Reported by Alan Frio
Megan Erickson is finally home from Japan. It took two long weeks for it happen. The Middle Tennessee State University student was part of an exchange program with seven other students studying international Business in Toyko. The yearlong program was cut short when the second semester was canceled because of the quake.
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Her mother, Pam Erickson, has been trying to get her daughter home. Flights have been overbooked, and airfares have more than doubled since the earthquake struck the island nation. The stress has been overwhelming for Pam Erickson.
"I'm looking at it as a mother, and my child's there. You're devastated, you don't know what to think, where to go," said Pam Erickson.
Weeks of waiting have dwindled down to minutes at Nashville International Airport on March 22, as Pam Erickson waited for her daughter to arrive from a connecting flight from Chicago.
"I'm doing minute to minute. It was hour to hour, day to day. I'm nervous; I don't know why. It's my baby coming home," said Pam Erickson.
When Megan Erickson arrived, the two embraced in an long hug. Pent-up emotions were released in seconds.
The MTSU student had never experienced a quake before. The 9.0 magnitude quake was terrifying. When it struck, Erickson was in her dorm room.
"The more we stuck it out, the bigger it got. Dishes came out of the cabinets, glass cabinets starting tilting, we evacuated the building," said Megan Erickson.
The 21-year-old student told Channel 4 News that food and water were in short supply in Toyko.
"Most of us moved to Osaka, south of Toyko on our own budget to be able to communicate with our families and have food and water," said Megan Erickson.
Mother and daughter said they're both relieved the long ordeal is over.
"I'm thankful that I wasn't a part of the tragedy that many families in Japan went through. I'm really lucky," said Megan Erickson.
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