The Smallest Of People, The Biggest Of Impressions

Building on Melissa's last post, sometimes it's the youngest people in the quake zone who leave me with the deepest impressions.

Yesterday in Pengzhou, a bit more than hour outside of Chengdu, new rural homes are going up. The families that will live here used to be scattered across the land, in one-story homes built around courtyards. Their news lives will take shape in these suburban-like blocks of two-story homes, right next to the road that leads to Chengdu.

Boy in construction zone

New rural housing sprouts up in Pengzhou, next to the road that leads to Chengdu. Andrea Hsu/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Andrea Hsu/NPR

As I caught a glimpse of this toddler wandering through the construction, his small hands clasping a bag of snacks that he munched on as he explored, I was reminded of another child I spotted last May, in the village of Xiang'e.

Boy in Xiang'e tent camp

Back in May 2008, it was tent cities like this one in Xiang'e that were sprouting up across the region. Andrea Hsu/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Andrea Hsu/NPR

I'd wondered then, two weeks after the quake, what, if anything, a child that small would remember about the quake. Yesterday had me thinking about what growing up in the new Chinese countryside will mean both for the children and for the country.



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