I’ve spent the last two days trying to figure out what to say… I’m having a really hard time finding the words. It’s so strange being home. Don’t get me wrong, seeing my mom and sister is awesome and really needed, but it feels like as quickly as I left, I am back again. During the last three months, time went by so slowly and everyday was filled with some kind of misery…. but now sitting in the office blogging about being home, makes it feel like it all went by really fast. Maybe it’s because trying to remember everything that happened and everything I saw makes my head hurt too much!
The morning we left:
We loaded up the car at about 8am. I still didn’t feel like I was leaving, even though I was putting our suitcases into the car… I just couldn’t believe it was happening. Two police officers that we got along with quite well, stopped by to say goodbye. Which I thought was kinda cool considering our relationship with the police has had its ups and downs. After we said goodbye to the lady who owns the small hotel we were staying at (she is so sweet! I’m going to miss her. She gave me tons of soup because she was worried about me getting too cold) we headed to the Cove to say goodbye.
Saying goodbye to the Cove girls was hard enough, then I had to say goodbye to the Cove. I had already said goodbye to it one night we were all hanging out watching the lighting storm… but it was the last time I was going to see it until next year (hopefully). The boats were out, but coming back empty-handed and the water was rough and dancing around at the shore. It was a quiet and pleasant goodbye… but still really rough. My dad came over to comfort me and I started crying, trying to keep from bawling! I ended up bawling on Libby’s shoulder 🙂 Sorry Lib! But I’ll be back next year… I just couldn’t help feeling like I was abandoning them (the dolphins) My dad, Thomas and I hit the road for Osaka airport. The ride was so quiet and I fell asleep, I was so emotionally tired
! The 1st flight to home went smoothly. I thought that we were going to be followed around by security until we were on the plane, just like Matt Smith was. But they left us alone. Haha I”m surprised they didn’t have a jet fly us out of the country just to make sure we left! 😉 It was a red-eye flight, and I didn’t get much sleep. They had a few free movies we could watch, but they were all sad movies like “Charlie St. Cloud”… and I was really afraid of crying on the flight, I did enough crying in the Airport waiting for the flight!
We had a two-hour lay over in San Francisco! We had to go through customs and through security again. When the customs guy asked us how Japan was my dad said “It sucked!”. The guy was kinda surprised by our answer, and asked why. I asked him if he had seen the movie the Cove and my dad added “They killed dolphins!”. The guy goes “Yeah I saw that movie, really sad stuff”. We were like yeah, that’s what we have been documenting the last three months. He welcomed us into the country and we were on our way.
The Second flight we were not so lucky, It was one of those really small planes were the isles are like a foot and a half wide and your knees might as well be in your chest?! You know what I”m talking about? Haha, at least it was only an hour and a half… of nothing but annoying event after annoying event! It started with these two guys who sat down behind us (complete strangers to each other, from what I could pick up), they talked as loud as drill sergeants and for an hour and a half never shut up! The conversation went from, hi my name is… to work… to debt… to “So long and thanks for all the Fish”.
But the best part of the flight: You know how when a plane is taking off and there is that little jolt when the wheels come off the ground? Well this poor guy (who I might add was in the seat next to my dad, across the ridiculously small isle) has his face shoved into a barf bag and is hurling his guts out! Projectile vomiting into this tiny blue bag! I couldn’t even believe this was happening, it smelled terrible! He must have been afraid of heights or something. I was so afraid of him throwing up everywhere because once I was on a six hour flight where this one guy barfed on practically every isle and all the bathrooms in the cabin. So we were all walking on blankets with barf underneath them and using the first class cabin bathrooms for hours! So the second flight home was not as great as the first.
My mom and sister got us at the airport! I was sooo excited to see them!
Once we were finally home we unpacked everything that evening! We just wanted it out of the way and done with! I was finally in a place where it was safe to cry lots, and that is exactly what I did!
I keep trying to figure out what it feels like to be home, and it’s hard because I have done nothing but sleep and eat for the last two days. I really felt like I was abandoning the dolphins and I was terrified of having to go back to normal life. But it’s not normal anymore… I am going to continue my work from home, go to school, and prepare myself to be ready to fight next year. I’ve witnessed a lot of horrible things… but it’s all pushed me to fight harder. Even though in the moment of witnessing these barbaric acts, you were asking yourself “are we really helping?” Well I believe we are! They wouldn’t be hiding if we weren’t. The police wouldn’t be so present if we weren’t. There wouldn’t be this huge international pressure every time dolphins are driven into the Cove, if we weren’t telling the world what is happening every single day. And we will continue to do that, until they are forced to stop… or until the last dolphin takes it breath. They may be dying in vane… but never again will they die unseen, or without the world calling and writing to the Japanese government to stop issuing permits!
My Plans for the Blog!
I have a few plans for my blog. I won’t be updating every single day, but my goal is to at least four times a week. I’ll talk about Scuba dives or how much trash I cleaned on the beach one day… I have a big photography project I want to work on and I’ll publish it here as I finnish series in the story. I’ll cross post articles I think are really important and whatever else I feel like blogging about as things come up.
But my two biggest projects right now (aside from my senior project) are writing a book, and working on some sister city stuff. My own town has a sister city within Japan, and I want to go talk to the board about the slaughter in Taiji. And yes I am writing a book! Haha, so many people have convinced me I should, and there were so many stories I could not put into the blog while I was in Japan! So I’ll let you all know how that is going.
Far fast and deep,
Elora Malama West