CHINA> Video
Beneath the shade of the temporary shelter
By Cao Huan and Christie Li (
Updated: 2009-05-12 17:10


[Intro - VOICE OVER]

On the way to the quake zone, makeshift shelters are everywhere. To the outside observer they may seem ordinary, but if you walk inside you'll soon learn the stories therein are anything but.


My child had a job in Mianyang and got a lift to Anxian that day. He walked to the foot of the hill and came across a man from our home. Desperately he asked whether this man had seen his dad but the man didn't know him. Eventually he explained to the man who his dad was and the man said, "Your dad is alive. He's alright." My son said he was so happy that he wanted to kowtow


Revealing the ongoing struggle she began talking about her children and said she is now focusing on bringing up her grandson, so her children can work and make money. The woman living opposite was busy doing needlework while we were talking. This kind of insole is an icon of the Qiang Nationality, which sells for 40 Yuan per pair. What she doesn't sell can still be used by her daughter.


My daughter keeps saying to me,"Mommy please make me a pair of nice insoles". She really likes them. It's my handwork. She feels special.


There are public toilets, shower rooms and kitchens in the temporary housing area. Sometimes you see this type of mini-market owned by local residents. The owner here had never done any business before so he borrowed some money from his brother and then opened this market after having treatment in Xi’an for his injured leg.


I was a little nervous at the beginning. After all I've never done anything like this before. Now it’s getting better, well, the income is about 100 Yuan per day and that includes the cost. The rest would be my profit which comes up to over 10 Yuan per day.


He said doing business was not easy and maybe after a while he will go out and find some other work. Another character found beneath the layers of the temporary shelter was Jiang Zhiming. He was paralyzed before the quake; however he said he was a lucky one who had actually benefited from the disaster.


I became a patient with high paraplegia after a car crash in 2005, and stayed at home since then. I was injured again in the earthquake because I couldn’t escape, until the 15th. The Mianyang armed police squadron rescued me and then I was taken to Chongqing to get treatment. After that I was put into Mianyang central hospital for nearly half a year. When I was in Chongqing, I didn't have my family with me, but the volunteers, doctors and nurses took great care of me, they treated me so good, it felt almost like home. I have recovered now after the past year’s treatment. I was very weak before the quake, so I can say I have benefited.


The earthquake affected both the strong and weak, the elderly and the young. Hao Runlin is in his fourth grade at elementary school, and is living with his granddad in a makeshift shelter which was emptied for them by the Residential Committee.


After the quake, some volunteers came and built an elementary school with tents. They told their friends after they went back to Beijing, and then we got accepted by them.


Runlin has been doing really well at school and he is his granddad's pride and joy. Throughout the loss brought about by the quake children have been giving adults hope and strength.


My child didn't survive the earthquake, but now I am pregnant again. Maybe because I lost a girl, I hope this new one is a girl too.

[Conclusion - VOICE OVER]

The mother said that when the baby grows up, she will tell the story about her late sister that perished in the quake. And for those beneath the shade of the temporary shelter, still battling with the pain of the past, life goes on, forever connected to the tragedy that took place just a year ago.