The countdown…

Thursday, March 10, 6:45 pm

Isabelle drops me off at the Memorial Union to meet my International Reporting Class and the bus that will take us to Indy. As we have to be at the Indianapolis Airport at 5 a.m. Friday, the IU Journalism school thought it would be best to have us tracked and tagged the night before. Apparently there have been issues in the past….

8:00 p.m.

 Hampton Hotel! There’s a hot tube. Perfect way to start spring break.

8:3o p.m.

An email from the Hiroshima School Board arrives to confirm an interview with the council on March 17.

“It’s so surreal to think we’re going to Japan tomorrow!” Jessica exclaims.

We start practicing the few Japanese words we know. Our favorite by far is kudasai. Joe Coleman, our professor and former chief of the Associate Press Bureau in Tokyo, described it as the word you tack on to a sentence to ask for something politely.

“If you’re at a restaurant and want the menu, then it’s ‘Menu kudasai!’”

To me, it sounds like a magic word. You know, in the vein of presto or  accio!

Japan kudasai!

Friday, March 1:30 a.m.

I shut off my computer and quit trying to write an article for Inside. As I set my alarm, it tells me I have two hours before I have to get up. Oh well, there’s time to sleep on the plane.

Around 2 a.m.

Click click click click

Jessica is madly texting away. Suddenly, “Kamilla, my friends are telling me there’s been an earthquake. Can we turn on the news?”

“Are you sure your friends aren’t playing a joke?”

I fumble for the remote and toss it in her direction. Jessica flips through the channels and stops at CNN:


Snap shot of our TV screen around 2 a.m. Friday morning.

Japan battles to contain nuclear crisis after huge quake

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3 Responses to The countdown…

  1. Kenny Norman says:

    Dang! What bad timing. Hopefully you’ll get to go SOMEwhere this week!

  2. Elizabeth Dube says:

    I’m so sorry about all your plans…but also very glad that you were safe in a hotel room in Indiana when all this happened…

  3. Géza Benkő says:

    Dear Kamilla,
    I am so happy for you that you did not make it to Japan in time !!!
    How lucky you are, that you were not there a day earlier.
    Japan is nice, but being alive is nicer !
    Good luck for your next trip abroad.
    With love,

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