This post will be another dedicated to an assignment given out for this week. I was required to find a story about the recent events in Japan and write a print, radio broadcast, TV broadcast, and an online story to be posted to my blog. I thought it may be easier to follow if they were posted in separate enteries.
According to theindychannel.com, parents John and Terri Whitcomb will most likely look back on March 11, 2011 as one of the worst days of their lives. As Japan was being hit with a devastating earthquake followed by a tsunami, all they could do was watch the news and pray from their home in Nashville that their son Zach, would contact them soon to let them know he was okay. The tsunami destroyed all communication to and from the areas, so although the Whitcomb's sent message upon message to their son through text as well as Facebook, they were unable to reach him.
While his parents were home in Kentucky worrying, Zach had survived both the earthquake and the tsunami and was about to go on a journey that can only be described as incredible. He later told his story to CNN. After seeing that the earthquake and tsunami were over, Branham's attention focused to one thing-finding his girlfriend, Georgia. She was living in a small village about 4 miles away from Kuji teaching English in the schools. Zach was worried because the village is located right on a beach front. With all other forms of transportation not possible, he began to walk.
After finally reaching the village, he found the first of many roadblocks. The one road through the village had become impassable due to homes that had been washed away and blocked the street. After being turned away multiple times by the police working, Branham could have stopped his search but he decided that he would just have to find another way in. The next morning, he got into the village by pulling down his hat to blend in with a group of emergency responders going in to help.
After actually entering the village, Zach still had the task of finding his girlfriend in the mess that the disaster left behind. He searched multiple places including her apartment, kindergarten school, elementary schools and so on. By another stroke of luck, after 4 hours of walking that morning, Zach ran into members of the Board of Education. Although they did not speak English and Zach's Japanese was limited, they were able to somehow communicate. They also knew where is girlfriend was and took him to her. When he finally reached the building she was in, he arrived to find her cutting up pieces of cloth to cover the bodies around her with.
Finally, John and Terri were able to exhale when they received contact from their son, who decided to stay in Japan to help with the relief effort. Although they must have expected that he had been through a lot, they had no idea the story of dedication they were about to hear.