Tuesday, March 15, 2011

And then....

...what?  I don't even know where to begin.  The devastation being revealed in the aftermath of the quake and tsunami literally gets worse every.single.day.  It's so horrific, absolutely gut wrenching.  My heart breaks for Japan and her people, all those who've lost, or been lost.

Recovery efforts are in full swing, and I'm overjoyed to be playing a part.  I posted about the commercial planes that were diverted to our tiny air strip after the quake on Friday.  Two of the 11 planes ended up staying over night, which meant food and accommodations needed to be provided for the 630 passengers and crew.  I'm a Red Cross volunteer here and we were activated to set up the community center, process passengers and distribute meals.  It was a busy night, but it was good.  The RC volunteers were activated again Saturday evening to clean and stock one of the apartment buildings on base to house the relief teams that would be coming.  Another busy day.

On Saturday it quickly became clear that our base, because it's the airlift hub for the entire Pacific Air Force, would also become the hub for relief activity.  Relief workers and supplies process through our base on their way to Tohoku.  That means immigration/customs, food, accommodations, transportation, even vet/kennel support for relief workers (and search & rescue dogs!)  I work in the Logistics squadron, which, as it sounds, is responsible for all the logistical coordination of the disaster and relief personnel and supplies.  Plane loads of people and supplies started arriving on Saturday, so we've gone to 24/7 operations.  I worked a 12-hour shift on Sunday, 10 on Monday and again today.  I'm exhausted, but it's a good exhaustion.  It helps to know that, in some tiny way, I'm helping.

Now we've got the impending (or not?) nuclear "crisis".  What a cluster fuck!  It's so horrible, as if Japan hasn't suffered enough, now there's this.  It's IMPOSSIBLE to get a clear answer or any kind of direction.  On one end of the spectrum, the "experts" are insisting there's absolutely no threat of any harm, even in the absolute worst case of complete nuclear meltdown.  On the far, opposite end, you've got "experts" saying there's a very real, very probable threat of radiation contamination and sickness.  It's so terrible not knowing what's going on.  Some people saying we should stay, everything's fine.  Others are saying go, as quickly as possible?!?!  WHAT ARE WE SUPPOSED TO DO???  Who's right?  Both sides provide very credible arguments and seemingly scientific evidence, and they completely contradict each other.  It's so confusing, and so scary.  I don't want to panic, I'm trying to stay calm, be reasonable, but CRAP!  I'm a single parent with 3 kids to consider.  I can't sleep, can't eat (not necessarily a bad thing) I've been so torn up over what to do.  Stay, or go?  Disrupt my kids lives, again, shell out a buttload of money and ship them out of the country, or stay and risk who knows what?

So, after agonizing all day, begging for advice from damn near every person who had the misfortune of crossing my path today, hours spent pouring over every report and analysis of the nuclear situation that I could get my paws on, I've finally decided to send the kids to Guam.  It's just not worth the risk.  I may head south for a few days myself, not sure yet.  Everything is "wait and see" but that's such a scary position to be in.  Ugh.


thefukases said...

Thank you Bryn and all the other Bryn's on base for all you are doing- only wish I could be a 10th as useful! I love the Yokota AB link you shared on FB- the messages are informative but not overwhelming, calm and I feel more confident they haven't been censored by the government to stop us panicking!

I think as you have the opportunity to send the kids out and a place to send them (Meg is still there right?) it makes a lot of sense.

Here's to a return to quiet living again really really soon!

gaijinwife said...

You are all doing a fantastic job. Like Heather I am glad I 'liked' the Yokota AB link as their messages are informative but not panicky.

And if we are far enough South for your liking.... I swear to god I won't bunk you in with GK :)

thefukases said...

Ok. I am not even considering evacuating but if bryn ends up at GWs house I reckon I am packing a bag (wine/ cheese/ crackers) and hotfooting it down there- that would be a fabulous time! I bet if others heard your vuillage would be overrun by us all!

gaijinwife said...

Hub said he might not know what to do if we suddenly have 20 people camping out in the tatami rooms :) Great times, we can all sit in the middle of the room with wine, hard hats and gas masks.

kristin said...

I know I'm popping in again randomly but I do read often and I just want to say: thankyouthankyouthankyou. You are doing what all of us wish we could be just to help in the smallest part. Despite your normally large job you're taking on all this work - I can't even imagine it. Strong lady.

You guys and Japan are in my thoughts and I hope everything ends well. Good thoughts. <3

medea said...

Thank you so much for all your hard work. Don't think we don't appreciate it.