I can hardly write a post about the disaster in Myanmar, and then not write about the thousands of people who have died as a result of Monday’s earthquake in China. Anyone who knows me at all knows that I am a China girl through and through. I fell in love with China when I moved there for a year to teach English. “My” China is further north and east of where the earthquake struck. But the scenes and faces are familiar to me.
The reports of hundreds of school children killed and missing at several middle schools in Chengdu is so tragic, especially when you stop to consider that most children in China are ONLY children. (Thanks to the Communist One Child Policy). I’m sure nothing in the morning when moms and dads sent their children to school foretold them of the heartbreak and fear the day would hold.
Some of my favorite conversations in China happened in my “room” (It had green astro turf carpet. . )when my students would come in the evening for “free talk”. One of the most common questions was:
“Army (they called me Army for some reason, some how an “R” always got added), how are Chinese and American different?”
I preferred to answer how much we were the same, “We love our families, we think about what our future will hold, we worry about this, and think about that.”. . It was always fascinating to see their response. .
“Really, Americans love their families? But they live so far apart from them (our books say).
Really, Americans worry about their future, But everyone is rich in America (so our books say)
Really, Americans have bad eyes and have to wear glasses (The first time I showed up to class with glasses, their jaws HIT the ground! The thought that only Chinese people had bad eyes. . I don’t quite know why). .
What a beautiful journey it was for me, and all my students to learn how much we were all the same, our language was different, our food was different, our government was different, but our hearts, souls, worries and joys were all the same.
So I pray for all the doctors I know who may be helping those injured. I recall the summer I spent hanging out with Chinese Middle School students, and pray that those alive will be found, that parents will be comforted and God will be glorified in a beautiful, amazing, enchanted land I love.