A Travellerspoint blog

May 2008

International Children's Day in China - Part I

Hey Hey and a Big G'Day toya, Here is another of my Chinese Calander dates that I have been slowly working through over the past several years. As usual it includes some information I've found, what I got up to on the day and the usual photos at the bottom of the page. This will be part one of this years Children's Day Travelpod Entries. This year, Children's Day is on a Sunday so we had the 'Bezerk Classroom Fun' on Friday, 30th May. Usually we would have celebrated it on the Sunday but this year is a special year for my school. At the end of next week we will have several teachers and students come to stay with us from Singapore. Over the past several months both students and teachers have been practicing their 'stuff' for the 'Big Night' and I think their big night will be held in a special place on Monday, 9th June and this will be the second Children's Day Travelpod entry. It will be full of colour and very exciting! I can't wait! <u>What is International Children's Day & where did it come from?</u></b> [/i] From Wikipedia the free encyclopedia[/i] [/i] <u>Children's Day in many countries around the world. </u>[/i] [/i] The ICD had its origin in Turkey in 1920 (April 23, 1920) and later in the World Conference for the Well-being of Children in Geneva, Switzerland in 1925. It is not clear as to why June 1 was chosen as the ICD: one theory has it that the Chinese consul-general in San Francisco (USA) gathered a number of Chinese orphans to celebrate the Dragon Boat Festival in 1925, which happened to be on June 1 that year, and also coincided with the conference in Geneva. [/i] [/i] June 1 has since been observed as the ICD by numerous countries, especially by Communist countries; in the Western world the ICD is usually celebrated on other days of the year (if at all), and there is often little public awareness about these celebrations. (See the section on Germany below for further discussions.) Consequently there is sometimes a misperception that June 1 as the ICD was a Communist invention. Nonetheless, in recent years even some groups within the United States started observing the ICD on June 1. [/i] <u>Why is International Children's Day held on June 1st here in China?</u></b> From what I have found there was in a meeting in Moscow in December 1949 where the Women's International Democratic Federation (WIDF) declared June 1st as International Children's Day to ensure children's survival, health care, rights of education and against the of ill-treatment children. In 1949 the Chinese government formally regulated June 1st as 'International Children's Day'. Believe me, every year in China the 1st of June is celebrated in a huge and special way. Children are the future custodians of the Chinese Nation, and I guess they do their best to provide them with a good family, social, and educational environment and it is a goal worked upon. Of course many think it could do better and like every country in the world, it probably could do better! Nevertheless, China is the perfect country to celebrate Children's day. They have a huge love for festivals and celebrations so it really is a grate time. The day is enjoyed with friends, families, students and fellow teachers. Many schools put on a song and dance contest and allow the students to put on a party in their classroom. The morning is usually spent watching a DVD in class, followed by a party where the children go absolutely berserk. The students are then free to go home for the afternoon to be with friends and family. This year, as Children's Day is on a Sunday we had the 'Bezerk Classroom Fun' on Friday, 30th May. Usually we would have celebrated it on the Sunday but this year is a special year for my school. At the end of next week we will have several teachers and students come to stay with us from Singapore. From what I've been told some of our teachers and students are swapping with them. The night of Children's Day or the night before is usually when the song and dance contest is held. It is usually a very beautiful and colourful event. My school in Tianyang went all out for their students on Children's Day. I know many people think China is not such a 'giving' country. In some ways they can be said to be right but in other ways until you have lived here for a time and have gotten passed everything you have read and actually become part of society they can also said to be completely wrong. Remember that what the government is known for is hardly what society is really like. Education really is hard here for the students but in some ways the country really does show its love of its people. Just like back home, each city, town and village is responsible for its children. On a more sad note; It really does seem that Children's Day isn't celebrated in many countries. In fact I don't remember celebrating it at all in any of the Australian primary schools I attended. Sadly I remember celebrating the Queens birthday every year during primary and secondary school and continuing the celebrations every year after. Luckily for its workers Australia will celebrate the Queens birthday next weekend with the usual granting of a public holiday. Until coming here I always thought it was funny that we celebrated the birthday of a Queen none of us had ever met (and for many, nor really want) along with celebrating a three minute horse race called the Melbourne Cup. Don't get me wrong, public holidays have become rare in Victoria Australia and I'm happy to celebrate any 'Old Jack or Jills' Birthday to get a public holiday. But should we really celebrate the Queens birthday over celebrating Children's Day? In fact to make it even funnier, we choose to celebrate her birthday many months after her actual birthday. HHHhhhhmmm! [/i] <u>People's Republic of China</u>[/i]</b> [/i] From Wikipedia the free encyclopedia [/i] [/i] In the People's Republic of China, Children's Day is celebrated on June 1 and is formally known as "The June 1st International Children's Day. When the People's Republic of China was first established in 1949, the State Council (Cabinet) designated a half-a-day holiday for all primary schools on June 1st. This was later made into a full day's break in 1956 with The Announcement by the State Council to make June 1st Children's Day a One Day Public Holiday. [/i] [/i] Schools usually organizes activities such as camping trips or free movies on Children's day to allow students to have fun, and Children of civil servants might also receive small gifts from the government. Entrance Ceremonies of the Young Pioneers of China (similar to boy scouts in the West) are frequently held on June 1st as well. [/i] [/i] <u>Western Countries such as Australia & America</u>[/i]</b> [/i] (I found this last year and it was one of about five pages I found)[/i] [/i] Sandwiched between Mother's Day and Father's Day is the little known holiday of Children's Day that occurs on the second Sunday of June. Am I the only one who remembers such a day? Research leaves me with a feeling of frustration as I look for the origin of this holiday. [/i] [/i] Even desk and wall calendars fail to note this holiday which is perplexing. [/i] [/i] It seems that the holiday has lost its significance through the years. I have been hard pressed to find any of my colleagues at work who knew or had ever heard of Children's Day although they agreed it was an excellent sentiment. However, I do have a calendar book that lists Children's Day as June 10th this year proving that I am not chasing an esoteric figment of a confused and befuddled mind! [/i] [/i] Traditionally our family would return home from church and have dinner together. Then our parents would give us a gift as a token of their love. The excitement and anticipation of what we would be given was second only to Christmas! We would excitedly open our gifts and then express our gratitude to our parents. [/i] [/i] We felt special as children and were treated as royalty. [/i] [/i] Depending upon family traditions, each family would continue the celebration in its own way. Our family loved to go on Sunday rides so Children's Day was sometimes celebrated by going on a family ride in our station wagon with our ever burgeoning family (10 children being the final count). [/i] [/i] <u>Universal Children's Day</u></b> [/i] From Wikipedia the free encyclopedia [/i] [/i] The United Nations General Assembly recommended in 1954 (resolution 836(IX)) that all countries institute a Universal Children's Day, to be observed as a day of worldwide fraternity and understanding between children and of activity promoting the welfare of the world's children. It suggested to governments that the Day be observed on the date which each considers appropriate. [/i] [/i] The date of 20 November marks the day in which the Assembly adopted the Declaration of the Rights of the Child, in 1959, and the Convention on the Rights of the Child, in 1989 and is often the day chosen by countries as their own designated day to observe Universal Children's Day. [/i] [/i] State governments are responsible for passing legislation providing a day and name appropriate for their compliance with the United Nations General Assembly resolution. United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights / UN Committee on the Rights of the Child [/i] [/i] So I leave you with wishes and hope that all the children in our world will one day get to celebrate either International Children's Day or Universal Children's Day!

<u>PS:</u> After the Bezerk Classroom Fun I was invited to my favourite students home for green tea and then onto another of my favourite students homes. Both are in my most favourite class ever which is one of my Grade 5 classes. The girl is Alice (the one with both hands on the air with a huge smile on her face) and she reminds me so much of Luo Wei (Amigo). She has the same personality that everyone seems to adore and of course she wins all the class/school awards AND also like Luo Wei, somehow does it without being picked on for being a 'nerd or a brainiack!'.

She is never bossy and all the students listen to her and what she says pretty much goes without question. Why? Because it is never about what is best for her. It is always about what is the right thing to do at the time. The boy (the one with the speaker made from a cardboard box), I actually can't remember either his Chinese or English name. I know him simply as XP. Everything about him (including ALL his sentences and answers in my English class) is either about science or technology. He also wins all the class/school awards but is pretty much known as a brainiack! I was absolutely stunned by what he calls his 'science room'. Boxes and draws full of parts of 'this and that' that he uses to create other 'this and that's. Most of what he was chirping on about I really had no idea about even though some of it was in English.

Beers N Noodles to you all....shane ____________________________________________________ The soundtrack to this entry was by the Cowboy Junkies The album was the beautiful 'Pale Sun' _____________________________________________________

Childrens Day Classroom Fun

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Posted by eddakath 17:00 Archived in China Comments (0)

An Earthquake Update From Another Hometown Boy!

Hey Hey and a Big G'Day toya, Around the same time I left Australia three and a half years ago another guy from my home town was packing and getting himself ready for the life I was already flying towards. Though our parents have known each other for a long time we had no idea that we were both planning to live and teach in China for the many years that followed. It wasn't until our fathers met up for a beer and a chin wag that we found out. In a movie they would have been trying to 'cool' each other out. Yeah, my son's gone to Chnia to live for many years! Yeah well, so has mine! Really? Really! Oh? Oh! Then maybe one would have said 'Hey Dude, where's my car?' Scott flew straight to Sichuan to a city named Deyang where he fell in love with the town and the people and has remained since day one. Being the excellent teacher he is he has won several Foreign Teaching Awards and has won the respect of his entire community. If anyone has been following the Sichuan Earthquake news then you will know that Deyang was one of the cities that was hit with somewhere between 10,000 and 20,000 people losing their lives. Below is an email he sent today with an update of life in the earthquake area. For sometime he along with the rest of the city has made home on one of the local football fields. ********************************** Hi Family and Friends, I am still here in Deyang and we are still experiencing tremors nearly everyday. There is still big risks of floods and diseases. The soldiers are still out at the quake lakes trying to blow the rocks and rubble away so that the pressure can be released. The river here in Deyang is at its lowest I have ever seen, it is now no more than a trickle. So somewhere along the river is a blockage. In Mianyang a town about 45mins away from us they have just evacuated about 1 million people and there are fears that the water will rise to the 3 floor. With our river though there are many small rivers running off this one so if it does flood in Deyang it may not be as bad as other places. But from floods we get diseases and other things. My bags are all packed and I am ready to go when they kick me out. We have classes starting on June 16th and end July 27th if everything is ok. But nearly all schools in the area are closed for the summer. My plan is to stay until the end and help with what I can. Today I have asked the school to be a volunteer and help in the disaster areas. But at this stage it is in the talking process. They are not sure about a foreigner being there. So hopefully it will all work out and I can go help. I have though donated money and clothes to help the quake victims. In Deyang we have had many famous people come and give their support to the aid work that is going on and visit hospitals and families. Some people that have come have been include Jackie Chan, Jet Li, Hu Jin Tao (President of China) and Wen Jia Bao. There is still a strange feeling when I am walking around Deyang. It is like a ghostly feeling with people walking around in a daze, and when talking to people they seem very detached and distant. Most of Deyang is living in tent cities all over the town. Some are living under not much more than a sheet. We have had some heavy rain and strong winds recently and this has not helped out the tent city people. It is very heartbreaking to see, but they all seem to be making do. I am surprised that the sanitary conditions are up to a high standard. They have teams that are keeping this up to scratch. My students are constantly contacting me and making sure I am ok and some are wanting counselling, most are asking "why are all these bad things happening to China", how can you answer that question? I think that many may not come back to school when it starts again. I am trying my best to help out and keep a positive outlook on the situation. I think the Chinese people need to see this and hopefully it will give them some hope that life will go on and that they can enjoy things again. But this will take time. You can't just put a band aid over it. I thank you for all your prayers and concerns, Scott. Taken from the SCETC Net Site <u>Foreign Teacher in SETC Donating Money for Quake-hit Area[/i]</u></b> [i]Mitchell Scott Peter, who won The 2006 Excellent Foreign Guest Teacher Prize and The 2007 Excellent Foreign Guest Teacher Prize by the Education Department of Sichuan Province, donated money for May 12 quake-hit area at Deyang Sports Stadium. Mitchell Scott Peter says that Deyang city is his second hometown and he will stay in Deyang together with SETC and the students for the final victory. ********************************************** PS: A friend's mother who was a volunteer for the first two weeks after the earthquake offered some amazing details as to unknown facts about the earthquake, one being the 'real' expected death toll. There are still many cities that no one has been able to get to. They have been 'locked down' by the government until they can be disinfected. Time, man power, terrain and loss of roads etc has simply not given the chance of anyone reaching these areas. So the word is that the 'real' total loss of life is somewhere between 200,000 and 250,000 or more! PSS: Last night when I was chatting to Luo Wei (Amigo) on the phone she told me that the government had issued a warning that sometime on either the 3rd or 4th of June there will be another severe earthquake measuring somewhere between 6.8 and 8 and this time hitting somewhere in Shaanxi Province which pretty much leaves me living in fear as that is where Luo Wei lives along with my 2nd family who live in Xi'an. There have been many large earthquakes since the first one tore peoples lives apart. Imagine trying to live in this area. Everyone around you including yourself has lost loved ones and belongings and still new warnings are given that anytime soon the earth around you will tear your life apart again. Sadly they can't predict where it will happen so they can not move people. Each night Luo Wei's buidling shakes from tremors felt far away. Last night she was in Xi'an City and around her people were already beginning to sleep in the streets and public squares. You won't believe how big my smile is each time I receive either a reply to my sent text message or when I hear her voice on the other end of the phone. Now that it is supposed to hit closer to her that smile will become bigger each time!

PSSS: I may re-send this as Scott will be sending me some photos sometime soon. Beers Noodles toya.....shane ______________________________________________ The soundtrack to this entry was by The Dandy Warhols The album was 'The Dandy Warhols' Ride! ______________________________________________

Sichuan Earthquake

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Posted by eddakath 17:00 Archived in China Comments (0)

The Taining Geo Park N Golden Lake Adventure

Hey Hey and a Big G'Day toya, As promised several months ago the school organised a day trip to Golden Lake in Taining County., which is part of Sanming City. Canadian Jo and I headed to Taining last year expecting to visit a beautiful lake in Taining Town. No one told us that it was freaking huge and about half an hour from the town and unless you had organised it it was difficult to know exactly what there was to see there. As Jo and I thought we were going to spend the afternoon walking around a nice little lake in the middle of the town so we only allowed for that, the afternoon. After finding out where it was and how huge the lake was we decided to spend the afternoon walking around the lakeless town instead. For those interested in seeing how beautiful little Taining Town is click here. Thankfully several months ago when we were at another huge Mr Du organised feasts he mentioned that the school wanted to organise a few day trips for us to places that we would not normally be able to organise 'ourselves' type thing. When he mentioned the Taining Geo Park we pretty much jumped at the chance! Im not going to write any more myself.

Below is a heap of information on Golden Lake and what there is to see there. It really was a wonderful afternoon and the most amazing highlight of the day was not only the very cute tour guide we had but also the freaky temple built high on a cliff face obviously by freaky monks who were freakin out! That's enough from me...continue reading please! Try your best to make sense of the tourist signs!

Though some of them are very funny think about how it would be with out them.Even though we all have a chuckle, without them we would have no idea about the history etc of what we are looking at or visiting. Especially if it isn't in any guide book!

<u>The Scenic Zone of Ganlu Rock</u> It is situated in the northeast of the scenic area of Golden Lake. Here, red cliffs, rock holes and caves develop on a wide range of area, where the Rock Holes & Caves Museum lies. In the caves, there are a number of temples of different styles. Integrating rock holes, caves and temple culture, the scenic zone consists of two scenic spots Tiantai Rock and Ganlu Rock.

<u>Ganlu</u><u> Rock Temple</u><u></u> Uniquely constructed, Ganlu Rock Temple lies in the cave of Ganlu Rock that is narrow inside while wide open outside. The spring water oozing from the rock layers in the temple is clear, sweet and cool like manna, and is called Dragon Spring, hence the name Ganlu (literally manna) Rock Temple. The temple was wholly constructed with wood, connected with T-shape negative tilts without a single iron nail used. <u>Shuiji Waterfall</u> Shuiji Waterfall, also known as Baishuiji Waterfall, is the largest waterfall at Golden Lake. It is double-tiered with a distance of over 100 meters between. The upper one is Xieji Waterfall, the lower one is Shuiji Waterfall, and both of them have a cliff of displacement of about 10 meters wide and 20 meters deep, offering a spectacular sight. <u>The Scenic Zone of Meikou Calm Lake</u> Situated at the central area of Golden Lake, also known as Five-Kilometer-Long Calm Lake, the beautiful scenic zone is amazing, grand and spectacular, and the landscape of Danxia landform on water is rarely seen both at home and abroad. It is the core scenic zone and the essence of the Large Golden Lake. <u>Five-Kilometer-Long</u><u> Calm Lake</u><u></u> With the broadest water surface at Golden Lake, Five-Kilometer-Long Calm Lake is 8 kilometers long from north to south, 3 kilometers wide from east to west and over 60 meters deep. It is soothing and relaxing in that it is surrounded by ranges of mountains, studded with islands&Atilde;&#131;&#8218;&Atilde;&#130;&Acirc;&#129;Cwith the water and the sky merging in one color, and with the blown grass and the floating shadow of mountains in water.

<u>One-Ray Sky on Water</u> Situated on the northern edge of Meikou Calm Lake, it is a gorge like one-ray sky on water almost in the direction of north to south with the narrowest part of only two meters wide hardly for a cockleboat to pass through. There is a round pond with a diameter of about 20 meters at the end of One-Ray Sky on Water. Precipices stand high around the pond, leaving a very narrow view to look up to. With the one-ray sky reflected in water, and a ray of sunlight pouring down the water, the infinite variety of landscape is amazing. <u>Information on the Sanming Area</u> Situated in the northwest of Fujian Province, Sanming City neighbors Fuzhou in the east, Quanzhou in the south and is bounded on the west by Jiangxi Province. History: Jiangle County was the first county in Sanming established in the Three Kingdoms Period (220-280). For thousands of years, Jiangle County has remained until now, and more counties were established in this area. The name of the city 'Sanming' came from the combination of the two counties, Sanyuan and Mingxi, which constitute the city proper. Physical Features: Sanming belongs to low mountainous and hilly area, as well as river valleys. The main land of the city can be divided into several types, including fluvial landform, Danxia landform, karst landform and some other trivial landforms. Taining County has the largest area of Danxia landform in Fujian Province. Climatic Features: Having a subtropical humid maritime climate, Sanming has abundant rainfall and moderate climate. It is affected greatly by maritime monsoon. Its rainy season may last from March to September, and October to February is the dry season. The average temperature of a year is about 17-19C(63-66F). <u>Scenic Spots:</u> Golden Lake of Taining is a major scenic resort of the country. It is water-centered scenic area characterized by Danxia landform. Here, gullies and valleys are deep, various landscapes of Danxia landform develop, red cliffs are lofty, and peaks and pillars stand up like a forest. Majestically overlooking the glistening Golden Lake, the scenic area is a place of interest combined with Danxia landform and vast lake water and is rarely seen in China. According to the distribution and characteristic of landscapes of Danxia landform, the scenic area is divided into four scenic zones: Ganlu Rock, Maoer Mountain, Calm Lake of Meikou and Calm Lake of Yikou. Beers N Noodles toya.....shane _______________________________________________________________ The soundtrack to this entry was by the freaky Pink Floyd The album was the freaky 'Atom Heart Mother'. Maybe it was recorded whilst high on a high cliff face by freaky Monks freakin out! Sounds that way to me, one of my favorites! ________________________________________________________________

English Tourist Signs...Luvem

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Taining Geo Park Adventure

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Posted by eddakath 17:00 Archived in China Comments (0)

The Beautiful Chinese Village Hop

Hey Hey and a Big G'Day toya, Villages huh. Let's talk about small Chinese mountain villages. Last night I spent a few hours on MSN with a Japanese friend I met eight years ago when I was there. Her English is pretty good but she really only uses it when we catch up on MSN which is not that often. She doesn't have much free time due to having a child and working. She was asking about the earth quake and where it was and the people it has affected etc. We talked about Chinese cities and towns and when we got onto villages she became extremely interested. So much land! Ha Ha! I could tell she was excited by the way she used all capitals! As she rarely ever gets to read my travelblog I promised her that today I would head much further out into the hills and take some pictures of the villages that I find there as they would be very much the same as those found in mountains in the earthquake area. Today I rose and after a big bowl of noodles with vegetables and eggs I almost ran with excitement to my bike. The day was so beautiful and it was the perfect day to find a new bike ride and I knew exactly where I was going to go. I always feel like I'm about fifteen when it is time to find a new bike ride. I'm always finding new places to go but when I want a new 'bike ride' I mean one that will take me 'way out there' for many hours. I headed to the halfway point in my normal big bike ride. This is a little village store where I sit and rest whilst drinking several bottles of cold water. Instead of continuing back around the mountains to the Village Temple and then to Shaowu I continued riding much further out and simply village hopped for many hours. Once again I became the big strange looking foreign alien visiting Planet Farming Village. The look that comes onto the villagers faces as I slowly ride in from the fields really is amazing! That's another thing I love about finding new rides. It is a look of total confusion and disbelief. I don't doubt that a foreigner has ever placed foot (or tyre) in 99% of the villages I ride to so when I arrive each village goes into hysterics. After the initial confusion and disbelief subsides the old begin to cackle, the middle aged stop and smile and the young run around gathering each other laughing like they have just been released from the crazy house. They then begin with the 'hellos' and all of them yell it over and over again whilst jumping up and down and pushing each other either around or towards me. If it's worthy ride, after I return several times there are no more confused looks, they quickly become warm smiles of welcome. The kids learn quickly that I always carry a camera with me and as soon as I appear they begin jumping up and down and yell either 'syung jee' (which means camera) or 'Kutchee or Kutcha' (which means...I have no idea what it means. Maybe it is local dialect for camera or picture). Once I take the photo they ALL MUST have a look so they then begin to jump up and down yelling 'Kun! Kun!' (Meaning Look! Look!). After about five photos, after which each step is followed...jump jump...Kun Kun...jump jump etc I am finally allowed to leave and continue on my merry way. It really is such a wonderful time. I love villages so much, they are such happy places and the families who live there though they have nothing, they don't seem to want any more than they have and that is a very simple life. I found a beautiful old temple made from earth just like most of the houses in each village. While I was walking around taking photos I heard a heap of kids talking about me but I couldn't see where they were. Then I realised there was a class on in the school next to the temple. Several of the students came running over to the temple and dragged me back to the school and gave me the tour. The youngest of them all was so funny. Even though she knew I couldn't understand a thing she was saying she chirped away and excitedly dragged me from room to room. All the rooms were pretty much the same, small wooden desks and chairs and a blackboard but in each one she pointed here and there and excitedly told me a different story for each. It was very much the same as the school I taught in Guangxi Province, very poor and nothing but chalk and a blackboard. The rest of the day was spent riding from village to village. It really was such a happy wonderful day. So below are a heap of photos from the new Village Hop ride I found today. The villages in the photos are about a two to three hour ride out into the mountains. There are no towns, just the villages and a small local store in every second or third one. Each village has between ten and twenty houses (some even less) and all are set beneath beautiful mountains. On this ride today I pretty much stayed on the one small road and must have passed though about twenty or so of them. Now when you think of the extent of the Sichuan earthquake add to that the hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of 'small mountain' villages located far far far into the huge mountain regions and you can only then begin to imagine the almost impossible task that is happening in Sichuan Province as I type this. On the English Channel here they had a panel of experts from Japan and other earthquake areas and even their mind is boggling at how huge the task is. So as I promised my busy Japanese friend, here is a page full of photos of Chinese Villages. Where I am is not as mountainous as where many of the Sichuan villages are but Fujian province is just as extreme when it comes to terrain. What you see in the pictures would no longer be standing. Most villages would be totally wiped off the map along with most of the people who lived there. That then means that all the people in these photos would be gone too if it happened here. And that includes me and all the children in my last entry! That would be a real Bugger! Beers N Noodles toya.....shane (that is still happily here!) PS: if you look intot he distance in each photo you will see 'another' village there. _______________________________________________ The soundtrack to this entry was by The Church The album was 'The Best Of' Gotta love The Church! ________________________________________________

Mountain Village Bike Ride

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Posted by eddakath 17:00 Archived in China Comments (0)

School Markets for Those Still Buried Beneath

Hey Hey and a Big G'Day to you, In response to Mondays earthquake the school quickly gathered the teachers and students together and they all decided the quickest, easiest and most fun way to raise money for those in need was to simply bring 'things' to school and spend two afternoons buying and selling. So beneath a cloudless deep blue sky we all gathered in the playground with money in hand and bargained our butts off for several hours. The stalls were news paper pages set upon the ground and upon these were placed the 'goodies'. I was asked to 'donate' money 'the normal way' and I think I surprised some staff by saying no! You see, I had a better idea in mind! I figured that if all the money was going to go in the same basket and be sent to the same place I would not do it in front of a camera for the local news media team with a known total. What fun is that! I withdrew 'many many monies' (as the students say), had it changed into small notes and spent a wonderful two afternoons bargaining my butt off with the students. But to the students surprise I didn't bargain them down, instead I bargained for them to double or even triple the price. Once I had paid the money and they had entered the sale in their log I would then either say 'hey, look over there' and when they did I'd place the item back on their newspaper OR I would walk to another stall and put it on theirs. It really did make the afternoons a wonderful occasion! I had students chasing me all over the playground trying to return either my money or my purchase! Poor Canadian Rob chose to do things the 'normal' way and was put before the local media circus for both his donation and for when he auctioned off his guitar. Poor bugger, where's the fun in that? It was all over in a few minutes. So below are some photos of our wonderful afternoons raising money for charity beneath the big blue! Most of the students are my students and most of them are my favourites! <u>ON A SAD NOTE</u></b> After chatting to Luo Wei on the phone last night and today there sadly hasn't been contact from a single student friend who went to the earthquake area to work at the end of last term. What their parents must be going though at this time. The same goes for countless other families from all over both China and Myanmar. The same goes for countless families throughout history. <u>ON ANOTHER SAD NOTE</u></b> I've been doing a lot of reading on the net about it over the past week and to my horror the world really is shamed by countless people who really don't give a damn about any one but themselves. Some of the disgusting things people write in response to some news articles are..... I guess I really don't have the words to describe how these people make me feel. These replies have been directed at victims in both China and in Myanmar. But what makes me even angrier is the fact that they are printed and the fact that others post even more replies agreeing with them. In both countries tens of thousands of people lay dead or dying beneath what were once cities, towns or villages. Most of these people will die and they will die alone trapped within a tomb of silence and pain. What really pisses me off is the fact that these replies come from Canada and Australia. Isn't it strange that they are countries with a small population and sweet bugger all natural disasters! Yes, both do suffer some natural disasters but neither of us has ever had to live through something like this. Yes Ben, Bill and Bob lose their farms due to fires and Jill and Kate lost their house in the last Queensland flood and yes it is sad but the fact is we have insurance and bugger all people die. Many of the people in the earthquake area will have come from small cities, towns and villages. Most in the small towns and villages probably had a dirt floor and a pig next to the kitchen. Most will have had a small if any salary and not much else to speak of. The last few nights as I've been on my afternoon rides, I have been riding through the exact same towns and villages that would be levelled if it was to happen here. If you look at most of my 'bike ride' photos these are the same areas that have been levelled in Sichuan Province and if you will notice one main thing, they are all very poor. I have travelled a lot of China and most locations are very much the same, towns near a river and villages beneath a mountain near a stream and all have no insurance and most have no money. So Australia and Canada, amongst you are people who in response to what has happened, have replied with such kind hearted and caring things such as: They deserve it![/i]</b> They are Chinese![/i]</b> They are communist![/i]</b> Does anyone really care?[/i]</b> There are too many of them anyway.[/i]</b> China[/i] is now one of the richest countries.[/i]</b> Who cares about the Chinese, they can all die for all I care.[/i]</b> </b> [/i]</b> And one of my personal favourites for the week....They can't even speak English![/i] </b>My other personal favourite for the week would be this one... They probably did it to themselves to take the attention off the Olympic Torch. [/i]</b> I hope it hits Beijing next![/i]</b> <u>SO A LAST HAPPY THOUGHT FOR THE NICE PEOPLE ABOVE. </u></b> Maybe next it will be you and your family and late at night as you lay in your tomb full of pain the silence will be broken by the sound of rats coming to feast upon you as you lay trapped. Sadly like those buried here in China, you won't be able to move to make them go away and you won't be able to scream in fear due to lack of water and dust built up in your throat. There are a million other gruesome things that can happen to people who lay waiting for help that will never come and right now they are happening to these people and all you can offer are disgusting, mindless and racist thoughts like above. I wonder what the general population would say to saving to people such as those above if they were given a choice between leaving them for the rats or saving their worthless racist butts. Sadly 99% of the population are good people and they would save them without a single thought as to whether they actually should or not. <u>Maybe we should simply say:</u></b> Isn't he/she the one who wrote that comment![/i]</b> Does anyone really care about them?[/i]</b> Here, add some pepper and salt![/i]</b> Oh, I have some lemon grass![/i]</b> Let the rats feast![/i]</b> Beers N Noodles toya.....shane PS: OK, no more blogs from me about the earthquake as you have enough of it from the media in what ever country you live in. But I will let you know about what is happening with Luo Wei's friends who are the students who accepted jobs in the area in my next blog. That is a more personal and 'in my face' happening. I know that the phones are still maned and hope is still there. Remember, communication is still down in all areas and will be for a long time. There is still hope for all of them. But if we were to ask the same for the above mentioned 'people' who left such wonderful comments? I would say all hope is lost for them. Nice with lemon sauce! Squeek Squeek! _________________________________________ The soundtrack to this entry was Portishead The album was the awesome "Roseland NYC Live" __________________________________________

Earthquake Playground Market

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Posted by eddakath 17:00 Archived in China Comments (0)