Tag Archives: Tsunami

Going to Japan?

Hey everyone,

Mike and I are considering going to Japan next year as a way to finalize the Cali Cares journey.  The idea came to us when we heard about this opportunity:

Japan Tourism Agency to give out 10,000 flights to would be tourists

The Japan Tourism Agency plans to ask would-be travellers to submit online applications for the free flights, detailing which areas of the country they would like to visit, the Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper said.

The agency will select the successful entrants and ask them to write a report about their trip which will be published on the internet.

Needless to say, we were going crazy over the idea of actually going to Japan.  After researching this news more I found out that this opportunity is not a for sure thing yet.  In any case, Mike has been editing the video footage from his trip and is making a short video.  We plan on submiting this, with our personal interviews, and crossing our fingers.

I get the goosebumps thinking about Mike being able to ride a stretch of the Japanese coast on the same bike he road down our coast.  I can’t think of a more fitting end for this journey.

For more on the travel opportunity check out this article from the Telegraph.



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Reflections on the Cali Cares Journey.

Hey everyone,

The Cali Cares campaign has nearly reached its end.  Thank you for following Mike’s ride, and if you read his last post, you know there will be one or two more turns left in this journey.

Today I want to share my thoughts on a successful and enlightening project.

A sketch by Mike for a Cali Cares brochure. Circa April 2011.

Cali Cares has become more than just raising support and awareness for survivors of the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami.  It is a story of one man’s dedication, and a testament, that all of us are capable of doing more.

To my knowledge, before Cali Cares the farthest Mike would ride a bike was down to the beach, about 2 miles, and he certainly wasn’t worried about where he would stay the night.  That’s not to say he didn’t train, he did, but there were a lot more questions than answers when this voyage began.  Now, he can ride 60 or more miles a day, he met some amazing people, was privileged to breathtaking scenery, and he helped raise money for a good cause.

I have to include myself in here as well.  Before Cali Cares I had little knowledge about Japan, experience with blogs, charities, etc.. but I have come away from this project feeling educated.  Both Mike and I have found that by helping others we have ultimately helped ourselves.

For these reasons alone I feel like this project has been a success.  However, I have learned a few other things, and I feel it would be a shame not to share them with you.

A few months ago Mike came to me with this question:

“How can I show these people halfway across the world that I sincerely care about them?”

With all of the footage on the news it certainly made us feel like we live in a glass box.  But, an empowering thing happened as we explored Mike’s question… We found that while technology may have helped to construct a glass box, it also has the potential to break this box, and provide a level of support which is more human than we first realized.

It’s only a matter of time before future disasters in other parts of the world affect us economically, environmentally, emotionally, etc…  But what we learned over the course of this project is that we can use websites, blogs, social media devices, and other neat things (double impact and free rice) to provide support for people outside of our physical range.  And the type of support is becoming more immediate, personalized, and sincere.

I think that Cali Cares has become an example of this.  I don’t know how many survivors have seen this blog, perhaps zero, but it is now documented that we care about you and your struggle, we love you, and we want you to love the ocean and the earth again.

Knowing that we are leaving this legacy has given us a certain satisfaction… We have answered Mike’s question.

And the future is bright with opportunity.

A little girl in Ofunato receiving a pair of socks. Courtesy of Socks for Japan.

“May you always be close to someone who cares.”


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excitement and the unknown!

I have a break in my day so I wanted to spend a few minutes composing a personal post and also explain where I see my contribution to this project heading.

For starters, what Mike is doing is just awesome, crazy, and old-fashioned admirable.  I am excited for him and the unknown adventures that await all of us who follow him online.  There will no doubt be some sketchy moments on the road.  A journey this long will have its share of surprises.  Thank the Heavens for social networking!  Through this blog, Twitter, and Facebook, we will all be able to keep in touch and hear about his journey.

If you don’t have an RSS reader (or you don’t know what that is) I would suggest getting one to keep you updated when we post on the blog.  I didn’t know exactly what RSS was until early this morning but it is safe to say I am now a believer.  In a nutshell, the stories you care about online (like this blog for example) are sent to you.  I went with Google Reader and I learned how to follow blogs by this short video. You just may find it addicting.

As for my involvement I am starting to see my time spent on the blog, researching events, and writing about them as my way of showing I care.  But, compared to the sacrifices others have made, I feel compelled to do more.  So I have decided to learn as much as I can, and do as much as I can, to turn this little blog into a hub of information about what is going on in Japan, California, and other relevant stories from around the world.  I envision this to be a place where you can stop in and learn something new, discover ways to offer different kinds of support, see what cool things others are doing, and make connections with real people in your neighborhood and across the world.

Thanks for your time and feel free to comment, ask us questions, or offer your support.


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Quakebook 2:46

Today I stumbled upon Quakebook 2:46 — Aftershocks: Stories from the Japan Earthquake.  It is a retelling of the events surrounding the earthquake, the subsequent disasters in Japan, and how they intimately affected people around the world.

#quakebook.org - A Twitter-sourced charity book about how the Japanese Earthquake at 2:46 on March 11 2011 affected us all. Raising money for the Japan Red Cross.

After reading some of the excerpts I was compelled to buy the book.  To my surprise, I found that you can download the book for free on your Kindle or a Kindle for PC reader. The creative team responsible for Quakebook only asks, “If you can spare a lot, give a lot. If you can’t – we understand, give what you can.”  Also, they will be releasing a physical book for purchase on Amazon in the near future.

What makes this project inspirational to me is that it was created in four weeks.  Technology and Twitter served as the desktop for a group of selfless creators.  Now, the world can feel what it was like, and not just from one or two authors, but from over 80.  This diversity of perspectives makes the book a special kind of documentation.  You are brought into different lives; each story is a personal take on a world-wide event.  My sincere “thank you” to each person who was brave enough to retell their story, so that we might better understand. I highly recommend you read some of the stories, learn about the events, and think about how you can help.

As I type, Mike is at REI buying some supplies for his ride down the California coast.  He will be starting the ride on June 6th at the northern California border.  We expect his trip to last around three weeks and we plan on posting the route map soon.  As we build up to the journey you can follow the blog, the Facebook page, and the Twitter account.  Once Mike is on the road he will keep you updated on his journey and I will continue to post information about Cali Cares and other charitable causes.

Join us as we learn more about Japan, the disaster, California, and what we can all do to help.



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