SHICHIGAHAMA, Miyagi Pref. — There is a picture folder in Marti McElreath's Facebook account that chronicles her time in Shichigahama, a town located on a small peninsula in Miyagi Prefecture less than an hour's drive from Sendai and where she has been working since last summer under the Japan Exchange and Teaching Program.

Her comment on the folder reads: "I have the best JET placement in Japan," a view McElreath hasn't changed despite the massive earthquake and tsunami that brutally transformed the once peaceful beach community she has come to love.

"I mean, it's heartbreaking and hard to see what happened, but people are laughing and kids are playing and life is going on. Even after all that's happened, I still believe it, I believe that I have the best JET placement in Japan," she said.