Hawaii 2011 (Day Two)
By now, you know that on Friday, March 11, 2011, Japan suffered its worst disaster since WWII. Although we spent much of the day in a travel bubble (4+ hours to LAX, a layover, and 6+ hours to Honolulu), we never imagined that our first few hours in paradise would be spent with friends worrying about whether or not we would be running for the hills. Although our first sightings of Linda and Benito "stalking" us near the Honolulu airport baggage carousels with leis (and beautiful, at that) were pure joy, it did not take long to figure out that all was not right in the world. Miriam and I were exhausted from the cross-country trip, a bit discombobulated from the jet lag, and more than a bit...um...ripe from not having access to our travel bag for two days (it spent night 1 in the Fargo airport), but we were ecstatic to be on the island and in the company of friends. After a glass of champagne (Gruet, naturally!), and introduction to friends who would be leaving for Bali in the morning, we were soon greeted with hourly tsunami sirens, and a mad scramble to find out information. Our host, Linda K., was methodical in finding pertinent information (it turns out that despite our close proximity to the beach, we are not in an evacuation area). Benito and the other friends who joined us were also good at sorting through the confusion. We stayed in the second-floor apartment near Waikiki beach, but we did not sleep much. Knowing that the first tsunami wave was supposed to hit at around 2:38 a.m. made the 2:34 a.m. tsunami siren all the more frightening. As is obvious, we made it through the night. Thank you everyone who has expressed concern for our well-being. We are fine. We hope you direct your attention to the people of Japan, who have, and continue to suffer unimaginable suffering because of the earthquake, tsunami, aftershocks, and nuclear plant problems. It is good to have friends near and far, and I think Japan will need friends from all over to get through this.