Saturday, May 7, 2011

Hope to Japan

The quality of your life will be determined by the quality of your contribution. When you work to improve the lives of others, your life improves automatically. - Kurek Ashley

My mother was born and raised in Japan. I, too, was born in Japan, and spent my elementary school years living in Misawa AFB. The earthquake and tsunami affected us at an extremely emotional level; while our family in Tokyo only suffered a broken mirror, it was--and is--extremely hard for us to watch videos, look at pictures, and read the news about what is going on out there. It is my mother's homeland; it is my childhood. The shores that suffered the most damage was where I spent many of my youthful summers.

Since my father has to work tomorrow, we celebrated Mother's Day tonight. Our dinner was not a fancy sushi dinner, or a steak dinner, or anything like that. We ate at a charity dinner that served this:

$15 for all the above, which was a great way to carb up for my 10-mile run tomorrow, and a delicious way to help a country we love very dearly. We were only there for an hour, but in that hour Hope to Japan managed to raise over $2000! They also sold many Japanese goods, and Hope to Japan T-shirts (my favorite being one of a cartoon Godzilla with a sign cheering on Japan's recovery) and bracelets, which I bought.

During dinner, children could watch Studio Ghibli films (Kiki's Delivery Service, Ponyo, My Neighbor Totoro), and the adults were treated to beautiful piano and koto music. I even ran into my high school Japanese teacher there, which was a real treat!

After we finished eating, my parents and I took a walk around the pond, only to remind me how much I love Colorado, and especially the Denver/Boulder area. Oh, how beautiful this state is!

It was a wonderful way to spend Mother's Day, complete with home-baked (and delicious!) mimosa cupcakes (recipe here) for dessert while watching The King's Speech. Check one for my Best Picture list!

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