Friday, June 20, 2008


Just playing a little catch-up here, so these are only "updates" because I didn't Update them already. While I was in North Carolina, I uploaded the remainder of the photographs I took in Hong Kong, paving the way to eventually finally begin uploading pictures from Vietnam. Please don't be led astray--this news is a month old at least. Anyone interested probably already knows all about this (and certainly anyone who reads this space does). But for the record, those pictures start here. Other news everyone already knows: while I was away from Vietnam, massive Cyclone Nargis1--which had been churning northwest through the Bay of Bengal--bounced eastward just in time to catch the shelf of the Irrawaddy Delta and be funneled straight into downtown Burma. It was the worst natural disaster to hit that country (also referred to as Myanmar) in its recorded history, causing nearly inestimable loss of life and property. Complicating matters, Burma is a country so leery any of scrutiny from the outside world they routinely refuse its assistance with humanitarian aid distribution. As if this weren't bad enough, nor close enough to home, shortly over one week later, China suffered its largest earthquake since 1976. The Sichuan Earthquake2 was so damn huge that it was felt from Mongolia to Vietnam. Nearly seventy thousand people are dead, with seventeen thousand still officially missing. Almost five million people are newly homeless--fully one-third of the province's population. For weeks it seemed like every time I turned on the news these terrible calamities were continuing to wrack Asia: seventy-two hours of aftershocks tantamount to full-blown disasters themselves; disease and possible famine on the rise for Burmese flood victims and relief workers turned away at borders. Eventually I just stopped turning on the news at all. [Cavin]

Then, a 0 sided conversation ensued...

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