*Insert apologies for being a bad blog mistress here*
Although I’m not in Taiwan anymore, I have been worried upon hearing the news reports of the mudslides falling on small villages. We just got through to talk with my aunt in Tainan tonight (the lines in Taipei haven’t been letting us through). She told me that they are rationing water since there is not very much that is drinkable– the reservoirs have been flooded, and helicopters are dropping food and drinking water where villages in the mountains are supposed to be, but haven’t been able to confirm whether people are still alive there yet. People are cooking noodles and dumplings instead of rice (rice needs to be rinsed in addition to the water added to cook it). The cold drinks from 7/11 (No carton/bottle cold teas!? Unthinkable!) aren’t available. Fresh fruit and vegetables on farms were washed away by Morakot, so she said food is pretty expensive right now. Fortunately, as far as we’ve heard, our family is fine.
Apparently the cities are operating again and the roads and trains are clear and running.
Also, the Taiwanese government is bowing to public pressure to accept whatever foreign aid they can get since they need it… (Refrains from grumpy editorial about political idiocy.) From what I’ve heard, they could really use more helicopters to try to get to those remote villages.
And if you’ve got change to spare and care to help relief efforts (good karma, anyone?), Tzu Chi is a fantastic Buddhist organization (I remember them being on practically every street corner asking for donations so they could provide assistance after the Chinese earthquake). Apparently World Vision is also conducting relief efforts in Taiwan as well.
My heart aches for all the beautiful mountain villages we would visit on the weekends or drive past on the highways– their lights glittering on the mountains. They seem so idyllic– there is usually a main street with a market of yummy touristy food, and depending on the village, you can meet artisans selling things from glass pens to ocarinas (clay whistles). I miss Taiwan. My thoughts are with everyone there.