Disaster in Japan: A Sister’s Personal Tale

Stephanie Vander Heyden, Beta Phi, recently graduated with a degree in Japanese from the University of Montana. She has been living in Takasaki, Japan, between Tokyo and Nagano, about 250 miles south of Sendai and teaching English at three elementary schools. The following is a first-person account of the earthquake in Japan on November 21.

All children take English as their foreign language, and it is mandatory curriculum even in elementary school. I was finishing my year as an English teacher when on November 21, 2016, at 2:40 p.m., a 7.4 earthquake hit Japan and created a life-changing event.

I was in the classroom when the earthquake hit, and I dove under my desk. (I’m a native of Seattle so I know you seek cover when the earth begins to shake.) The earthquake lasted three minutes and since I was located about 250 miles away from the epicenter, it really was not that strong. After the quake stopped I realized that everyone had left the building, so I joined everyone outside and was instructed to sit with the children while the teachers huddled together to form a plan.

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Shop Kappa Style and Help Protect Our Heritage

We love wearing our Kappa hoodies and jewelry, and we can never have too many KKG T-shirts, blue-and-blue picture frames, beach blankets or tote bags. We buy KKG flip-flops, travel mugs and jewelry for our Kappa sisters. But did you know that along with the fun of giving and receiving Kappa merchandise, there can be an added benefit? Every purchase from a licensed vendor benefits Kappa Kappa Gamma!

To make sure you’re buying only from licensed vendors, look for the “Greek Licensed Product” symbol on magazines and websites that sell Greek gear. You can also visit www.kappa.org and click on “Shop” to view a list of licensed vendors, which is maintained by Affinity Marketing Consultants.

By using one of these vendors, you’ll help ensure that Kappa Kappa Gamma is always represented in a positive manner. The royalties from these purchases are very valuable to our fraternity, and they help keep membership costs down!

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