April 17, 2008

Little Earthquakes and Ikebana

Well, it happened. Only 3 1/2 months into our time here. We experienced out first earthquake last night ("Kinki region" apparently is another name for Kansai region, where we live). It happened about 1 AM. The kids slept through it all. Ilena was awoken from a sound sleep and Mike was sitting chatting with a friend in Osaka when it occurred. Mike described this as a two-three second period of wave-like motion that was "very strange." It passed quickly and nothing seemed to be amiss, but it was a little scary nonetheless. (Especially when we realized that the only people in our family that are prepared with what to do in event of an earthquake are Jacob and Lauren, who have drills at school!)

Since Japan is located in an area where several plates meet, it's no surprise that the seismic activity here is quite prolific. In fact this whole area was devastated back in 1995 by "The Great Hanshin Earthquake" which registered 7.3 on the Richter Scale. Today's quake registered at 4.1. Being from the East Coast of the US, we are one of the few families here who have never experienced an earthquake before. It was all the buzz around here, but thankfully this earthquake was minor with no harm done.

On a more upbeat note, Ilena had her second Ikebana class today. Feeling a tad bit more confident about her ability to select subjects, objects, and cut each flower to the proper size, she jumped in with two feet. Check out her handiwork. This time we used peonies and a Japanese silver-leaf branch. Again very simple, but very beautiful. And last week's display is still alive and well in our apartment. It is nice having flowers everywhere - both inside and out!

Meanwhile, Mike Shinkansened (again) to Yokohama today, and was able to snag a Japanese newspaper with which to practice reading random words in Katakana. Slowly improving...

Finally, here are a couple of cute pictures of the kids all squeaky clean after bath time tonight.

1 comment:

The Stover Family said...

Wow...those kids are just shiny with cleanliness! An earthquake! Glad you guys are okay and hopefully you can learn some tips from the kids on what to do next time. Can you guess what kinds of drills Kaleigh and Ashlyn have in school? It's not an earthquake drill, my friend. And it's not a sandstorm drill, either. Hope you guys are having a fabulous weekend!