Shlee

AshleyWard

Shlee

What can I say-I love to write and I love to travel. What better to do than blog about my travels?

I'm a writer who has always ached to see the other side of the Pacific, to cross the Atlantic and to see how other people live.

I want to feel immersed in culture, different from my own and show the world who else is out there. I'd also like to lend a hand but I haven't found that money tree yet, but I sure can write, and love doing it. It's my way of helping.

So if a disaster occurs, I'll do my best to be there. I want to be there and report what I see back to you folks, and more folks.



Asia » Japan » Miyagi » Sendai June 2nd 2011

Today is our last day traveling through disaster zones. We took a train, then a taxi into Sendai, Japan from our hotel. The taxi driver drove us into a business complex, located near the ocean in Sendai. Buildings were demolished to the ground, only a handful of structures survived. Driving through the streets we saw bicycles mangled together, a trumpet laying on top of debris, jeans displaced and a statue that survived the tsunami. The statue formed into a shrine created by locals. People came to the shrine and left a small porcelain Japanese cup with tea inside it, green tea I believe. Also, two fresh and vibrant bouquets of flowers were placed on the floor of the shrine, a stuffed animals and other items people placed. A bouquet of wilted flowers laid amidst the debris, ... read more
A Garmet Wrapped Around a Tree
The New Church
Water in All the Wrong Places

Asia » Japan » Yamaguchi » Yamaguchi June 1st 2011

I’ve had weird, vivid dreams each night. Reminders of how much I miss everyone back home, I suppose. Yesterday we went to an elementary school in northern Japan. The school was made of a big white building that didn’t look like American schools. We met the principal and his staff. They made cubicles in one of the classrooms as their new office, since the original one was on the first floor and destroyed by the tsunami. Fukiko and the principal talked a lot. Everyone was very nice. Half way through the discussion Fukiko told me the principal said the police came and he needed to leave, to distinguish a child's body they found. That felt strange to hear, to feel, to witness. It was even stranger that after he left, we ate lunch with the staff ... read more
Fukiko Marshall handing out American cards to Japanese students
Second Grade Class
Fukiko walked down teh school hallways with the principal

Asia » Japan » Miyagi » Ishinomaki June 1st 2011

Yesterday our journey was such: after breakfast at 7:30 a.m. we went and caught the 8:56 a.m. train to Sendai. From Sendai we went on bus, which took two hours from Masushimakaigan to Ishinomaki. Matsushimakaigan had minimal damage from the tsunami and earthquake. We had about an hour before the bus came so we walked to the beach (with my heavy backpack strapped to my weak and struggling shoulders and back) and then took a two hour long bus ride to Ishinomaki. Along the ride we saw bits of the disaster. It was my first real look, ad preview, of the disaster and what it did. I saw its destruction of rice fields, which had cars, boats and trash gathered in the fields. Cars stacked on top of each other, forming piles. The bus ride was ... read more
A destroyed building in Ishinomaki
Rice Fields

Asia » Japan » Tokyo » Nippori May 31st 2011

This morning I awoke with a pounding headache and backache, I assume from dehydration and sitting for so long- 11 hour flight, 1 hour train ride, 1 hour sitting and discussing our plans over a map= 13 hours sitting. This morning we had a brunch-buffet in the hotel restaurant. The hotel was fancy: marble, clean and shiny. The buffet offered an array of fruits, funny looking fish, yogurt, rice miso soup (with add-in ingredients on the side), toast, croissants, eggs and more. We were there for about an hour, eating, sipping and chatting away the morning. I enjoyed a safe bowl of rice, miso soup, and white bread. Yes, very safe and American, but with radiation spewing in the air I vowed not to eat any poultry, fish, vegetable or fruit, or at least try not ... read more
Train Station in Tokyo
Driving

Asia » Japan » Tokyo » Nippori May 30th 2011

We arrived thirty minutes early in Tokyo on May 30th. The 16-hour time difference and 11-hour plane ride switched us over into the next day, Monday. I walked off fairly confused by the Japanese and part English and Chinese labeled signs. I was able to find my way to immigration by following the crowd and had paperwork filled out and interviewed by customs. Why did you come? Where are you staying? How long? Once I made it past the interview, I pushed through the doors to find Fukiko standing and smiling at me. She rushed her petite body over to me and hugged me. I made it. ... read more

Asia » Japan » Tokyo » Nippori May 29th 2011

I am flying west of Seattle, making good time I suppose. The flight began rather loud and rough, turbulence at its finest. Our Boeing 777 was swaying side to side with the current of the waves swaying below it. One set of turbulence shook and dropped us down a bit. I felt my heart leap out of my chest, and keep beating. Before that set of turbulence occurred, I stared at the back of my eyelids and awoke to rice crackers with Japanese letters imprinted on the white bag. Lunch was served shortly after, about twenty minutes after. The stewardess, (all female, all Asian stewardesses wearing blue and white pin-stripe skirts, aprons and button-up blouses with handkerchiefs lacing their necks) walked down the aisles placing warm, wet, white hand towels in our hands. I watched as ... read more




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