We waved "Goodbye" to our friends in Hiroshima after our 1-1 tie with China. China broke through and found the net midway into the first half for one of their only chances all game. The US squad rallied to tie it up before the half and that is where the scoring ended.
China was much different than Ghana in their style, system and how they played against the U.S.A. We would have preferred 3 points and a big "W" but there were valuable lessons learned against a team that posed a different set of circumstances to us.
|Yuriage's Center of Hope|
Our team kept looking at the skeletons of foundations where homes used to be. Very few buildings were standing as we looked as far as the eye could see.
|Hiromi, our liaison, explains the story behind the desk|
|Cpt. Julie Johnston pays respects|
One woman was explaining to our group that many many younger people died unnecessarily. She went on to say that the older generation that remembered and/or heard stories of earlier tsunami's and fled as soon as the sirens were blown. The younger generation that did believe the seriousness of the stories also did not believe the siren. When the wall of water was seen, it was too late to find safe ground. Kids, listen to your parents and grandparents'.
Our team boarded the bus and headed to the hotel, looking out the window, still trying to imagine what it was like to have a wave take away 28,000 people. Each kilometer closer to our hotel marked one more blessing we were sure to count.
I loved the hotel because the Goddess of Mercy was looking over us; meaning I could leave our hotel and have a much better chance of not getting lost. She is one of the dieties most frequently seen on altars.
|our hotel : Quan Yin|
|Her feet: She is HUGE|
Quan Yin means "She who always pays attention to the human cry. " A great hotel for the directionally challenged. No longer did I have to say "We were staying by that one teriyaki place. You know.. that one where the bikes are parked and a Pachinko machine is close by. Nope... I can literally see the statue from the stadium that is 30 minutes away.
Speaking of Goddess of Mercy... Clearly the Germans were staying at the same hotel and praying to the Goddess while I was merely using it for a meeting point. The Germans handed to us a 3-0 loss. Instead of Okonomiyaki (delicious) and Sushi we found ourselves finding it difficult to eat Humble Pie with chopsticks.
As is with sports, the 3-0 score did not do justice to the many things we improved upon. Our possession in the midfield against a great defense was fantastic. On this day, we struggled and did not have our spunk in either of the 18 yard boxes. As with most posts... I do not write to talk about the X's and O's. There are enough Tweeters, Bloggers, ichatters, Facebookers and
Our next city... Saitama. We scooted from Miyagi to Saitama via the bullet train. Last year it was the Autobahn. This year the Bullet Train. Clean. Silent. Efficient. Fast. I love them both. Wish we had the technology to be shot around the U.S. Oh... we do.
I don't have time to write about Saitama as it is time for me to board the bus for our game against North Korea. I will say that wherever we go, we are greeted with kindness. At each venue we give thanks and are sure to mention how, "Everyone has been so fantastic and generous and helpful." The reply is always the same, "This is our culture."
Many Japanese want to give thanks for all of the help the Americans have shown their country in difficult times. There are signs of thanks in every stadium. We are greeted with waves and people scampering to help us with our luggage. We are met with smiles and respect and of course, the bow.
It is already tomorrow for me in Japan and while I am here I will be cheering on the Huskies yesterday. :) Lets hope we get a great win tonight!