The past week has been an emotional one, where my brother and I have been glued to the NHK channel watching Japan cope and deal with the aftermath of The Great Tohoku Kanto Earthquake of March 11, 2011. I race home each night from work, and plant my girls in front of the laptop, the familiar be-bop-be-ba-bap-beep tone of Skype becoming routine. We hear the dial tone, and the spiraling arrow icon, swirling like a mini whirlpool in the middle of the black box on the center of the screen.
We hear Jiji’s voice first, and then the girls start talking. “Jiji?? Jiji Baba? Are~? ” says my little one. “Are~” in Japanese is a word used when questioning something – best translated in this context as “Where???” I don’t utilize this phrase; however, I can think of the one place where it was used. It’s from a scene in Hayao Miyazaki’s My Neighbor Totoro where the two girls, Satsuki and Mei arrive at their new home in the countryside, and start exploring the house. They open the shoji doors, exploring the house saying, “Are~~?” Funny how little two year old brains retain the most random things, and apply them.
Yesterday, Jiji and Baba were just starting to eat breakfast. My mother follows a very strict diet of multi-grain, high antioxidant, low sugar items to manage my father’s blood sugar level. Breakfast is often half a piece of toasted wheat bread with kinako, or soybean powder, raw tomatoes, plain yogurt, raisins soaked in black vinegar, and walnuts. I personally think it’s a diet that one needs to ease into – but then again, my father’s health has improved with the change in diet.
My older daughter triumphantly showed her grandparents her lunchbox, which was empty. We had a winner lunch!
Thursday’s lunch – a bit of non-St. Patty’s lunch:
Roasted beets, this time, cut into penguin shapes
Steamed multi-grain rice with black sesame seeds
Roasted chicken wings with salt, pepper, and organic poultry seasoning
Boiled egg – again, left in dashi overnight for flavoring. Essentially, you take a hard-boiled egg, and let it soak in dashi overnight. The egg white takes on the flavor of the stock, and it’s very tasty. I found out my girls love these eggs!
Speaking of… this was the week of the super (Perigee) moon – honored with boiled eggs!
A colleague called me up late afternoon, to let me know the power cord was connected to the Fukushima Daiichi plants. Sending positive thoughts for this process to be a success, so we can tackle the greatest worry, and continue assisting those affected by the earthquake.
Here are just a few sites taking donations for the victims of the 3/11/11 earthquake:
For those that may be unsure as to whether they should donate or not, please note, after Hurricane Katrina, the Japanese citizens and government donated heavily. Please consider donating to the many charities lining up to assist those affected by the earthquake and subsequent tsunami.