Posts Tagged ‘earthquake’


Chelsea: Thanksgiving in Quito

November 27, 2011

I spent this weekend at “home” in Quito with my family – all in all, it was a fantastic weekend and just what I needed 🙂

On Thursday, our school held a Thanksgiving celebration for all of the students here. It wasn’t quite the same – but it was a nice thought and a great time to reunite with friends. It was held in a nice banquet room and everyone brought a dish to share! I attempted to make apple crisp, and despite a few different ingredients, it surprisingly turned out better than expected! Right after eating a lot (mashed potatoes and turkey!!! …and some not-so-traditional Thanksgiving food), the music started and I was grabbed to dance as I was still chewing dessert! Quite the change from the sweatpants and football game. So, we danced the night away and had a lot of fun!

The Thanksgiving feast!

My family definitely rocking the dance floor 🙂

The next morning there was a band competition between the neighborhoods here, that of course started at 5am right behind my house! A little later, at a normal hour, I went with my aunts and the kids from the daycare to go watch! It was a lot of fun, especially dancing with the little kids – adorable 🙂 And, our band won so we were even on the news that afternoon!

Also, later that night around 8:00, there was an Earthquake in Quito! It happened about 45 minutes from us and was magnitude 4…and I definitely felt it! My whole house shook for almost a minute – such a weird feeling!

Yesterday, I attended a “school program” for my brother Pablo. I was expecting a meeting at the school…and that was definitely wrong. We went to one of the students’ houses and basically had a party! We all danced (even the YMCA), played some intense musical chairs (where you eliminate chairs, but just sit on other people), tug of war (with a pool in the middle), and more dancing! So much for just the afternoon – we were there for about 7 hours (1 of which was the actual “meeting” of the parents between dances)

…musical chairs 🙂

All in all, it was a fantastic weekend here at home in Quito. Now, I’m heading back to Latacunga for my last week of my internship and on Friday, I’ll be back in Quito for my last week of the program! I absolutely cannot believe I will be home in just 3 weeks – this semester has flown by so fast! I’m excited to see family & friends and be home for the holidays…but I’m definitely not ready to leave Ecuador nor return to reality…


Connie: Aftermath

March 19, 2011

Of course the news has been covering the quake and the tsunami almost constantly. Most of it has turned to the situation with the nuclear reactors in Fukushima. There’s something about watching it that feels like some kind of sci-fi movie. It’s unreal to see it happening, especially in the country where I am located. It’s really kind of eerie.

And yet here in Hiroshima people are generally living life as they had all year. The roads are busier than usual with people moving in for the new school year (Japanese school years are April until March with several long breaks in between). Yesterday some friends and I volunteered at a nursery school where the kids were all as cheerful and energetic as cute little kids should be. Tomorrow some friends and I are going out. Friday I might be taking a day trip to Kagawa. People are doing experiments for their majors. I went to practice flute the other day and several other members stopped by.

Life as usual, unless you turn on the television.

One of the pictures taken by my friend: crumbled road. 

I am glad that I’ve gotten in touch with all of my friends who are in various parts of Japan. A friend in Hokkaido says some cities are dangerous, but his home of Sapporo is doing fine. A friend who had been in Korea took several extra days to message me back, but I’m going to guess his travel got a bit delayed. A friend who had been working in Tokyo made his journey back. I saw him this morning looking quite sleepless and lacking his usual easygoing demeanor. For the past few days he’d been posting pictures of the damage in Tokyo on facebook – they looked like scenes out of a zombie movie. Another friend in Tokyo, and exchange student, while okay, is pondering whether she should return to America or not.

Apparently the Prime Minister has said that another Chernobyl is unlikely since the technology and safety in place on the Japanese reactors is much more solid than Chernobyl’s had been. Yet at the same time experts are saying that they’re unsure of the situation within the cores. It is, as I said, eerie, but I want to be optimistic. I don’t want to be forced back to America before my time’s up, and I don’t want anyone I’ve met to be stuck in a bad situation.

Thanks for the concern to all the people who asked about me – I’m fine. I haven’t felt a single tremor here in Hiroshima.

The day my friend and I left Tokyo was the day of the 7.2 earthquake. That morning while sitting in a Mister Donut (we spent a lot of time there) we felt a minor shake. It was enough to make several customers leave but not enough for the bustling workers to notice. When I first felt it I wasn’t sure what I was feeling – I’m from the land of 10,000 lakes and just one tectonic plate, after all. My friend for a brief moment thought she was just hyped up on too much sugar after four donuts. The lights swayed some but the shaking was subtle and quick.

We weren’t around for the bigger one later, and I’m told it was a good thing we’d decided to fly to Tokyo since train lines were shut down.

For now Hiroshima is quiet, and I hope it remains that way. I also hope things go smoothly up north. I have faith that Japan can pull through this.


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