|Japans Earthquake 11th March 2011
We were in quite a remote area of the south island of New Zealand staying in a doc camp for a few days with no phone coverage so it was a while before we saw the newspapers and tv footage and realised quite how serious the situation had been in Japan.
Our hearts go out to those affected in what has been a terrible disaster on several levels.
The earthquake in Christchurch was scary enough we cannot imagine what that one must have been like, estimated to have been 4000 times more powerful, let alone the Tsunami that followed and the nuclear problems..
We saw some footage of the Tsunami recently which was terrifyingly destructive and came just 11minutes after the quake, having spent a good time in Japan we know the Japanese are probably the most organised and prepared people in the world for natural disasters but how can you ever prepare for that.
We rode all down that coast just a few months ago making friends as we went and there are signs warning where the Tsunami inundation zones are, concrete emergency shelters and Tsunami and earthquake warning sirens everywhere. They also practice regular emergency drills so everyone knows what to do but of course after the earthquake, paths and roads are blocked, power cables are down, buildings destroyed and it all gets a lot more difficult.
We were met with kindness where ever we went in Japan and we felt we wanted to do something to help but what ?
Step foward Karen’s parents Lyn & Arthur who suggested a donation to a Cornwall (uk) based charity called Shelterbox. They have a website
http://shelterbox.org/ which is excellent and explains exactly what they do but the gist of it is they send emergency shelter packs to areas that have been hit by natural disasters. These contain the basics needed for survival, a tent, blankets, a stove to keep warm and cook with, water purification kit etc. For people who have lost everything this is a way of giving not only a bit of diginity and privacy back but also something they can start to call home, living in a tent this last year we know how important that is. There is more on their website about what a box contains and how it all works but the really important part is that it is practical help where its needed without donations disapearing into admin for some huge organisation.
Lyn and Arthur started an account in the name of Guzzioverland and made a donation and we have made a donation to the same account.
We don’t want to bend anybodys arm or pressurise anyone but if you were thinking of donating something you can just click on donate and follow the instructions and type Guzzioverland in the group name. The great thing about this is that you can track your box (or part box) and see where and when it went on the website either by typing in the box number or by searching for ‘Guzzioverland’ in the groups boxes (about page 71) where you can see every box that the group has sent with box number and date. All money given goes directly to Shelterbox and they are doing a brilliant job, thanks to Lyn and Arthur for the idea. Our thoughts are with everyone in Japan, they still have some serious problems to overcome not least the nuclear issue which we hear is far from over.