Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Everything is fine but is has been intense


We're all doing fine and things are settling down at least a little. I am writing about life here since the quake in my column this week so I don't really want to go on too much.

We are in the third day of a three-day national period of mourning right now. All TV channels are off or showing news only. Movie theaters, music clubs and other entertainment venues are closed. Newspapers and websites are black and white only. All flag are at half mast -- and I never realized how many flags there were around Beijing until I saw them all at half mast. Three doors down from us the ambassador for Equatorial Guinea lives and it is actually their embassy as well. They have a giant flag and it is at half mast as well.

I went downtown Monday to observe three minutes of silence.. or more correctly of stillness. All across China, everyone was supposed to stop driving and walking and blow their horns. It was very moving, to see all traffic in Beijing stop still.

They have been doing a lot of fundraising at school, including having a "small change box" in the front of each campus, emphasizing that every little bit counts and I really was extremely proud when Anna ran to get her piggy bank and emptied the whole thing in.