May 20th, 2008

I had some thoughts to sure, but they got scattered, I’m not sure I can recover them….

I have to say, this is the most 感动 (moving, but moving just doesn’t seem to express it as well) period I’ve spent in China. Really, eight years here, arriving one year after the disastrous Yangzi floods, a few months after the bombing of the embassy in Belgrade, and being here through the spy plane incident, SARS, the anti-Japanese protests of 2005, last winter’s horrific blizzards,… what have I left out? Droughts, floods, sandstorms and typhoons, to say the least…

Never before have I seen The Chinese People so united and so focussed on a common goal. And you know what? It’s a good thing to see. An inspring thing to see. Some of the more nationalistic-seeming expressions of that unity and focus do make me uncomfortable, to be sure. People are people are people and that’s that. But still, it is utterly amazing to see an entire nation of 1.3 billion people so utterly focussed on getting the victims of the quake out of the rubble and back to life as soon as possible.

I am in awe of China. Utter awe. Incredible awe.


This is the human spirit.

And these soldiers, police, firemen, and other rescuers, mate, these are real heroes.

REAL heroes. These are the kind of men you kowtow to.

Chatting with my mum on MSN this afternoon, it was clear, the news is getting through big time to NZ. My mum sounded like she was crying.

And unfortunately the conversation turned to Cyclone Nargis. I can’t help it, I feel more for the victims of the earthquake, but that’s a factor of proximity. When it comes to sheer humanitarian  Disaster, then Nargis takes the cake, and if I were capable of grieving on such a scale, I would. And then of course, there is Sudan, and malaria, and AIDS, and…..

But then again, the Chinese government knows its duty to its people.

But I’m sorry, I can’t handle all that. I have to choose my fights. I’m only one small man. But my heart bleeds right now. So many times this week I’ve been this close to crying in class.

All my hopes and prayers are in Southwest China, and Myanmar, and anywhere people suffer.

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