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Debbie Ridpath Ohi reads, writes and illustrates for young people. Every few weeks, she shares new art, writing and resources; subscribe below. Browse the archives here.

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stranded in Japan


Update 11:15 am, Wednesday Sept. 12, Tokyo time

Jeff and I are at the Canadian Embassy in Tokyo right now. They said that according to information they received from Narita Airport, evening flights (including ours) have NOT been cancelled so far. However, there is a high probability that they will be cancelled later this afternoon. Advice is to call Air Canada and rebook our flight as soon as possible - I'm sure many others are also rebooking flights as I type. Jeff hasn't been able to get through yet, but is now trying an Osaka Air Canada number that my father e-mailed us (thanks, Dad!). Fingers crossed.

Posted Wednesday, 10 amish

We've been in a bit of a daze since hearing the news, stunned and deeply saddened by the loss of innocent lives lost so far as well as those that will be lost in the future because of this. It breaks my heart to think of what the families of those lost are going through, especially those who don't have a confirmation yet.

I can't imagine trying to explain to a young child how this could have happened, how people could be so evil.

Jeff and I were lazing about at Alison's, just about to go to sleep. Alison tends to make a few business calls around 9 or 10 pm, since that's morning in New York. She found out about the first plane crashing into the World Trade Center when she called her New York office about 15 minutes after it happened.

We tuned into the English-speaking news channel just in time to watch the second plane crash as it was filmed live by CNN. My own reaction was a sense of shock and disbelief; I couldn't believe it was happening.

My second reaction was to move physically closer to Jeff, to hold his hand, lean against his shoulder. I can sympathize with what Lyanne posted in Blatherchat:

"I heard about it right at the beginning of my 10:30 class today, but it really didn't hit home until my 11:30 lecture was cancelled. It's really hard not knowing anyone around here very well, when stuff like this happens. Every TV in the school is surrounded by crowds, understandably. I ended up searching out the people I do know here, and we've just been sticking together."

In bad times like this, I think there is a natural need to be close to family and friends. When we heard about the World Trade Center attack, we immediately thought of the friends we know in New York, wondering if they're okay. Jeff and I are immensely grateful to Alison for putting us up for a little while longer.

At this point, there's no word about when Air Canada plans to resume operations. Jeff's been trying to reach various Air Canada numbers for information (they don't have our contact info here so would have no way of reaching us if they needed to) but has not been able to get through. Even when Air Canada resumes operations, I suspect flights are going to be backed up for a while.

Neither Jeff nor I feel like doing much sightseeing even though we have extra time in Japan.

I'm not particularly keen on flying at all right now, but Jeff and I both want to get home very much.

Thanks to those who have been posting updates and support in Blatherchat, especially Seanan who let us all know that Merav, Batya, Dave, Ellen, Matt, Rachel and family are okay. We've also heard from our friends Harry and Jean, who are okay. To Jodi and Allison: I can't wait to get back soon, too!!!! I really miss you guys. :-(

And thank you, Amanda, for your Blatherchat posting:

"My mom called to see if we were watching the news. I was in bed with ZoϬand heard Scott say 'Oh dear God.' I came out to see what happened. All I can think was that as the towers were collapsing I was trying to quiet the baby. When the planes crashed I was trying to get ZoϬto stop fussing so I could get another hour's sleep. Suddenly today my post partum depression is not so bad and all those thought of "Maybe this was a bad idea" are gone. And all I can do is hold her and hope."


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