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15 May 2008 @ 11:27 pm
Alive in China  
It's hard to access livejournal.  Looks like it's on the banned list so I have to jump through hoops a little.  I haven't gotten outside much, but went out to eat last night.  Chinese food, of course!  The food here is good.  I'd expected to see more of the impact of a 7+ earthquake on daily life, but it looks like Chengdu is going about life normally with a few important exceptions.  There's a high number of forced out into tents due to damage to their buildings.  The airport looked more like a bus terminal with groups of people camping out to wait for flights.  There are also people here who've come in from the damaged areas, but mainly the people seem to be staying in their villages to deal with the rescue and recovery.  Some question whether the government will rebuild the villages or move the people to the cities.  The central government is getting high marks from the affected people, but their local government is getting low marks.  The Red Cross exists here, but is an arm of the government and hasn't been the sort of help that it was for us during Katrina, for example.  Another notable exception to the norm here is the lack of traffic.  To me, there's plenty of it, but I'm assured that it is a ghost town compared with regular life.  Pollution is also lower due to the recent rain as well as the lack of intense traffic.

That's all I have for now.

Love and Peas to all.
I feel: chipperchipper
make_your_move: marital blissmake_your_move on May 16th, 2008 11:58 am (UTC)
I was thinking about you all day off and on yesterday. Glad you're safe. Be careful and please come home soon.
j_luc_pitard: Gj_luc_pitard on May 18th, 2008 01:54 pm (UTC)
The way the days blur here, I'll think it's no time at all before I'm heading home to you. Let's get together and catch up since you're life has been having it's share of excitement lately and the weekend I get back is the one that you usually are off having fun experiences.

(Anonymous) on May 16th, 2008 07:57 pm (UTC)
thoughts on the way to NZ
We've been wondering about how things were going, too. Chris wants to know if you will be doing some? any? of the stories that had been originally planned, or if the earthquake made that not desirable or possible. I was wondering why you don't write a book about your work experiences, because while I like books like "Naked in Baghdad" I think hearing the non-"star" voice would be interesting too (or in AG's case, non-Brenda Starr voice, right?). But if you meet a guy with an eye-patch, you'd have to tell Grey.

I was feeling like I should be there, and wondering if I'm on my way to the right medically-underserved population this week, but the comment that they need more experts in "external medicine" - all that casting and suturing that I'm no good at - made me feel a bit better.

Hope the Tiki King's helpful!

j_luc_pitard: Gj_luc_pitard on May 18th, 2008 02:17 pm (UTC)
Re: thoughts on the way to NZ
I totally forgot to pack any perfume (or deoderant, so I'm taking many showers) in my very stripped down pack job. I doubt there'll be a book in this, since my job's been mostly boring. Some blogs for friends is about the extent of that. No need to add another book to the list of ones I'm procrastinating on.

ATC is keeping a few of the stories, but scrapping others. Over dinner tonight we talked about maybe a podcast for the stories that just won't hold (mainly food features). The ones that will are going to be aired a few months from now.

When I was in Africa in 1994 I really questioned my life and felt I should be serving people in some more meaningful way. I know the feeling you describe. Imagine the helpless feeling that millions of rescue personnel feel looking at the Burmese disaster! When you and I talked one time (in the then far distant future when you'd graduated) about you doing overseas medical work I was totally in favor of it. But that was before 2000 and my brush with your world. It think the work you do is important and I really respect it. Unless there's a natural disaster that requires pediatric and neo-natal diagnosis, I think you get a pass on the whole guilt thing. Then if you bring in the raising two kids thing into the mix, I'd say your guilt should go down into the negative zone.
Travel safe!
(Anonymous) on May 17th, 2008 01:17 pm (UTC)
Glad to hear you made it.
Glad to hear you made it in,I heard you credited on one of the stories yesterday so I knew you were in country, but glad you made it all the way to Chengdu. I know the earthquake will be your focus but I hope you get to see some other parts of Chinese life as well. Florida is sunny but as T.R. points out I mostly see it while carrying furniture.
j_luc_pitard: Gj_luc_pitard on May 18th, 2008 02:21 pm (UTC)
Re: Glad to hear you made it.
Glad you made it safely down south. For the first two days, I saw about as much of Chengdu as you did of Florida, but today I got out more. If you get a chance to listen, there's going to be a mix of some features they recorded before the earthquake (reworked to take news into account) and earthquake related stories. If you can, check out the npr blog to see the sort of things they were working on before and after the quake.

I'll see you soon(ish). How long are you down south?