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hello from Ronni

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  • Ronni Alexander
    Hello Friends, Many of you wrote that you don t have much information on the situation here, so I am sending just a short update. Here s a link from my ...
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 6, 2011
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      Hello Friends,

      Many of you wrote that you don't have much information on the situation
      here, so I am sending just a short update. Here's a link from my
      university that was set up for international students:
      > http://www.kobe-u.ac.jp/en/international-students/urgent/u2011_03_17_01.htm

      There are still about 17,000 people missing and the confirmed death toll
      is over 12,000. They are erecting temporary housing in some of the
      tsunami areas, but there is a general lack of land and things are
      proceeding more slowly than everyone would like. But, school has started
      in many places and people are struggling to pick up the pieces. I do
      some work with the day labor community here and I heard yesterday that
      the first call for 100 workers to clean up rubble has been issued. There
      will no doubt be lots of those jobs (hard, dangerous and not well-paid)
      around for a while.

      The nuclear situation is terrifying and a real mess. It is hard to know
      what to do or to believe. So far in Kobe, there is basically no problem,
      but that is due to change in a couple of days when it is going to rain.
      They have dumped lots of contaminated water into the sea, and there have
      been some warnings about fish. Who knows?

      Meanwhile, I will be going with some YMCA and other colleagues to do
      some work (1000 soups and coffees and play with children). We will be in
      a place that is supposed to be safe, but is relatively near the plant
      (Yamamoto-cho, Miyagi Prefecture) this weekend. The plan is to think
      about how we will be able to work together and support people in the
      area. Honestly, I am scared (there are still strong aftershocks, too)
      but want to see how things are and see if there is a way for Popoki to
      help. I have a huge long banner of cotton and lots of magic markers and
      hopefully we will begin a very long banner connecting different communities.

      In the midst of all this, it is sometimes a bit hard to remember that
      there are lots of horrible things happening the world over. Thanks for
      your engagement with all those things, and for your caring about our
      disaster here, too.

      Wouldn't it be wonderful if we could all just sit back and have a drink
      and enjoy a sunset! The cherry trees are blossoming in Kobe, so here is
      a bit of cherry tree cheer sent your way.


      Ronni Alexander/ロニー・アレキサンダー
      Graduate School of International Cooperation Studies
      Kobe University
      Rokko-dai, Nada-ku, Kobe 657-8501 JAPAN
      Tel/Fax: +81-(0)78-803-7116
      E-mail: alexroni@...
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