There was an unearthly roar. In less than thirty seconds all they had was gone. Houses, cars, and schools were flooded, not by water but with mud. Furniture, animals, and people were buried in an avalanche of earth.
He lost his parents; his house was washed away.
Her house on the mountain was untouched, but the road was broken.
He lost everything he had.
She was expecting a child – a helicopter rescued her.
These were the Taiwanese aborigines, whose mountain homes were suddenly destroyed by the mudslides of typhoon Mokorat.
They remained trapped on the beaten mountain for four days. After an ardous journey down the mountain, they woke up in the new world of army barracks where they would live for nearly six months. Finally in the late winter of 2010 they could move out to a newly built housing development.
There was only one drawback: they were mostly Christians moving into a Buddhist controlled environment where people were paid about $30 US not to go to church. Although the Buddhist organization was considerate enough to erect a primitive church (more like a chapel, really), Buddhism permeated the community. From the community’s name to the street names to the inscriptions on the rocks that lined the streets, a subtle dark force was imposing silence and meditation.
This is what our English students in Kaohsiung were experiencing.