do one single thing.
While I was in Lisbon I had already decided (before the earthquake) that I want to spend a week or two in Tokyo later this year, but that has now become an impossibility: the Japanese need the housing, the food and water and the energy themselves much much more right now. Tourists only impose an extra burden on the few available resources at this moment. So I just did the only sensible thing I can do: donate the money I would have spent in Japan anyway (well, a part of it anyway) to the Red Cross Japan. I know: Japan is not a poor country (it’s one of the largest economies on earth, actually), but I wish for the victims to get their lives back to normal as soon as possible with a place to live, food and water so they can start recovering from the horror that has happened to them and to deal with the enormous losses they have suffered.
Here are two donation links, but please feel free to select your own preferred organisation to donate to. If you do not wish to donate, then please spend two minutes of your time to think about the people in Japan and wish them luck. Or pray for them, if you wish.