Saturday, April 18, 2009

Reminders of May 12, 2008

As we hiked through the hills of Dujiangyan, there were reminders all around us of the earthquake that claimed so many lives and caused so much damage last year in Sichuan.

You all have undoubtedly seen scenes of the so-called "blue roof" communities where displaced residents have been housed since that terrible day. The one we passed by came complete with a school...Not just a collection of houses, but a real, living community filled with people like you and me.

And then there were the old temples with roof tiles scattered everywhere and damage of a more significant nature. There were construction workers everywhere, trying to rebuild hundreds of years of history.

Perhaps most unusual were the huge boulders we came across. These rocks had obviously been dislodged from their perches on the mountain top, judging by the straight, vertical lines in the forest where there was no significant vegetation. All of the trees and big bushes had obviously been smashed as the rocks thundered their way down. Standing there in the quiet, we could only imagine how loud and terrifying the scene must have been for the people who were strolling by that fateful day.

It may be a year later, but it is clear that the affected areas have a long way to go before they can return to anything resembling "normal."

~Steve

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