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K38 japan Tour 2013 begins


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I traveled to Japan to teach instructors and lead our K38 Japan Disaster Management Training and tour of the damaged tsunami areas. We interviewed survivors of the tsunami and traveled to several Prefectures to inspect all the hard hit areas of the Tohoku tsunami and the Great East Japan Earthquake.

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K38 japan Tour 2013 begins

  1. 1. K38 Japan Tour 2013 Begins! I arrive at Narita Airport and collect my luggage and find my way to the South terminal, check in baggage and get my next ticket to Sendai airport. Sendai airport was inundated with the Tohoku tsunami waters. My flight was delayed and I struggled to stay awake but found I had to lay down to sleep fearful of missing my connecting flight. Those 3 hours were a struggle. I got onto the plane and fell asleep I did not awake until I felt the lurch of the plane wheels hit the runway in Sendai, waking me in a shock trying to collect where I was again. SENDAI AIRPORT I slowly shake myself awake and head down to the luggage claim area. There waiting for me were my friends, the Yamaoka family and Hideyuki Umeda! I am so happy to see them all again! It is time for a reunion! We got into the van and began to drive to our next destination, our hotel. First we stopped for sushi and at a convenience store so I could get water, I was dehydrated. The sushi place was nice; I was in a bit of a fog. We got to the hotel and Hide, Hiroshi, and his wife all came into my small room. They began to give me presents which seem to be traditional in Japan and a really nice thing to do, it is much appreciated. There is a championship baseball game going on and I think the Giants are going to get crushed by the Eagles! 1
  2. 2. At Sendai airport Hiroshi’s daughter and I are underwater at this high water mark from the Tohoku tsunami. We are inside the terminal; I can only imagine how fast the waters were swirling with debris inside this structure! They cleared the airport our in record breaking time. This was the first thought that encountered my disaster tour, that all of the areas were going to visit and study, all of them were under water, but not any kind of water. The fiercest waters known to mankind, surging tsunami currents. I pulled out my luggage and began to give out the t-shirts, coins and so forth. I gave the Yamaoka family a flag case with the patch and 3 NQC coins in it as a thank you for their personal support of the Never Quit Challenge. I was so tired. After they left I took a shower and crawled into bed. I had had enough of this day. I was excited to spend time with our K38 instructors and their families on this part of the trip. I awoke at 4am and could not go back to sleep, I texted and emailed friends and let my children know I arrived, then got up and went down to breakfast. I filled my plate up and ate. Hiroaki Kishi and his family plus Kazuya Iwamori were on their way. We waited for them to arrive and traffic was bad so we decided to meet on the road to our next destination, Mr. and Mrs. Abe, two survivors of the Sendai tsunami. They also had a fireman there who responded and worked with Mr. Iwamaki during the PWC recoveries he did. Fate would bring us all together. I can feel the weight of the trip bearing down on me now. The Japanese cultural mindset is not an American one. I was going to reframe my own actions to meet the sensitivities of the Nippon needs and not be a ‘rude American’ LOL. I also wanted to ask hard questions in our interviews to gather insights that may help others in a moment of need. These survivor stories were important and K38 Japan had made a commitment to develop a professional dialogue and training program for the types of probably responses our RWC community would be called upon to produce if possible. Shawn Alladio K38 Founder 2
  3. 3. ABOUT K38 Japan's Disaster area tour of certain areas that were impacted by the Tohoku tsunami in conjunction with K38 Japan instructors and K38 Founder Shawn Alladio. The disaster area tour covered 3 days and multiple cities with interviews from survivors and responders specific to each disaster area. The tour was followed up with a Disaster Management training program for instructor development and K38 Open Water Rescue Course for Japanese water rescue specialists . Dates: October 21-November 1st, 2013 Special thanks to Maris and the Japan Transport Safety Board and Coast Guard for supporting my tour and trip plans, and of course the K38 Japan instructors whom I appreciate most dearly. 3