The husband of our hostess, my son's Chinese teacher, wrote to say that there are still fears the dams will burst, and that the area is not yet safe.
He advised his wife not to follow through on her own travel plans, to stay a while here in the U.S. Since they haven't been together in almost a year, and must miss each other very much, that decision was not taken lightly.
Right now our plans are to delay departure until April. That will be my son's Spring Break during his senior year. The Chinese schools should be back up by then. The weather should be very nice. And the disaster should be over.
Meanwhile, we're going to do a little fundraising. Once his teacher returns home we'll stay in touch via e-mail, learn what the schools there need, and try to help supply it.
One more funny story.
He wrote to invite me to visit him in Karachi "since I'm in the neighborhood."
After all it's just over the hill. If you want to call the Himalayas a hill.
We'll think about it. It would likely require a second visa, a re-arrangement of flights, some added costs, but it's worth it for friends.
Hopefully, by the time we leave I won't have to apologize quite so much for being an American when we travel abroad. And if any right-wing yahoo wants to attack me for that last sentence, you're what I'm having to apologize about.