A day-to-day, true to life drama of a Jamaican male, living and working in Japan.

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Monday, March 14, 2011

Days 1082 - 1088 Sunday, March 6, 2011 - Saturday, March 12 , 2011

Days 1082 - 1088 Sunday, March 6, 2011 - Saturday, March 12 , 2011

Sorry for my late update guys.

Well it is all over the news in probably every single country about the devastating earthquake that hit north eastern Japan on Friday, March 11, 2011. I can only say that I was fortunate enough to be wayyyy south of it ( 500 miles / 805 km ). Didn't feel a thing but we can only pray for those who were affected. We can also donate and help in any other ways ... I will say more about this on Day 1087 - Friday, March 11, 2011.

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Day 1082
Sunday, March 6, 2011


Left out of the hotel in Takarazuka (really nice hotel) and had breakfast with my friend and her daughter. We then went to a supermarket to get some stuff then we had dinner. She then dropped me to wait on the bus to get back to Niimi, but the bus was about 10 minutes late and had me a bit concerned. We had to call the bus company who told us they were running late because of some traffic.

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Day 1083 { Leaving Announcement / Vybez Kartel}

Monday, March 7, 2011

Went to Bible study in the night, where I announced that I should be going to Yokohama coming April.


There is this very famous DJ/Dance hall music singer in Jamaica, possibly the most famous now a days, name Vybez Kartel. This dude once lived in the community where I lived for most of my life in Jamaica. Waterford aka GAZA!!!! I used to see this guy quite a bit between 1998-2000 as he would frequent my neighborhood with some other guys that I know. They had a little crew or gang known as the PELPA....

Now this guy has become insanely famous in Jamaica now and even own a couple of businesses. So famous he became that he even gave a lecture at the main university in Jamaica, the University of the West Indies. He is also quite famous in Japan as well, but only among the Japanese who like reggae. This is a clip of his lecture http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=YXvneDyvbJQ#at=19

He has quite a few controversial lyrics, but that makes him even more popular. Here is a snippet about his lecture at the university. They even made a funny cartoon from it. You probably won't understand it though if you don't know what is going on in Jamaica.

Guest lecturer at the university yesterday, on the topic 'Pretty Like A Colouring Book: My Life and My Art,' Kartel had thousands of students' attention at the Undercroft. Hosted by the Department of Literatures in English and the Institute for Gender and Develop-ment Studies, Kartel came prepared with explanations and comments that were aimed to raise eyebrows. The deejay kicked off his lecture by asking 'Who is Vybz Kartel?' and responding "I am Adidja Palmer, dancehall artiste, hero, businessman, proud father of seven children and counting."

Moving into his past, including his love for music, which was partly brought on by his uncles who were aspiring deejays, Kartel discussed his career from the beginning. He mentioned his meeting with then mentor Bounty Killer, in January of 2000 at the Autovision Car Wash in Half-Way Tree, which he described as "another short-term relationship formed" and material for another lecture. His love of music led him to dancehall which he maintained has got 'a lot of flak from society'.


http://jamaica-star.com/thestar/20110311/ent/ent1.html

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Day 1084
Tuesday, March 8, 2011
Went to the usual Tuesday evening English conversations.


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Day 1085 { Season 5 Premier }
Wednesday, March 9, 2011


I forgot to mention that season 5 of my show premiered on March 1, 2011. Andrew if you read my blog, sorry for putting up your pictrure without your permission :)


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Day 1086 { Free Day }
Thursday, March 10, 2011

Took a day off from work today because I had 3 days to use before my contract ends on March 25. Now I have 2 free days left, wondering if I should use them up. I did absolutely nothing today, except slept a bit. It was sort of boring staying home but I escaped teaching the grade 6 students at this school just for today.

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Day 1087 {9.0 Earthquake rocks Japan's Tohoku region in the North east}

My day


Today I woke up and went to work like normal. I remember looking up in the sky because we were having a nice weather. A thought cross my mind of when hurricane Ivan was about to hit Jamaica in September 2004. I was thinking back how the weather was good and my friend called to say it seem as if no hurricane will come because of how the sun is hot outside.... But then it came and with great force.

Anyway, after work, I left the teachers there in a meeting and told them of my intention to go to Yokohama next month. Most were surprised but I had already told a few persons about it.
I then drove to the 100 yen shop (equivalent to the dollar store) when I got a text message from a good friend of mine in Jamaica, at about 4:20 pm Japanese time (2:20 am in Jamaica). The text asked me if I was ok in Japan because of the earthquake... I however thought she was speaking of a previous earthquake 2 days earlier. So I sent back a text message saying "YES I am ok" and that the earthquake was 2 days ago. Not having the slightest clue that this was a different thing.

It was when I got to my apartment and decided to turn on the TV just by chance, ( because I don't normally watch TV) I found out what was going on. This was when I saw the catastrophe. It was being showed on every channel. So basically, my friend in Jamaica knew about what was going on before I did.

The Earthquake

This is my first time being in another country at the time when a such a massive disaster hit. Japan is however no stranger to natural disasters, or even disasters on a whole. Almost every natural disaster there is, this country has it. There are volcanoes, tsunamis, typhoons and earthquakes. I even heard there was a small tornado last year.

There was a big earthquake in September 1923 known as the great Kanto earthquake which measured 7.9 and more than 130,000 people died... Here is a read up on it http://dl.lib.brown.edu/kanto/denewa.html

There was the great hanshin earthquake or Kobe earthquake in January 1995 which measured 7.3, killing over 6000 people.

Then there is this most recent one today, Friday, March 11, 2011 - So far over 3300 are confirmed dead and approximately 6000 dead or missing. I share the same feeling as Obama in saying "I am heart broken" by this tragedy. This earthquake is said to have shifted the main island of Japan by 8 ft (2.5 M) and shifted the axis of the earth by almost 10 inches ( 0.25 M ) :O ... Here is a read up on that.
http://www.examiner.com/political-spin-in-national/japan-earthquake-shifts-earth-axis-and-moves-coastline-of-japan

It is the biggest ever recorded in Japan and the 5th biggest ever recorded in history. So now this season running from April 2010 - March 2011 has seen the hottest Summer, the coldest winter and the biggest earthquake in Japan... What is going on???

Then there was the dreaded 30ft high tsunami that followed. This was what caused most of the casualties in:












Iwate - I had a friend who was living here for 2 years, he since moved.

Miyagi


Fukushima

Ibaragi

Chiba
- This is where I did my training when I just got to Japan, and quite a few of my friends live here. 1 Jamaican there, already decided to go home.

As you have heard or probably already seen, the tsunami wiped towns clean off the map. It even destroyed some ports as far as Oregon, USA http://www.registerguard.com/web/updates/26010006-55/county-curry-kitzhaber-disaster-state.html.csp

A good amount of my friends felt this earthquake, some even had to sleep at work because there was no transportation going anywhere in or out of Tokyo. Others had to walk home or walk somewhere to sleep, some walking 20-30km. :O

My friend who I stayed with in Kawasaki, Kanagawa-prefecture, near to Yokohama (where I should be moving to), said he felt none-stop tremors for over 2 hours!!! NONE-STOP!!! at different levels of intensity. Thankfully, as far as I know, there were no casualties among anyone I know. Initially there were some Jamaicans and some persons from my company who were unaccounted for, but as far as I know every one is now ok.

You have probably seen this video a couple times but here it is again http://ca.gizmodo.com/5781566/this-is-the-scariest-first+person-video-of-the-japan-tsunami-yet

Nuclear reactors

Now there is the problem of the Fukushima Nuclear plant. Now try not to follow the media hype about this thing. Based on research this is what I believe... (Not my research), got it from my boss.

We hear a lot in the news about level of something called sieverts, which is an attempt to quantitatively evaluate the biological effects of radiation. Mild radiation sickness can occur around 1 sievert of intense exposure.

Since the news is talking millisieverts and microsieverts, here are the conversions:

1 millisievert = 0.001 sievert

1 microsievert = 0.000001 sievert


Fun fa
ct: You are exposed to 1,000 micro sieverts of radiation simply being alive (ie you are exposed to a total of .001 sievert, or 1 millisievert of radiation).

Until you hear that your immediate area is experiencing 1000 millisieverts or 100,000 micro sieverts an hour of radiation, there is no immediate risk to your health. By that point, evacuation orders will have been given (as they have been around the reactors). Even then, your body has the ability to recover over time from low level doses.

For a frame of reference, the nuclear disaster at Chernobyl released about 3,576 sieverts of radiation an hour. They are clocking 500 to 1000 millisieverts an hour the immediate area around the Fukushima reactors, or about 1/3,600,000th the amount of the Chernobyl disaster, or about .00002%.

Also important to keep in mind, the Soviets did not have a conta
inment system for when their core melted down. Fukushima does.

It is possible to
have the Fukushima core melt down completely as long as the containment structures then hold the molten core successfully, dangerous level of radiation should not escape.

The reactors will not explode like the atomic bombs of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.


















The picture above is all in Japanese but you can pretty much figure out what it is saying. For example you can see the chest X-ray on the right. It is saying that if you have ever done a chest x-ray in your life, you were already exposed to 50 micro sieverts. On the left with the plane, it says if you have ever been in a plane, you have been exposed to about 200 micro sieverts. So don't follow the news hype.

These are some latest developments in Japan now:

http://search.japantimes.co.jp/mail/nn20110316a1.html

http://search.japantimes.co.jp/mail/nn20110316a4.html

http://search.japantimes.co.jp/mail/nn20110316a3.html

Good up-to-date News Sources:

http://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/

http://www.ustream.tv/channel/nhk-world-tv


How to donate:

http://www.redcross.org.uk/Donate-Now/Make-a-single-donation/Japan-Tsunami-Appeal

http://www.globalgiving.org/projects/japan-earthquake-tsunami-relief/

http://www.peace-winds.org/en/

I didn't even go to karate, the Friday English conversation, or darts today. I also had a terrible headache.

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Day 1088 { How to Train your dragon }
Saturday, March 12, 2011



Stayed in all day watching the news. Then I watched an animated movie, How to train your dragon. It was enjoyable.


Richard sorry. Mi did use the yellow and adda font colour dem before mi change di layout... suh di new layout mess up di older post dem.




Anonymous 1,2 and 3 - Thanks for your messages and for your concern. Again sorry for my late update. I am still planning to move to Yokohama all going well. Don't follow the media hype, the situation is being over exaggerated. Especially by those who don't fully understand about radiation stuff (not that I do)...But I gather as much that it is no where near serious.

However, if things seem to be getting out of hand or get out of hand, I will try to :

1) Come back to/stay where I am now in Japan which is some 500 miles/over 800 km away from the Fukushima plant.

2) Last resort, go back to Jamaica.

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