Catalina Challenge with Jodie and Jen for Japan

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This was sent to us via email by Jennifer Lee.

Hello everyone,

Here is a link to the video that Chris Aguliar of Soul Surf Media Productions made about the Paddle 4 Japan that Jodie Nelson and I did together during the Catalina Challenge Relay. Chris did an incredible job with this little video. It captured what we were trying to do perfectly. This wasn’t about us. It took nothing for Jodie Nelson and I to wear the t-shirts in support of Japan. However, it was really powerful because the more we paddled the more we wanted the Japanese people going through this horrible time to know that there were total strangers out there thinking of, trying to raise money for, and most importantly praying for them. We paddled 20 miles each in 20 min sprint sessions but I was recovering from the 40 mile solo crossing a couple of days prior and Jodie did the race with me on a weeks notice. And I wont lie paddling that day went very smoothly, but it seriously was a fight. Maybe our little fight that day can inspire people in Japan to keep going and knowing that there are people pulling for them.

Since I returned to Hawaii I got to meet a family that was here visiting escaping the nuclear mess. They were family of a good friend. After they went surfing for the first time with my boyfriend who is also a surf instructor, I found out that they are from Fukushima near the power plant that was/is melting down. Their family consisted of a 12 yr old a 14 yr old and a 20 yr old. Really nice, good people, kids were as cute as they get. They have since had to return to Japan. It broke my heart to know that they had to return to a situation that was going to make them really sick and they had no choice. It is so incredibly sad. I am sure some of my surf students recently have been in the same situation but I don’t dare ask out of respect for them. The hotel that my surf school works with has told us that many people were trying to get out and stay at our hotel due to the aftermath; then there are the people there who can’t even escape for a minute.

Recently there have been more earthquakes, a nuclear meltdown, among other things, and although the news media has moved on, the situation in Japan has not. So please help us share this video, if you choose not to share it on your website, I just ask that you share it with friends and family and anyone you know in Japan.


(click thumbnail to launch video)

Here is the link: http://vimeo.com/22366573

Many many thanks and much aloha,
Jennifer Lee

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