Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter - 'From a Foreign Land'

I woke up early and went top deck of my cruise ship on the Yangtze River – for my own sunrise service ‘in a foreign land’. I already knew it was cloudy and the ‘mist’ was a little heavy. But I went anyway. At first I was alone on deck – watching mountains come into view as sunlight came through the clouds. But what I enjoyed the most was listening to the birds chirping and the roosters crowing. Very peaceful way to start the day and reflect on God’s creation and new beginnings on Easter. As the world woke up, there were car horns and barking dogs. (and a few fog horns).
I them found myself in company of other travelers that had planned a short Easter Sunrise Service – even got to sing a little – but missed the impulse choir and the Brass R Us!

As day proceeded, we journeyed down the river to visit the Gorges. Spectacular scenery. Its hard to imagine how different things would have looked prior to the dam project. At this point, the water level has risen about 90 meters. We spoke with several residents who had to be relocated – a couple of local guides –and a local farmer. We are being told how much better the new cities are for people and that most folks were able to take the allowance for resettlement and add additional $’s to double their home size. From what I see, the new homes, wide streets, parks, and other infrastructure of the citites are an improvement. But I recognize the difficulties required to relocate and have cities / farms / businesses submerged beneath the water line. We asked about the submerged cities and in translation, were told they were bombed and good stuff removed. Sounds like even many bricks were moved for reuse.

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