Kelly and Buzz


津波で平坦になった土地 津波で平坦になった土地

Just a note…

Although this is a photographic blog, I am posting my trip to the disaster area of Japan to aid in the rescue of the animals here.

I have had incredible support in so many ways, whether they be in donations, help in looking after my family while I was gone, or prayers. I’d like to thank you all for your part in helping the animals and ultimately, the people who were affected by the horrific disaster in Japan.

Looking back, this trip has been one of many, many contrasts. Beauty and darkness, kindness and non-compassion, life and death…As the events unfolded and I opened myself up to so much pain and sadness, kindness and beauty were magnified tenfold. This is the point where you truly feel alive…not the numbness of everyday monotony when life gets too comfortable. It was from this frame of mind (heart) that in order to accomplish our mission, we had to build walls tall enough to see over, but keeping it small enough to stay within our perimeter to keep our focus on the needs of the animal friends we were there to help. I guess this is what saved our sanity there.



Getting there…

March 11, 2011…phone rings from my ex-husband, Tony. Was my TV on? Had I heard about the earthquake in Japan?

I don’t watch news on TV. Earthquakes in Japan are not headliners…except if they cause major damage. Once I turned on the TV, I couldn’t turn it off. For two weeks I watched all the images and videos that came out…maybe in a way to share in the pain of the Japanese people.

I grew up in Japan and spent 18 years of my life there. In my heart, I still consider it “home” so to see this happening there, it was literally hitting “home” for me. I did what everyone else did with donating what I could afford to help out. But I was feeling that it wasn’t enough. I followed Facebook diligently for any news and learned up on the nuclear power plants and the implications of its damages. Everyone I knew had helped in some way to help the people of Japan…whether it be donations, fundraisers, or prayers. It was overwhelmingly beautiful how the entire world came together to help a country in dire need.

2011年3月11日 私の元夫トニーから電話がありました。


私は日本で育ち、18年間をそこで過ごしました。私の心の中では、その出来事を見て 「ふるさと」を思い出していたし、文字通りそれは「ふるさと」で起きたことでした。私は皆がするように、できるだけの寄付を行いました。しかし、それだけ では不十分であると感じていました。私はFacebookで原子力発電所とその事故の影響について調べました。私が知っている誰もが日本の人々の援助のた めにいろいろな手段、寄付や募金活動、そして祈りなどを行いました。それは世界中が一つの悲惨な出来事に一緒に答える姿であり、とても素晴らしい感動でし た。

As I am passionate about animals, my focus was on what was being done to help them, also. I knew everyone was helping the people. But not much focus was being done on the animals.

I looked around for different fundraisers that were popping up around the Napa Valley. I asked if I would be allotted a small table to raise funds for the animal rescue portion of a disaster. Lessons from Hurricane Katrina taught us that animal rescue needed to be integrated into the disaster relief systems.

After contacting a few fundraisers, I was turned down each time. Either they were full (understandably) or they only wanted to represent their own organizations and didn’t want to share the billing with another (!), or not even any response at all! The most disgusting response to my request to have a small table for raising funds for animal rescue was that they didn’t want “to confuse donors” of which organization they were contributing to. Are you kidding me?? Isn’t the whole reason for having these fundraisers to help one another? Or was this just an avenue for their public relations?

The one lesson the Japanese were teaching us in their handling of this triple disaster was the lesson of community and of sharing. There was very, very little looting, if at all. Everyone waited patiently in line for rationed necessities, everyone helped one another out in any way they could. Stores that were ripped open by the earthquake or tsunami were not raped of their contents as happens in other disasters in other countries. If anything at all, shouldn’t we be trying to learn something from the incredible behavior of the Japanese in the wake of such a horrendous disaster?

私は動物が好きです。それで私の関心は動物達を救うことに向けられました。誰でも 人々を救います。しかし、多くの関心は動物達には向けられません。ナパバレー(カリフォルニア州北部にある有数のワイン産地)の周辺で私は資金の援助をし てくれる人を探しました。私は被災地で動物達の救助活動を行うために資金の提供を得られるかどうか尋ねました。私達はハリケーン カトリーナの経験から動物の救出が災害救助活動に人間と同じように組込まれる必要が有る事を学んでいます。数人の資金調達者へ連絡をとってみましたがそれ ぞれ拒否をされました。彼らは自分のことでいっぱいか、彼らの組織のことにしか興味がなく、他のことへ資金を使いたいとは望んでいないか、全く反応を示し てくれませんでした。

この3つの重なった災害で日本の人々が教えてくれたことは地域社会のつながりとお互 いが助けあうという教訓でした。本当にわずかですが略奪がありました。誰もが根気よく一列に並んで必需品の配給を待ちました。誰もができうる様々な方法で 他の人を助けました。他の国で災害時におこるような地震や津波で被害を受けた店舗でその商品が略奪されるようなことはありませんでした。私達はこのような 恐ろしい災害で日本人のとった驚異的な行動から何かを学ぶべきではないでしょうか?

I have a very strong belief that there are no such things as coincidences. I reminded myself that the reasons these fundraisers were not coming through was to make way for something bigger and better. As frustrating as all the denials to my requests were, I have to thank them for helping fuel my anger as this only channeled me to surge forward in ways that I had no idea I was capable of.

I have a little post-it note stuck of an Arabic proverb on my computer that reads: “The person who really wants to do something finds a way, the other person finds an excuse.” I was tired of being the person with the excuses…and too pissed off to just sit by this time. Little did I know it would mean going to Japan myself.


I contacted Kinship Circle, an organization that deploys volunteers for disasters and they accepted my application!! Whoo hoooo! I was going to Japan to help rescue animals!! My heart burst with anticipation, pride, and gratitude! I would be able to meet and work alongside those people who I read about in the website who, in my eyes, are my heroes! Wow!!

私は災害時のボランティア活動を行っている組織 Kinship Circle に連絡をとり、そして彼らは私の考えを受け入れてくれました。フゥー、私は動物達の救助のため日本へ行くことになりました。私の心は期待と誇りそして感謝 の気持ちでいっぱいになりました。私はwebsiteで見て憧れた人達に会い、一緒に活動できることになりました。ワォー!!

Not surprisingly, all my plans moved forward without a hitch! I found myself standing in front of the All Nippon Airways with my overweight bag and two boxes of Tyvex protection suits with an airline attendant waiving any extra fees and not even a mention of them…only a thank you for my services!? This was to be the tone for my trip.

当然ながら、私の計画は全て支障なく前進しました。私はいっぱいに詰まった重量オー バーのバッグと2つのTyvex 防護服の入った箱を持って全日空の入り口にたっていました。さらに航空会社のアテンダントは超過料金手数料もとらず、それについての言及もなく…私だけの サービスに感謝!?これが私の旅行の始まりでした。

Read 4500 times Last modified on 月曜, 10 12月 2012 15:40
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