“Ganbatte (kudasai)” was one of the first Japanese words I learned. 15 years old, living in Tokyo with my 5 different Japanese families and going to my Japanese high school, there was a whole lot of “ganbatte (kudsasai)” floating around. Ganbatte has only about a million meanings, some of which are: good luck, persevere, do your best. ‘(Please) exhaust yourself’ is probably the literal translation but that just doesn’t convey the right feeling, you know?
A very popular turn of words in high school (you know, where they even say that if you get more than 2 hours of sleep a night, you probably won’t pass the exam. And if you don’t pass the exam, you might as well die. So GANBATTE kudsasai, neh!). Later, attending my Japanese prep school (full of Chinese students that were giving their all to pass the exam so they could attend a Japanese university and ‘graduate’ to a more materialistically-fulfilling life) then working for my Japanese company (brimming with salaried men and women that spent more than 14 hours away from home every day, working), we said it even more (coupled with the ubiquitous “otsukare sama desu!” – basically, a verbal acknowledgment of effort).
At no time in the past have I ever looked at Japan with tears in my eyes and heart, clenching my fists to my side and thought to the country as a whole, “ganbatte kudasai”. Because I’ve never seen Japan in the misery that it is in right now. Astounding pain. Horrible images and videos are flooding the internet, shocking me to the point of paralysis. And more tears.
It’s one horror after another: the earthquake. The tsunami. Wrenching devastation. And now… a nuclear fallout? Radiation?
My heart goes out to Japan, my own adopted country for so many years. I am praying for you and yours.
Now, more than ever, ganbatte, kudasai.
Let’s give: Your phone and Japanese relief.
AT&T and Verizon are making calls and text messages to Japan free for their post-paid customers.Both companies are waiving charges from the U.S. to Japan for their customers on contracts.All four major U.S. wireless carriers are waiving fees for texting donations to relief organizations.AT&T customers can automatically send $10 to the Red Cross Japanese relief efforts by text “redcross” on their phones to 90999.
Sprint says customers will not be charged for:• Texting REDCROSS to “90999” to donate $10 on behalf of the American Red Cross;• Texting TSUNAMI to “50555” to donate $10 on behalf of Convoy of Hope;• Texting WAVE to “50555” to donate $10 on behalf of the World Relief Corp. of National Association of Evangelicals; and• Texting JAPAN or QUAKE to 80888 to donate $10 on behalf of The Salvation Army.
The same goes for Verizon Wireless customers texting the above numbers, as well as to the following, to make a $10 donation:
• ADRA Relief, by texting SUPPORT to 85944;
• American Red Cross Relief, by texting REDCROSS to 90999;
• GlobalGiving, by texting JAPAN to 50555;
• International Medical Corps, by texting MED to 80888;
• Mercy Corps, by texting MERCY to 25383;
• Save the Children Federation, by texting JAPAN or TSUNAMI to 20222; and
• World Vision, by texting 4JAPAN or 4TSUNAMI to 20222.
T-Mobile also says it does not charge for text messages sent to mobile giving campaigns.