what does it take

Today i rolled through Dujiangyan and took a look at the field hospital set up by the German and Sichuan Red Cross. The field hospital is there to take over from the seven local hospitals that are no closed due to damage from the quake. They take on all of the patients that are not in danger of dying … the regular people who suffer from regular stuff. Many patients have quake-related stuff.

One man fell from a roof cleaning up debris and hurt his back. One old woman was dehydrated and delirious after hiking for six days to get out of Beichuan. She also fractured her foot early on in the hike, but it semi-healed, so now she lies there mumbling to herself. Two young girls had outbreaks of Lupus due to stress and shock and exposure to the sun.

The Germans are there to set up the operation and then turn it over to the Chinese. Across the board, hte Germans were impressed with the organization and determination of the Chinese. Dozens of volunteers showed up to translate. Doctors from Shanghai showed up to help. Volunteers from as far away as Liaoning and Shandong came to be helping hands. The Germans said that in no other Mission had they seen such quick response, concerted efforts and solidarity.

“This is definitely not an underdeveloped country,” said one.

For the Chinese, this is a chance to learn the quick-response procedures that the Germans have perfected. The doctors from Shanghai will return to their hospital and set up an emergency response team with ability to throw up a field hospital anywhere in the world within 24 hours, just like the Germans.

This got me thinking.

Today, it would seem preposterous to think of Chinese emergency teams showing up in Western countries and doing work. They will most likely head to Africa and South Asia like all the rest of the response teams.

And further, it seems so easy for Germans to roll into Dujiangyan and set up a hospital and help them purify water for the semi-permanent settlements being built for the refugees. It seems easy for rich people in the West to throw money at Myanmar, China and Indonesia …

Perhaps because as a disinterested party, helping out the poor and suffering of some far off nation is much easier then helping the poor and suffering down the block. Those down the block are disgusting. They’re lazy. They can help themselves. And they’re probably on drugs anyway.

I can’t wait till China goes abroad and helps the needy around the world. Maybe they’ll step into the US and clean up our ghettos for us.

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