Friday, August 14, 2009

Pingtung Relief Efforts

First, updates. Numbers to call in Pingtung: 08 7365600, 08 7365012, or 08-7378821x501/x506. In Pingtung today I learned that the volunteers are being shuttled out to work sites along the coast. Pick up is at the Pingtung County Bureau of Cultural Affairs on Dalien Road in the northeast part of the city twice a day, 8:30 am and 1:30 pm. However, the Cultural Affairs Bureau building has no signs or other indicators that it is somehow involved in typhoon relief. Go inside and ask to find out what is going on.

Today Michael Cannon and I decided to go out to Pingtung to see if we could sling mud in affected areas, because if there is one thing I know, it is mudslinging. People had put money into my account, so we loaded up the van with more boots, saws, brooms, buckets, gloves, masks, garbage bags, and other goodies needed for cleaning and took them over to Pingtung Stadium where they were coordinating drop offs. Most of that stuff went out right away.

I can't thank everyone enough. With all the money that came in, we put more than $30,000 NT worth of stuff into the hands of people who needed it. You guys are awesome.

At the stadium, goods were flowing in and out pretty regularly. Lots of student volunteers again. We moved boxes here for a while, then broke for an early lunch so we could head over to the Cultural Bureau for the 1:30 pick-up.

Karoke by the river in Shuimen in Neipu. Unfortunately the 1:30 pm shuttle taking volunteers out to work sites had been canceled. We judged that we were too far from the areas on the coast, but one of the people at the Cultural Affairs building suggested that we go to Neipu, where there was cleaning work going on. If you do go directly to Linbian, Chiadong, or Donggang, go to the township offices where work is being coordinated.

Refugees in the background, the media interviews a government employee at Neipu Agricultural Vocational Technical High School.

Shuimen in Neipu township where the school was. Unfortunately there was no cleaning work to do in Neipu, we were told.

Flooded areas near Shuimen. The refugees were largely Rukai from the mountains above the area. Their villages were completely cut off by broken bridges and roads. Hence, no cleaning could be done, because no one could get into the area save by helicopter. So we were told.

We moved boxes for a while, then returned home to Taichung since we had commitments on Saturday.

Crossing Taiwan's most beautiful bridge, on Hwy 3 between Pingtung and Kaohsiung.

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Dixteel said...

That is very nice. Thank you, guys.

Mark said...

You're awesome, Michael. Way to go!

Readin said...

Nice to see that the volunteers don't have to go through "sensitivity training" or endure warnings about how they could be arrested for health-code violations if they make and distribute food.

This is one matter where it seems Taiwan has the edge on the U.S.. Americans are becoming afraid to help each other for fear of getting sued.

Tayvan Vizesi said...

Awesome post. Thanks