Erenlai - 按日期過濾項目: 週四, 09 八月 2007
週五, 10 八月 2007 03:36

What eRenlai is aiming at...

We are 2700 meters up on the plateau of Liang Shan or “the Chilly Mountains”. It is noon, the weather is very hot, and the sun “bites” people as the Chinese like to say. We have worked all morning long to install water pipes which are going to bring water to about thirty houses. You may have ADSL internet but here, in the 4th and 5th brigades of Yangjuan, there soon will be 7 communal taps which will make happy all the ones who have to cope with the water chores. It is very hot but it is comfortable under the shadow of the adobe houses. Then I am invited to come in very naturally, to take a break. This is not really a lunch break. Every day around here, lunch is reduced to its simplest expression. But we just celebrated the Torch Festival. Each family killed a pig, a lamb or at least some poultries. So we sit down, the women bring a pot of rice and left-over meat.
We have been celebrating these days, and it would be most surprising if we could not find some bottles of beer left, maybe even some cases. Here we are, the miracle happens, everyone has his own bottle, and well, courage is back!

In the adobe house, decoration and furniture are reduced to the minimum: a portrait of the grand helmsman, a cupboard, some stools and, over there, in the house of the head of the brigade, a color television. We don’t have running water yet, but we have satellite TV. Collective or individual, the dish antennas are everywhere in the Chinese landscape and pick up the national channels very well.

We are eating and talking while the small screen is uttering its stream of images and music. Sometimes, when nothing is holding the attention of anyone, someone changes to another channel.

The conversation goes on nonchalantly. And then, someone dares to give an opinion: this TV doesn’t offer anything good, at least nothing that relates to our life here. I can only agree with that. With more or less 1000 US dollars income per year for most of the families, the slimming courses offered by the advertisements are useless in the area!
Actually, I am the only one embarrassed…and concerned. Suddenly, we finally surf to a different program “The Story of a Bear”. It is a French movie about a Pyrenean she-bear, which fools two hunters and escapes protecting her baby. The conversation stops. Everyone is suddenly fascinated. The she-bear, running for her life, snatches her bear cub from the clutches of the hunters. A story like this one really tears you at your heartstrings!

30 or 40 years ago, Yangjuan was surrounded by forest. Then China needed its raw materials to develop, and here as anywhere else the forest which was protecting so well the bears from the clutches of the hunters has been cleared of trees and exploited to death.
40 years ago, one could still see bears in the forests behind Yangjuan. People of my age told me that. And they were not scary-stories from their childhood.
At the hottest time of the day, in the adobe house, bear and beer: very good!
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Yangjuan and Pianshui Villages

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{rokbox}media/articles/BearJacques.jpg{/rokbox}

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