Fortunately, we were scheduled to use Haneda Airport on Tokyo’s west side, which only recently allowed international travel. Just in time! Everyone along every step of the check-in process at the Chiang Mai airport the next morning looked at our final destination and said, “Tokyo?? Have you heard…??” This was repeated again in Bangkok. We arrived at our gate early and plopped down in front of BBC news. As more and more people bound for Tokyo checked in, the crowd around the TV screen grew. Japanese crowds are quiet anyway; this one was silent. All attention was focused homeward. On board, I picked up a copy of the Bangkok Post. Inside, Obama pledged support for our close ally, Japan. The article also read, “The State Department issued a travel alert strongly urging people to avoid tourism and nonessential travel to Japan. ‘Tokyo airports are currently closed….'” I continued reading as we taxied down the runway. Going home is essential travel, right? We landed, collected our bags and passport stamps, then looked for our driver. We found him right next to another driver waiting for Ms. Ann Curry, NBC News. I decided she was my favorite TV reporter after her Haitian earthquake coverage. Now she’s here. Ironic. We waited awhile, but ultimately decided we’d rather see home and husbands than her. Some other time! During the drive home my phone buzzed with earthquake early warning messages. More shaking woke us up during the night, and even more this morning. I am really happy to be home safely with Chris and the kitties. My sand collection in the bathroom didn’t even break! Stuff upstairs was knocked over, but we had no real damage. We’re very thankful for the many prayers and messages of concern people have sent. Fortunately, we’re far enough away from the disaster to avoid anything but inconvenience, so please keep praying for the people in Sendai. Chris’ squadron stopped everything to mobilize and assist in the relief effort, so that’s what he’ll be up to this week. It’s disorienting to live in Japan during its strongest-ever recorded earthquake, but it could have been so much worse. More than 140,000 people died in Tokyo’s 1923 earthquake and its resulting fires. Thousands died less than two decades ago in the Kobe Earthquake. That doesn’t diminish the tragedy of the many deaths and thousands of missing persons reports, and at this point I’m just I’m praying the death toll stays lower than estimated. Keep calm and carry on!