Several volunteers from Save Japan Dolphins and other organizations were in northern Japan to monitor local dolphin hunts when the terrible earthquake and tsunami struck (March 11). They were fortunately on high ground when the tsunami virtually destroyed the fishing town of Otsuchi (Iwate Prefecture). With bridges down and roads torn up, they were forced to walk for hours to get back to their hotel.
All along the way, residents of the area, faced with the destruction of their own homes and loss of loved ones in the disaster, offered our American volunteers nothing but kindness. They went out of their way to help strangers in their country with offers of food, shelter and transportation. Our volunteers were able eventually, with much help, to make their way to the Akita Airport and home.
My colleagues and I at Earth Island Institute send our deep thanks and appreciation to the people of Japan for their help to our volunteers. And we send them our condolences for their terrible losses. We encourage all Americans to help our Japanese friends to recover by donating to the charity of their choice. The devastation in Japan is beyond scope; we must help them as they helped our volunteers.
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