Feature: Boy from China's quake-hit areas feels happy in children's center in Russia

2008-07-24 19:30:02 GMT       2008-07-25 03:30:02 (Beijing Time)       Xinhua English

VLADIVOSTOK, Russia, July 24 (Xinhua) -- "I like being here, nothing bothers me!" Speaking about his time spent convalescing in the Children's Center in Vladivostok in Russia's Far East, 13-year-old Xiao Long, from Wenchuan County in Sichuan Province, looks happy and delighted.

"Before coming here, I was all day thinking about how to rebuild our house, and how to face the future," Xiao said calmly. As their house was destroyed by falling rocks from the adjacent hill in the devastating earthquake in May, now Xiao's family lives in makeshift houses.

"Before the quake, we could build a house with wooden planks in only a while. However, many wooden boards were smashed into pieces by rocks in the quake, so it's almost impossible to build one very quickly now."

Xiao, together with 90 other students from China's quake-affected areas, were sent to the Vladivostok-based "Ocean" children's center for convalescence a week ago. In order to help them relax well in Russia, the center has made well-worked-out curriculums for them, including sports, and arts classes.

According to Marzoev, director of the center, the purpose of arranging for a full curriculum for the kids was to help them to leave the unhappy past behind them as quickly as possible.

"We have various kinds of courses here. The new life-style makes my time here very enjoyable," said Xiao.

He also told Xinhua that his favorites were swimming and skating classes. But since it was his very first time go skating, he was more like a tumbler on ice. "But it wasn't painful at all," he said.

"Shortly after the quake," Xiao said, "the PLA soldiers have already established "loving care" classrooms for us. I was there for some days. I wish I could go back soon and have classes there again."

"I must study hard, and strive to be of benefit to my country when I grow up," the boy said.

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