Thursday, 29 April 2010

Orchids to soothe your soul

Orchids from my balcony to brighten your day.

The freeway landslide disaster - I was sent yesterday to wait at the funeral home for the body of a man dug out of the mud and rubble. The undertaker told us that he was found fused to his girlfriend, and that his body was severely mangled, ripped into half at the waist. Other reports said he was torn into four pieces. His family identified the body by the watch he was wearing. He was 30 years old. My assignment yesterday was to


I'm still trying to recover from the exhaustion. I had it real easy, compared to my colleagues. Some of them were assigned to do live shots, and were out there for more than 24 hours at a time. When the first body was found, a reporter from TVBS almost fell apart during the live shot. She was exhausted and falling apart emotionally. Her voice was quivering, obviously on the edge of breaking into tears. She was into her 26th hour on the scene. As a reporter, I was desperate to be on the scene, but I was kept in Taipei the whole to take care of other news. Though disappointed at first, I think I am also lucky I don't have to deal with the PTSD that always comes after disaster reporting.

I remember last August while writing scripts to footage that came back via satellite from the scene of typhoon Morakot, I was depressed for quite a while. That was even without going out into the mud, seeing/smelling rotting bodies and feeling the pain of the wailing family members who had survived and wishing instead it was them that died. Viewers can just turn off the TV, but reporters don't have that luxury. Perils of the job. Trauma, stress, fatigue.

Really, really looking forward to starting my travel features again.

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