Thanks to the generosity of so many JMB members and JAL, we were able to make a family trip to Okinawa.
When the earthquake struck, my daughter was still in kindergarten. The seashore is only a 5 minute drive away from our house, so we often enjoyed driving along the coast, playing, and swimming at the beach whenever the weather was nice. We thought of it as nothing special, just an "usual day event".
According to my daughter's hand-made itinerary for our 3-day holiday in Okinawa, we made specific plans very carefully.
My daughter's wishes were (1)swimming in the sea, (2)collecting seashells, and (3)making a traditional Shiisa craft, an Okinawan spiritual lion-dog shaped figure.
Due to time limitations, we were only able to color the Shiisa craft, but we decided to drive to a remote island beach for swimming.
The beach we saw was the most beautiful beach we had ever seen! As soon as we arrived, my daughter was so excited. We had to rent a swim ring for her since the one we brought from home got flat in a few minutes by deterioration.
After enjoying swimming with the swim ring, she picked up many seashells. My daughter was smiling all day through. The sounds of ocean waves, which I had not heard in the past few years was also comforting and pleasant.
That night, I bought a swim ring for my daughter at the supermarket AEON, and decided to extend our checkout time to enjoy the sea of Okinawa as long as possible.
I had a hard time taking my daughter home from the beach since she was repeatedly shouting "I don't want to go home!"
It was really a fulfilling 3 days. But the best of all was being able to see lots and lots of my daughter's smile.
On the way back from Okinawa, I separated from my family to see my friend who I hadn't seen for more than 10 years. At the time of the earthquake, she gave me a call worrying about us so much in a screaming voice. She had been trying to reach us by phone for a long time before we were finally connected. It was rather a short time, but I thanked her for her sympathies, we talked about the earthquake and other topics, catching up on how we had been doing.
I can't thank you enough for giving us such a great opportunity.
We will never ever forget this trip and your warmest hearts.
~A letter from her daughter ~
Dear all who gave us mileage
Thank you very much for giving us mileage. The trip was so fantastic. The sea of Okinawa was really beautiful. When I got into the sea, I was screaming with delight, having lots of fun.
Near the hotel, there was a place called American Village. So many Americans were there. It was just like a dream and really fun. Near the American Village, we also found the supermarket, AEON as well. We bought some food at AEON for dinner to eat at the hotel, and ate Umibudo (Okinawan sea grapes) and "octopus carpaccio". We also ate at a club with live music. Everything I ate was my favorite and really nice.
I even had ice cream 3 times! Sugar cane flavor, mint chocolate flavor and blue wave flavor, which were all wonderful!
I was happy to fly on a big plane from Osaka to Okinawa. The islands I saw from the plane were so beautiful. The fireworks I saw below me were so incredible. They looked small and colorful. Next time, I hope to fly on the 30 year anniversary Mickey Mouse designed airplane (=JAL Happiness Express).
(Miyagi Prefecture/Age: 40's/Gender: Female)