I’m typing this as we walk down the mountain again through the Kumano woods. Being away from the worst hit parts of the country has been good, and we have been relatively safe all this time. We haven’t been holed up in a karaoke building or some other place, but have had a certain amount of freedom to move around and take it easy. Still, with the news as scant as it is, it’ll be good to actually get out and see what is happening again.

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Alex’s news is really a changing point. We finally have a chance to connect with people that should have more information about what is actually happening, and if anyone can help us, it’ll be the SDF. If nothing else, I’m just glad to see that the SDF is still functioning, which I guess means that the government has some sort of control and there are still people working to stop this outbreak or whatever it is. I am curious about the jet that was shot down. Alex wasn’t able to see who’s jet it was. Was it Japanese, American, Chinese or North Korean? It’s impossible to know from what he saw. Hope fully the SDF will be able to tell us more when we get there.

I’m looking forward to meeting Taro’s family, too. He says that their house is well stocked and that he brother is the kind of person who prepares for the worst, so he’s likely to have secured the house well against intrusion. I’m also looking forward to talking with some new people.

DownhillWe seem to be getting along okay with the family. They don’t really like us taking photos of them, but I snapped this one of Ayako (and a little bit of Taro in the background) as we moved from the forest to an area that Alex says looks like an old quarry. Risa is on one of the bikes, but usually gets off when the path is too steep. Alex sometimes takes the other bike to check the road ahead.

It’s so hard to know what to expect from this new and frightening world. I am thankful for the group that I’ve found. Before all of this happened, I actually didn’t even know Alex very well, but everyday he seems to surprise me with his knowledge or ability to do something. It’s funny how disaster brings out the best of people. When I first met him, I thought he was just one of those guys that came to Japan to meet girls and wasn’t particularly interested in the other aspects of the country. However, he’s been telling me about Japanese history, and it’s amazing how much he knows. It’s a really pleasant surprise, and it’s reminder for me not to judge people too quickly.

I’m hoping that we’ll be able to find a car with a USB charger when we get back to ‘civilisation’, as Alex’s phone is already dead and mine doesn’t have must battery left.

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