Wednesday, April 6

Here we are, back in Sendai. Still no gas here. The stores, open for part of the day, are half empty. Our return bus from Osaka to Sendai took 13 hours. Our trip in southern Japan was marked by the return trip from Kumamoto (Kyushu) Osaka. A suicide on the road resulted in a delay for our shinkansen bullet train. It was held up at a country station for more two hours, then a final stop in Okayama, where we had to change trains.

Now that I’m back, after breakfast, I go to my lab. My biggest surprise is the fact that all my computers – a Mac, a Windows and a Linux – are working perfectly! Secretaries and researchers are all here, but only three students are present. What jumps out at me too is the almost total absence of people out and about, either in town or on campus.

I finally receive my diploma, accompanied by a letter from the dean of the university to compensate for the lack of ceremony. In the afternoon, I make my reservations for our move back  to France; our flight is on May 7.

Before returning home, I make a detour to the church for information on possible activities to help with the rebuilding. I’m  immediately hired by Caritas Japan. Starting next week, on days when I’m available, I will help with the clearing of the coastal areas. Tomorrow I’ll go around the language schools to find work.

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