A Volunteer’s Account: Thirty Six Hours of a Daring Rescue (1)

A netizen with the online name Xiaojiu posted the following photo essay on Chinese pro-military bbs tiexue.com. He recorded his volunteer relief adventure in the quake zone, and his experiences as one of the first volunteers with the soldiers doing rescue work. Here are section (2), (3) and (4). Selectively translated by M.J:

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I took this photo on the bus someplace between Mianzhu and Anxian, May 15, 2008. I must mention that on that morning, when I arrived at Zhaoda Temple bus stop to buy the tickets for Mianzhu, I found out that there were no more trains, the reason being of course the earthquake. I can’t believe that there I found that the taxis around the station were getting rich off this national disaster, from Chengdu to Mianyang each person cost 300 yuan and to Mianzhu 100.

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This tent gave me some sense of hope.

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Damn it finally it was 100 yuan to Mianzhu, and there I was, thanking these Ah-Q like idiots making money off of the country’s sorrows on this black-hearted van!

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Arrived. This is close to the highway in Hanwang. To continue, I hitchhiked with a vehicle that was going to Hanwang, delivering food to the victims. That flavorful smell of the roasted meat whet my appetite, even though I ate a lot only a day ago.

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Can you feel an ounce of compassion? The scenery by the roadside turns my blood cold.

What is shameless is that along the way, I saw many selfish villagers, who, unafraid of losing face or even their lives, flag a car on the highway and then ambush the vehicle for relief goods. I figure that they took the goods back to their homes where they accumulate. Some trucks from these parts were flagged down in this way. How very shameless.

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“Do you want a stick of gum? I can fetch you another box.”

“Yeah!”

“Be careful.”

These are the scenes in Hanwang. I saw how some villagers rummaging for the goods of the dead or the trapped… how daring!

When the entire rest of the inhabitants are out for rescue efforts, everyone has forgotten about these petty thieves and pickpockets. And these people, too feel themselves to be victims, and therefore feel stronger and justified.

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Some troops are already here.

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Schools! Why is it schools again! Is it easy to make money in schools or are the students’ lives worth very little? It must be that now that everyone knows everyone is asking questions about this problem.

If it weren’t for the horizontal banner, can you tell that this is a school? Only the devil can know!

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Whose pet puppy? Why are you always barking? What do you hope to say with those sad eyes?

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Here is someone I must mention, the first student I met. Going to school in the city of Mianyang. Family and relatives are all…this is an orphan.

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This is the first injured patient that I saw rescued when I entered the Jinzhu rescue site, his case is to be treated simply and spontaneously. When I met him on the road, he had just escaped from the mountains, the foot that you can see in the picture was then covered with dried blood and blisters the size of fists. Alcohol and a Swiss knife popped the blisters, releasing the fluids, the rest of the dried blood was just let out. Because he is already safely down the mountain, there was no treatment for skin wounds, the rest was left to specialist doctors.

After feeding him a double dose of Amoxicillin, the volunteer whom I met along with this guy was put inside the van and sent down the mountain for treatment.

(To be continued)