Monday, March 14, 2011 – We arrived safe in Tokyo. Tourist information told us there wasnt a single vacancy in the whole city. Rental cars and trucks non-existent. Even if there was something, fuel is in short supply and is being rationed out.
Somehow, using our combined good looks and charm … or just connections and Ian our Japanese speaking team member … a way was made and beds were found.
That’s not even the best story.
As we disembarked off our Japan Airlines flight, the flight attendants handed us a bag full of little wrapped gifts. One for each of us. The entire flight whenever a flight attendant would walk past it was more often then not coupled with a remark of ‘thank you for helping our Japan’ or ‘thank you very much for coming’, most wonderfully as I said goodbye and left the plane I was told to ‘have a good rescue’. AWESOME.
BUT back to the presents. Faced with having to track down some accommodations, the gifts were left til later. When we were all settled in our hostel, Kelly handed them out and finally we got to see our gift. Having only what was on board at their disposal the flight crew had given us little oatmeal cookies, rice crackers, some sort of sponge cake, but also folded us each an origami crane, and to our surprise had written us notes. In each gift were two small butextremely touching notes of encouragement, thanks and wishes for our health.
Just amazing… and what a phenomonal welcome- below I’ve transcribed a few of those notes.
‘Dear Medical Team, We thank you for your rescue. Please take care of yourselves! God Bless you all. -Sincerly, JL17 crew’
‘We do appriciate your help in our difficult situation. Your courage touch our heart. Thank you!!! and take care!! -JAL crew
‘We appriciate for your action. We are facing the terribly disaster that was never seen. I believe we can make it over. You are great hope for us and victim people. Thank you thank you very much’
‘I cried everyday since I watched TV news. I just sad, nothing else. But I has gotten big brave from you. I will change my mind. I will do my best which I can do! Take care of yourself.’