Life get­ting back to nor­mal for fam­i­lies

China Daily (Canada) - - FRONT PAGE - By DAQIONG and PALDEN NY­IMA in Xigaze, Ti­bet

Equipped with beds, Ti­betan mat­tresses, boxes of bot­tled wa­ter, a ta­ble and a big-screen TV, Tse­tan Dorje’s tent looks com­fort­able and clean.

Tse­tan Dorje is a Nepali Sherpa from Perbin Gadi vil­lage in Nepal, which borders the Ti­bet au­ton­o­mous re­gion’s Dam town­ship.

Since the mag­ni­tude-7.9 earth­quake struck on April 25, the Chi­nese gov­ern­ment has pro­vided re­lief for 62 Nepali earth­quake vic­tims and evac­u­ated them to Xigaze, the sec­ond­largest city in Ti­bet.

An ad­di­tional 1,000 vic­tims from Dam town­ship were re­lo­cated to the set­tle­ment in Xigaze five days af­ter the quake.

The evac­uees were pro­vided with free meals, ac­com­mo­da­tions, trans­porta­tion, com­mu­ni­ca­tion, banks, a post of­fice and other ne­ces­si­ties.

At first many of the evac­uees, es­pe­cially the chil­dren and older peo­ple, felt the ef­fects of the high al­ti­tude. How­ever, one month af­ter their re­lo­ca­tion, they have ad­justed.

“We have calmed down, and our life is back to nor­mal,” said Tse­tan Dorje.

The 44-year-old said his chil­dren do not eat much, and his younger son had com­mu­ni­ca­tion prob­lems be­cause he had spent most of his life in Nepal.

Tse­tan Dorje takes care of his two sons, who at­tend the tent kinder­garten in the set­tle­ment, while his wife, Methok, goes to the driver’s school near the camp.

The set­tle­ment also of­fers free in­ter­na­tional calls.

“I call my par­ents in Kathmandu regularly. They are liv­ing in tents with our rel­a­tives, and they are all fine,” he said. “I am grate­ful for the gen­er­ous ser­vice.”

“The gov­ern­ment also helped to re­unite us with our younger son Kal­sang Tser­ing, and we are re­ally happy he is back with us,” he said.

As many vic­tims had wor­ries of get­ting their valu­ables back, the gov­ern­ment has sent one per­son from each fam­ily to their home­town to re­trieve such items.

Evac­uee Ny­ima Voshar said his chil­dren were sick due to the high at­ti­tude and dry weather when they first ar­rived at the set­tle­ment. “Now they are all fine,” he said. The 33-year-old said he was ap­pre­cia­tive of the free driv­ing in­struc­tion pro­vided by the gov­ern­ment.

I had dreamed of learn­ing to drive long ago. How­ever, it got post­poned ev­ery time be­cause I could not af­ford the ex­pen­sive fees, he said.

Ny­ima Voshar has two chil­dren. The el­der one, 9-year-old Droma, in­jured a leg dur­ing the earth­quake and re­quired surgery.

She has been told to rest for three months and can­not at­tend school.

Each day, vol­un­teers visit her fam­ily’s tent to help her to catch up on the missed lessons.

“I want to say thanks to the teach­ers who come to help me ev­ery day,” Droma said. Con­tact the writ­ers through daqiong@chi­nadaily.com.cn

His wife orig­i­nally came from Nepal’s Gorkha county. She worked as a street cleaner be­fore the earth­quake and has re­sumed her work in the set­tle­ment.

“I am happy I can con­tinue my job of clean­ing in the set­tle­ment,” said Drolma Sherpa, 25.

“Thanks to the great care of the gov­ern­ment, my hus­band is get­ting free train­ing, and I got a salary raise as well.”

Ny­ima Dorje and Drolma Sherpa hope to ex­tend their busi­ness ex­pe­ri­ence to Xigaze.

“The gov­ern­ment plans to set up a Nepali depart­ment store in Xigaze, and I have ap­plied for a stall in it,” Ny­ima Dorje said.

The cou­ple have two sons. Five-year-old Choe­dron Ten­zin at­tends the tent kinder­garten in the set­tle­ment, while 2-year-old Ten­zin Dralha goes to a kinder­garten op­er­ated by vol­un­teers.

In­jured 9-year-old Ti­betan girl Droma (right), rests with her younger brother in a tent that serves as their home in Xigaze. Droma’s leg was bro­ken dur­ing the earth­quake. She gets daily school lessons from vol­un­teers.

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