Four years ago

The other day, a friend of mine who takes amazing photographs, Chris Luckhardt posted something on his Instagram account that got me thinking about the horrible earthquake that devastated Japan. His post:

Chris Luckhardt (@chrisluckhardt) • Instagram photos and videos

Since you can’t read the full description that Chris wrote in the screen cap, Chris said:

“4 years ago, a devastating 9.0 earthquake and subsequent tsunami hit the coast of Japan and caused catastrophic damage across a wide region. 

#JapanQuakeTO was a charity fundraiser held in Toronto to support Japan and the relief efforts. The ad hoc event raised almost $10,000 for the Canadian Red Cross. I was the event photographer and ran a photo booth. 

A recent report confirmed 15,891 deaths, 6,152 injured, and 2,584 people missing across twenty prefectures, as well as 228,863 people living away from their home in either temporary housing or due to permanent relocation. 127,290 buildings totally collapsed, with a further 272,788 buildings ‘half collapsed’, and another 747,989 buildings partially damaged. 

On a personal note, my first trip to Japan occurred 8 months later (a 5 days whirlwind trip to explore Hashima Island) and I immediately fell in love with the country. I’ve returned 6 more times, lived in Kawasaki for 2 months, and have become friends with a few people directly affected by the tragedy. 

Stay strong Japan and I’ll see you again soon.”

It reminded me of something I read about and watched around the same time the earthquake hit; a story that still helps to remind me that there are great people in this world. While it wasn’t about the same natural disaster, it still reminded me of the same kind of people like those who organized, rallied, and supported #JapanQuakeTO. I’m glad I saved it somewhere so I can share it with you now:

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Please click through to BBC News to watch the video of Mr. Yamada talk about why he wanted to replace younger men and women to clean up the sites contaminated with radiation; because the internet-produced photo above really does not do him justice and I can’t embed any of the photos I found of him speaking on my blog.

Disclaimer: I’m so done reading about all-the-horrible-things so from now on, I hope to write about the things that either restore my faith in humanity or make me smile and love life1. Not that I really need to explain myself to anyone.

What’s your favourite story that restored your faith in humanity?

  1. whether it is relevant to right now or not []

I <3 The Canadian Red Cross

Whoops. Apparently I need lessons in how to make hand-hearts…

Learn CPR and save a life. Is there really more to say? I’m a little ashamed to admit that I have been wanting to take a course on how to administer CPR since I can remember but I never bothered to. I always had an excuse… for shame.

But now, thanks to the Canadian Red Cross (CRC), I am certified for 3 years! I can only perform CPR on adults but maybe I’ll just stay away from infants and children until I can get the full certification1.

Last week I was able to attend a 4 hour CPR class, compliments of the CRC, where I got to learn about the importance of being able to act quickly and accurately in emergent situations. Brain damage can occur in something like 4 minutes when its deprived of oxygen and ambulances average about 8 minutes to get to its destination. Sadface.

I’ve can remain pretty calm when most people would panic and it makes me feel even better that I now have the accurate information I need to know that can help save someone’s life. Of course none of it would matter if there wasn’t real help coming.

It was one of the things they stressed during the class and I think that it’s something that can easily get overlooked: it doesn’t matter if you know what you’re doing because chances are you don’t have the right tools to do what you need to do2: For heaven’s sake, don’t forget to call for help; call 9-1-1/EMS in emergency situations.

Are you certified in CPR? Are you going to get it? Soon? 🙂 Call The Red Cross!

  1. that shouldn’t be a problem, I’m not around them much anyways – kids at heart still count as adults, right? []
  2. and let’s face it, we can’t all be McGuyver []