My initial motivation for writing this blog was to try and articulate in words my impressions of the things that Jules and I encounter on our journey as well as the emotional response we have to them. For the most part these are positive experiences that leave us both with a sense of wonder about the interesting facets of our world. However, with the events in Japan this week you are quickly jolted back into perspective as you realise the dramatic impact that mother-nature can have upon all of our lives. Last Friday I was travelling back from Hiroshima on the bullet train when the earthquake hit. Fortunately the impact was minimal with only a slight delay, however the uncertainty of what had happened in other parts of the country was quickly spreading. By the time we arrived in Osaka, the seriousness of what had happened was beginning to become apparent. While the centre of the quake was well to the north, its impact was already beginning to spread throughout the country. By the time I had returned to our apartment the news of the resulting tsunami was beginning to be telecast on the TV and like the rest of the world, we sat in disbelief and watched it’s destructive force. The next day the news of the damaged nuclear reactors began to surface and at this time there still remains uncertainty about the long-term ramifications of the radiation leaks. Having only lived in Japan for a short while, we have quickly gained respect for the friendliness, determination, efficiency and resilience of the people. For the time being Japan is our home and we feel both sympathy and empathy for those affected. It remains our sincere hope that the problems caused by this disaster can be quickly overcome.