It's been 24 hours since one of the largest earthquakes in recorded history hit the northeastern coast of Japan.
The powerful tsunami caused by the earthquake just about completely wiped out the alraedy damaged areas. Hundreds of people are confirmed dead. Thousands are unaccounted for. Many are at shelters with no heat in below-zero temperature; even those whose homes escaped severe damage are without water and electricity. Aftershocks are still coming.
And I just read a newsflash that said an explosion was heard and black smoke was seen at Fukushima nuclear power plant. There really are no words.
I am thankful that my immediate family is safe and well, but my heart is heavy. It took Japan years to recover from the Great Hanshin Earthquake, and that happened only 16 years ago.
Please pray with me for the people in Japan. Please pray for the country. They need it.
We just got back from our vacances de neige in LesHouches, and we are already trying to get organized for our vacation during the Easter break. I think the "work to live" lifestyle of the French is growing on us.
Seriously, we are loving our ability to just hop on a plane and travel to a different country in just over an hour. Swiss border is only an-hour-and-a-half of drive away. We will never have opporunities to travel like this once we go back to the U.S., so we might as well take full advantage of our fortunate circumstances.
Today's photos are from our trip to Venice in January. What a lovely, romantic, sigh-inducing place!
Every city wants to think that it is special and unique, but Venice really is unique; there's no place like it. The view of it from the airplane window -- a medieval city just floating on water (well, it isn't really floating technically, but you know what I mean), as if it has been cut out from somewhere and pasted into the ocean -- it's stunning and mind-boggling.
Here's one of the small-yet-still-mind-boggling things I saw in Venice: Canal Grande completely disects the city but has only three bridges crossing it. So during the morning and evening rush hours, local people commuting use service of crossing boats to get to the other side of the wide canal. What surprised me is that, on these boats, people do not sit down.
I can see why they do this -- they can fit more people this way -- but it freaked me out!
How would you like this to be a part of your daily commute???
Here are more pics from our Venice trip (a Flickr slideshow).