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Thoughts & Prayers For Japan

I have no words to write about last week’s horrific natural disaster in Japan other than my thoughts and prayers are and continue to be with the Japanese people. It’s simply unfathomable that anything of this magnitude could ever occur.

On my housing preference sheet for college, I marked that I would be open to sharing a room with an international student and so my freshman roommate was Japanese. Ever one for learning about other cultures, making global friendships, I thought it would be a terrific experience and indeed it was.

Misako and I got along wonderfully. I have many fond memories of our time together as roommates but below are those that stand out the most:

-Brining Misako home with me to Philadelphia for fall break. Besides touring the Liberty Bell and other key attractions, it was neat to introduce her to my friends, for her to experience life in an American home.

-Misako’s English was not terribly advanced so I often helped her with her ESL assignments. I can still remember explaining the ending to John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men as she was having difficulty translating it and how she became on the verge of tears when I told her that George shoots Lennie.

-The beautiful kimono she gave me which I will always cherish (I have never been able to assemble it as beautifully as she did the night she gave it to me).

Although it’s been more than seven years since we last saw each other, we still keep in touch and she along with all the other Japanese people are always in my heart.

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