Sichuan: A volunteer’s diary
I haven’t closed my eyes for two days. I’m a student from Wuxi’s Professional Health Institute (Wuxi is located in Jiangsu province, in eastern China). After we learned of the earthquake in Sichuan, 8 of us voluntarily organized ourselves into a group, and had one of our parents drive us to Sichuan. The expressway’s still blocked, but along the way we saw a couple military trucks, and we caught a ride. We arrived at the earthquake zone, and we’ve been helping rescue the wounded since.
I don’t know if I should even make this post, but I’m still going to do it. I don’t mind if others accuse me of making something up, but I just want to tell what I see to everyone. I gave too much blood today, 600CC, and I fainted. So, my classmates are forcing me to rest, and this gives me the chance to log on using my laptop.
My deepest impressions are of that child! I have type O blood (universal donor). My blood flowed into his body… but… it couldn’t save his life. I grief, but his mother is filled with even more grief. It’s a single-parent family; after losing her baby, how will her mom go on?
I saw our premier yesterday around noon. He looks like he’s aged much. He was standing on a pile of rubble that used to be a school, moving a few rocks. He wasn’t acting or looking for publicity. His face was filled of tears. I saw him, and I couldn’t help but cry. But what made me angry was… why were the young assistants around him not helping? Why??
I’m one of the first male nurses graduating from Wuxi Health Institute; I’m not afraid of blood, I just want to save as many as I can.
I really am not used to those Sichuan provincial leaders. We’re chewing on bread rolls, and our beloved PLA Army, Armed Police warriors… they’re chewing only on dried instant noodles. But those leaders are eating two warm dishes and rice. At lunch I saw the premier while he was resting, and he was only eating a roll and salted vegetables. I cried at that moment.
Even as a boy, I shouldn’t be crying. As a 20 year old young man, I still can’t control my tears.
The parking lot is the most tragic of places, none of us want to be there. Because we see those injured mothers, staring at their children’s already cold bodies. We grief, and hate ourselves for being so helpless. But we really can’t help, we can’t life those rocks. All that we can do is bring those mothers and fathers a warm blanket on this frigid night.
In one day, we used up the big bag of bandages and pain-killers that we had brought. But the flow of the injured hasn’t stopped. The rescue work at the school is painfully slow, a lot of equipment can’t be brought in. The Armed Police warriors are using their shoulders to lift everything, and using wooden logs to pry things free. Many have been injured, but they’re still fighting. What touched me most in particular was one soldier… his calf was sliced open by a metal pole, leaving a 10-cm cut. I helped him sew the wound closed, and was going to use bandages to wrap it up. But he refused. He only said: “I’ll wrap it with paper, save your bandages for someone who needs it more.” Then, he got back onto the pile of rubble.
Many construction experts have been coming by. There’ve also been more Sichuan provincial government officials. Although everyone’s keeping busy, many of their actions really leave me speech-less… all of our warriors have been drinking boiled well-water with salt, but the officials are all enjoying packaged drinks!
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