I wrote this letter a couple weeks ago, but felt it prudent to post it here as well. I am still on leave, and currently scheduled to return to Nanae on April 10th.
-Ben Mirin, CIR
Dear friends and family,
I will keep this brief. First of all, I am writing to let you all know that I am safe and healthy. Thank you to everyone who has expressed concern about my safety and wellbeing over the past couple weeks.
As of March 24th I will be taking a temporary leave of absence from my job in Nanae, Japan. The current plan is to abscond to Hawaii on standby, with the intention to return to Japan on April 3rd. If, however, the nuclear crisis in Fukushima remains as nebulous as it is right now, I will likely extend my stay and will consider returning to Concord to continue my work as Coordinator of International Relations from there in our American sister city.
Experiencing this terrible tragedy firsthand has been a life-changing experience. I have grown as a journalist, a government employee, and most of all as a person, and have been awakened to the full depth of my appreciation and love for Nanae. My heart remains with the Japanese people during this tense time, and I ardently hope that we will be reunited very soon.
I hope this message finds you well.