Sunday, March 20, 2011

pulling me back to shore

pulling me back to shore by anyram
pulling me back to shore a photo by anyram on Flickr.

Ever since the earthquake and ensuing tsunami in Japan, I have been thinking about this place, Matsushima. I took this picture about four years ago, hitch-hiking my way south from Sapporo to Kyoto. It's a little bit north of Sendai, and purported to be one of the three most beautiful places in Japan. We got a ride from a young guy with a souped up car and three cell phones that he seemed to be talking on all at once while he drove us from the highway into this little tourist town.

Although this place is in a protected bay, and was spared much of the damage from the tsunami, nearby towns have been destroyed and lives lost. I'm lucky though. My friends in Japan were not affected by the disaster, but I can't help thinking about this little town, the beautiful coastline, and the people I met there.

itchy itchy, scratchy scratchy

From shoveling snow to swatting mosquitos. Yup, back in Panama.

I'm caught between being happy to be here and getting to work, feeling guilty and somewhat embarrassed about not having gotten down here sooner, and sad to be away from home. And then there's the constant feeling of being overwhelmed by everything I want/need to accomplish.

I'm taking a weekend of relative ease, mostly to plan my next moves while I'm here. I have about a month before I start moving around for the summer. The plan so far? After Panama, a weekend at home for Easter, then off to Illinois for a research exchange. After that, a month at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole. A weekend in the Paris of the Prairies for family and celebrations, and then a week of vacation with my fella' on the Canadian East Coast. That takes me into July. Not bad, knowing where I'll be for at least the next four months.

At any rate, posting will probably continue to be sporadic. Ideally, I'd like to accomplish three months of work in a little over one, so it's safe to say I won't have a lot of spare time. If you've actually kept reading this blog despite my complete lack of posting, then you are indeed a dedicated reader.