Today is my one-year anniversary in Japan. Needless to say, if you told me that this is what it would be like I never would have believed you. Never could I have conjured up such a situation, and I think if someone had suggested it as a plot for one of the worst apocalyptic movies ever I would have said, “Not believable.”
So we three are safe and sound in Okinawa. On Tuesday Rob, who thankfully is back in touch, e-mailed me very calmly and said it might be a good idea to go there. It’s far south, there are bases at which I can stay, and there is an American consulate who might be able to help with Pete’s passport (never did I think I would have an “anchor baby,” either!) since the Tokyo embassy is, understandably, overwhelmed. We got a flight and I was packing our bags when another earthquake hit Tuesday night–6.0 near Mt. Fuji, which is near us, and therefore resulted in some very noticeable shaking. Not waiting for the tsunami sirens this time (they ended up not sounding…) I bundled the boys up at 11:00 at night and took them over to my friend Lauren’s (who lives safely on the 9th floor on base) house. We caught the train to Haneda airport the next morning. It was crowded and quiet as usual; one would have never known anything was amiss. When Chip started fussing a businessman reached into his pocket and handed him grape candies. For the thousandth time in only a few days, I almost cried.
The boys were troopers and we made it to Okinawa, where out of the clear blue sky materialized a guardian angel/fairy godmother, albeit in a marine uniform. A friend of a friend of the Wattses is stationed here (until Sunday) and has been a godsend. He took us to get groceries and cash and has helped with getting Pete his passport. It’s the kind of generosity I can never repay, and for which I will be eternally grateful. His name is Pete (of course!) and he will live in family lore for a long time. He’s also a fellow Wahoo, so Wahoo-wah.
You might have seen on the news that they have begun the evacuations from all the Tokyo-area bases, including Yokosuka. I think I am going to try to get us out of Okinawa. We are staying on an air force base, so hopefully I can get a “Space A” flight out.
We are still very fine. Pete eats and sleeps, Chip continues to adapt like the good Navy baby he is, and we are so so so so fortunate to be in the circumstances in which we are. My heart breaks for all of the Japanese. If anyone can overcome this, though, they can.
Please keep Rob in your thoughts. He reassures me all is well at sea, and I trust him.
I just wanted to say that though I might not have been directly in touch with you lately, your e-mails, facebook posts, and comments on these posts have meant the world to me. I never dreamed I had such support, and it is what is getting me through all of this. I love you all.
We’ll keep you posted.