Temporary Leave of Absence

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.



3 Replies to “Temporary Leave of Absence”

  1. Dear Ben,

    We are with you, good man! You have been one of the major contributors to our understanding of the broad effects of the crisis enveloping Japan over the last month. Thank you for all that you have done and we wish you a good chance to catch your breath.

    Betty Ann and Rick

  2. Dear Ben,

    I think it will be several months before nuclear accident shifts calming down in Fukushima.
    Radioactive contamination of food will be longer. I think/hope Japanese can control this difficult situation and save us with minimum damege. Not a few Japanese have science literacy, although some media (include overseas) make inflammatory statements.

    1. Hi Mitsuyo,
      Thanks for your comment. I’ve just returned to Nanae, and would be very interested in talking with you more about risks of radioactive contamination in aquatic ecosystems. Your perspective would be extremely valuable. I hope we talk soon.

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