With this blog and other communications I am reaching out to all Trinity alumnae and friends in Japan, extending our prayers and messages of concern, offers of whatever help we can give at this time. If you are in Japan please post a comment to this blog to let us know how you are doing.
Notre Dame Seishin University is Trinity’s sister school in Okayama. The Sisters of Notre Dame founded Seishin in 1949 as the first and only women’s college in that part of Japan. I had the pleasure of visiting Seishin in 1995 as well as the Notre Dame Junior College in Hiroshima. In those days students from Seishin came to Trinity to learn English, and sometimes Trinity graduates went to Japan to teach ESL. Unfortunately, the downturn in the Japanese economy in the late 1990’s ended this exchange. However, many Trinity alumnae as well as Sisters of Notre Dame, not only Japanese but also Americans and other nationalities, continue to live and work in Japan.
The terrible crisis in Japan — earthquake, tsunami, nuclear meltdown — is unimaginable to those of us who live in the relatively placid landscape of the east coast of the U.S. Our most pressing concerns today seem to be which teams will be invited to the NCAA tournament, whether the NFL will go on strike, or if an iPad2 is worth the investment. While we consider disaster drills mostly in the event of some unfathomable terrorist act, the idea of a natural disaster in Washington is generally limited to threats of snow accumulation.
In an instant, in that part of northern Japan most affected by the disaster, life for hundreds of thousands of people changed irrevocably. Even in parts of that nation far from the quake zone, the aftershocks — physical, psychological, economic, social — will go on for years. Worldwide debate will surge on the safety of nuclear power plants. Speculation about earthquake dangers to the West Coast of the U.S. will intensify. Global economic indicators will monitor tremors from Japan’s efforts to recover from this devastation.
At Trinity, we might not be able to do much about any of that, and we might even feel somewhat distant from this news unfolding halfway around the world. But we have Japanese alums and friends, and American alums in Japan, and sister schools that may need our help in ways we cannot imagine today. So, we reach out with concern and condolence, mindful as well that we have many blessings here that we can share with those in need.
What else can Trinity do to provide aid to Japan right now? Please click on the comment link below to offer your ideas, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org