Saturday, 10 March 2012
Well I thought I had better get around to writing something and why not on the eve of the first anniversary of the Tohoku triple disaster.
So one year ago, I was 6-7 months pregnant when the giant quake hit Miyagi, which we felt here in Fukushima as a 6 on the Japanese scale. Just recalling that day gives me heart palpitations, even now. My house was not affected by the tsunami nor was there any damage from that earthquake which is still completely unbelievable to me. We lost the water supply for a month to our house but the power was always connected, lucky for us in our all electric house! All I can say is that we were so lucky to have built a home that did withstand it. Even more lucky for us was the fact that the wind was blowing the radiation from the Fukushima power plant away from us in the days after the explosions happened. That means that we are able to still live here, when other cities such as Fukushima City and Koriyama are dealing with much higher levels of radiation and other towns are now uninhabitable.
It took a long time for things to get back to some kind of normality for us - if you could call it that. We have been back in Fukushima for over 6 months now. Geiger counters are a part of daily life. So is checking where the food in the supermarket comes from. However, I expect there are people all over Kanto and Tohoku doing this, not just in Fukushima. I have a constant supply of rice, fresh vegetables and fruit from DH's family in Tottori which is so helpful as I never have to worry about that.
All around our neighbourhood there are mini communities of people from the evacuation zone. Our neighbourhood still had a lot of undeveloped land which was quickly utilised by the city as a place for prefabricated houses for the people who fled the power plant. Our city is so popular at the moment there is somewhat of a boom going on here. Houses are being built around us, empty land is being snapped up, all the apartments in town are full, help wanted signs everywhere, hospitals overcrowded and I can't get an appointment at the dentist till May... people are on waiting lists to move here from other parts of Fukushima. It is a very bizzarre situation for us here indeed as it certainly was not such a popular place to come to before the disaster that's for sure!
As the anniversary of the disaster approaches the Japanese media has been working itself into a frenzy of rehashing the whole thing. Being here in Tohoku and seeing the devastation on a daily basis, seeing the people living in the prefab housing every day, I think we kind of need a break from it. I would be nice to turn it all off for a few days - not possible I know, but boy do we all need a holiday from it!
A couple of reporters from Canada here in Fukushima at the moment. I was asking them if they were sent here by their employer or if they came at their own expense. They said they were here off their own bat, as their agency was reluctant to send reporters to Fukushima because the Canadian government doesn't recommend people come here...All I can say is thank you for coming and seeing what it's like here and letting people know what's going on as the situation is certainly not all fixed and many people are still seriously affected by what happened at the Fukushima Dai Ichi Nuclear Power Plant.
Saturday, 28 January 2012
My sister is staying with me at the moment and yesterday she went along with my friend to take part in some volunteer activities at a drop in centre for evacuees and other people affected by the March 11 disaster. After that she went with my friend to visit some people who live in the prefab housing built for the people who lost their homes either to the power station or the tsunami.
Here is her blog post. Please read it if you have time. The one thing that the people my sister met yesterday said was, that they want people to remember Fukushima and hear their story. Also that people's lives are still not back to normal - still in limbo, waiting for the government to make decisions. My sister's blog is actually about her experience living in the UAE, also an interesting read.
Tuesday, 24 January 2012
So Sebastian, my miniature schnauzer is a bit special. He is a bit of a scaredy cat and shows this by barking. This has not endeared him to every one we meet, but since he is so cute and fluffy a lot of people are kind to him anyway. We decided to finally take him to a dog park so he would have to interact with other people and dogs. We had been planning to do this since before the March 11 disaster, but then that happened and it got put off. So we took him along a few months ago. He barked a lot the first time - about 10 minutes or so, then got over it and played well with the other dogs. Now when we take him, he is a bit scared at first, but now goes up and "introduces himself" to other dogs and then plays well, only barking when the other dogs won't play with him back. So here is picture of Basti socialising. One thing we noticed is that the other dogs all tend to be dressed up when they are at the park. Basti has one outfit we were given but he doesn't like wearing it so he goes "au naturale".
Then Miss Amelia has become a real character, she looks so cute with a hat on I just had to have a wee play and see what she looked like in Mummy and Daddy's hats....
Sunday, 22 January 2012
Today we went to a Doll shop, looking for Amelia's Girl's Day Dolls, or Doll's Festival dolls. This special day for girls is on March 3rd, and I was told today in the shop that the dolls are to be displayed for a month beforehand.
So with that in mind, we looked around at what might be a good option for our family. The dolls range from expensive to crazy wildly expensive, from just 2 dolls up to a 7 tiered monstrosity that takes over half your living room.
We were allowed to take some photos, provided that the price was not shown, since my sister was with us and since she came all the way from NZ they said ok.
So now you guys can see, too.
|This one is for Boys day on May 5th|
Thursday, 12 January 2012
|A belated Merry Christmas from Amelia The Elf|
Hi Everyone, Happy New Year!
Well it has been several months since I last posted. I really just didn't get around to it with Christmas preparations, New Years preparations and Amelia's new habit of rolling over and waking up every 5 minutes which means I kind of have to hold her down until she falls asleep properly or she will roll over and wake herself up again.
So what have we been doing? Not much that is of interest I would have to say. But 2 days ago Amelia turned 7 months. She has her 2 bottom teeth now which is super cute and I think she is getting some more judging by her grumpiness and gnawing at things. She also seems to warming up for crawling by the way she tries to get up on her hands and knees now.
|Can you see her two little teeth?|
Today we had the 2nd big earthquake so far this year. We also had one on New Years day. Today was a magnitude 5.8, 19 km deep and only 22kms away from Iwaki city. So it was a very sudden and rattly shake. Poor Basti was cowering under my chair for quite a while. Amelia was watching her music videos on our iPad and barely batted an eyelid, apart from looking at me and wondering why I suddenly grabbed onto her! We haven't had any more since then, fingers crossed that was the action for the day.
Last photo for today is Amelia showing her new skill of eating teething biscuits, though most go on her face, hands, bib and the floor, much to Basti's delight.
Wednesday, 12 October 2011
DH is off on another international business trip today. We are home alone and I am left holding the baby and the crazy but cute dog. Oh and the baby is cute too.
So am unimpressed that DH has to go away as it is mostly as support translator for his bosses who can't speak English well enough to communicate with the all important customers. Personally I think DH deserves a pay rise and big fat bonus for his English speaking ability that nobody else in his company seems to have, but everyone takes advantage of. That was my little gripe.
Amelia had her BCG today. Personally I think it is quite barbaric the way it is administered. Surely there must be a better way in this day and age. Amelia is fine, I am the one who is traumatised. At the drs yesterday someone said to me for the first time ever: "Isn't she big!". Their baby was 7 months and only slightly bigger than Amelia. The babies studied each other very closely whilst we waited for it to be their turn to get their jabs.
Today we talked to Nana in New Zealand on our iMac. Amelia could see my mum well and was quite mesmerised by the screen. Previously we have just been using an iPad which has a back camera and Amelia smiles at the apple on the back, but doesn't get to see Nana herself. Now she can sit up and look at the screen and also enjoys swiveling on the swivel chair at mummy's desk, on my knee of course. Amelia has also started to read picture books. Ok. So she looks at the pictures now. She also appears to be listening to the story and can sit still for a whole book when we read one just after she has had her milk.
Nana and Popa in Tottori have also booked flights to come and see us in December. This is very big news as it will be their second trip here ever since DH moved here about 15 years ago. They are going to be here for 4 full days. That is going to be interesting. Thankfully DH's mum is not a stickler for tidiness, but has extremely high standards for food. She is a fabulous cook herself and whips up 4 dishes for every dinner and cooks lunch too. So what am I going to feed her?!?! Last time she came, she didn't do anything whilst she was here, which is only fair since I do nothing when I visit their place. I think I will make DH take some extra days off work so he can do the cooking and I will be on Amelia duty instead : )
Wednesday, 5 October 2011
Well tomorrow is my birthday. I'm not telling you all fishing for birthday messages. It is just that exactly one year ago tomorrow there were big things going on in Gaijin Housewife Land and I can't help but reminisce.
This time last year we had just moved to our awesome new house (which then turned out to be our awesome new house in a disaster zone). My sister and her husband had come to stay. I was desperate to get pregnant and some of you will remember my rantings in clomid induced craziness. That was fun. Then there was my birthday last year when I thought we had been unsuccessful AGAIN and I think I spent some of it crying and feeling very sorry for myself. Then the next day for some reason I thought I would do a test and for the first time ever saw that little thin pink line that today is a nearly 4 month old little munchkin called Amelia! But I couldn't tell you all that until later.
So a lot has happened to me in the last one year that is for sure. I'm kind of hoping the next year will be rather more calm than the last one has been.
So here is a picture of skinny Amelia, when she was just on boob juice, which I was struggling to produce enough of:
Actually looking at pictures of her when she was so tiny makes me quite sad.
Anyway, here is Amelia now (6kgs!), in the same outfit, which I kind of had to squeeze her into.
Looking much more healthy and is currently weighing in exactly in the middle of the curve of acceptable weights.
This is what Amelia got up to on the weekend.
Bareback dog riding.
Sebastian not so impressed.