Monday, May 19, 2008
2:28 pm. Marking the exact time of the earthquake that rocked this country one week ago- I along with the rest of China- stood in silence for three minutes to remember those who have been lost in this devastating tragedy. In a symbolic gesture of wailing and mourning, all cars, trains and boats blew their horns for the entire three minutes.
I stood in the comfort of my home watching the CNN coverage of this event. As they flashed from scene to scene- different areas throughout the country standing in silent solidarity- the overwhelming sound of horns grew and wailed. Horns were coming from the TV, the boats and barges along the river outside my building, and from the cars, taxis and bus' stopped along the roads of the city. I just stood there, and as the crushing noise surrounded me- I thought of all of the people in their last moments; the parents, the children, grandchildren, grandparents, sons, daughters, husbands, and wives- and I felt an overwhelming sense of grief and loss.
This whole tragedy is hard to take in. While Shanghai was untouched by this earthquake- you can't help but feel like you are in the midst of the devastation, and it is overwhelming. As I was watching the news coverage, my ayi (auntie/ cleaning lady) looked at the TV and told me that she just found out that her mother, sister, and aunt died in the earthquake.
I wondered what she was doing here- but I realize she can't go home right now. Things are too unstable with all of the aftershocks. So many buildings are gone. She cannot afford to take the trip home. Hopefully she will allow Phil and I to help her and her family- because we will certainly try.
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