A close friend put her anthro PhD on hold to help run the emergency relief effort in China. She writes:
I’m organizing volunteers and local staff for MSF activities here and it’s overwhelming in a way that I’ve never experienced in China before. I made three phone calls to find translators and received more than fifty responses. It’s more than the individual stories, which are deeply touching; it’s the opportunity to rearticulate community in (very) late socialism. (Funny, the minute I leave I begin to work through my dissertation ideas!)
So I’ve been thinking a lot about what exactly it is that is revealed in crisis. Is it simply the best and worst in people? I don’t think so. Even if there is nothing to lay bare in any of us, such moments are decisive.
I’m not quite sure how anyone thinks about dissertation ideas after 20-hour days, sleeping in an IDP tent.
You can get an update on MSF activities in China here.