‘My family, my friends are all safe.’

High and low points of a stay in America for Japanese student
Despite some anxious moments, Shiho Tamaki, an exchange student from Japan, is adjusting to life in America. Photo by Patrick L. Sullivan

FALLS VILLAGE — Shiho Tamaki, a Japanese exchange student attending Housatonic Valley Regional High School this year, had some anxious moments last month when the first massive earthquake and tsunami hit Japan.

The 17-year-old senior hails from Kamagawa Prefecture, south of Tokyo and part of the greater Tokyo area.

She said she couldn’t get through by telephone for a couple of days, “but my family, my friends, are all safe.”

As the news broke, she watched on television and felt a strange sense of unreality.

“I couldn’t understand what was happening. Is this a movie?”

Full text available to premium subscribers only. Log in or Create an account.

Once you've created an account, you will be given a free 30-day subscription to the site where you can view all content unrestricted. After 30 days, you can extend your account by purchasing a subscription.

If you are already a print subscriber, click here to give us your contact information, and we will confirm your active subscription and give you a password to access the website.