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Published: September 23rd 2008
Time for reflection after the dreadful earthquake in Sichuan province on May 12, 2008.
Welcome from Cesky Budejovice, Czech Republic to Part 3 of my blog series on the wrap up of my final teaching semester at Taizhou Teachers College and Nanjing Normal University Taizhou College.
May was a month of great contrasts and an enormous emotional roller coaster for the people of China. The horrific earthquake that struck Sichuan Province on May 12 absolutely paralyzed a nation. Everyone was glued to their TV and computer screens for weeks, watching shocking footage coming live and in gory replay from the epicentre in Wenchuan County. The country was in official mourning for 3 days where no entertainment venues could be open and even the Olympic Torch Relay was suspended as a mark of respect. For my students, their safe little worlds were shattered in a moment. Many walked around in disbelief as if saying "How can such a thing happen?". It was as if members of their own family had been taken. I believe the impact it made on my students and others was made all the more acute because so many children died- and they shouldn't have. My heart goes out to all those people who lost loved ones, their homes and those that
We actually didn't feel anything in Taizhou, but millions of toads on the outskirts of town obviously did. Apparently they fled in their millions from our local waterways just before the tremors arrived due to drastic drops in oxygen levels. Free supper for many as these creatures are considered to be a delicacy in these parts! Photo reprinted by permission from our local press gallery.
are permanently scarred emotionally and physically from this terrible event. My heart also goes out to the resilience of the Chinese people and how, in times of great troubles, they band together as one to give help in whatever form they can. Even if they have very little themselves. I was also really impressed with the speed at which the Chinese and Foreign governments worked together to get assistance to the people as soon as was practicable. It really renewed my faith in the general goodness of humankind, despite huge differences in beliefs, culture and political systems.
As the horror of the Sichuan earthquake subsided, there was a building of excitement as the date for the Olympic Torch relay passing through Taizhou came closer. It was great for the students to have something to look forward to and to bring a smile once more to their faces. For the city of Taizhou it was a momentous occasion and the pride and excitement was almost palpable. I met lots of smiling locals that day, including a 93 yr old great grandmother who had walked over a km to view the relay and she was so excited when I handed her
Business English Earthquake English Corner
The Sichuan earthquake really hit my students very hard, so a number of my Business English students decided to organize an English corner in order to acknowledge the dreadful losses of the people of Sichuan and to give the students a chance to express their feelings about this most dreadful of events.
a China flag to waive. A number of my students were chosen as ambassadors and this also provided much pride and excitement. It was a great morning out, although we would have liked to have a better view point after walking for an hour from our college! It was over so quickly as well!
There were many other smaller events that filled my last months in Taizhou, but I will let you view the photos to get a better feel. So read on and enjoy the photos of my last 2 months in Taizhou. Don't forget, your enjoyment will be enhanced if you take the time to click on the photos and view them in larger format.
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