Laowai Quake Relief Part V: Emergency Evangelism

29 Comments
What follows is the fifth part of a series of posts we’re running by fellow Laowai – Turner Sparks. Turner and his friend Jake decided just sitting around Suzhou and watching quake relief efforts on TV was not good enough, and so hopped into Turner’s car and pointed it towards Chengdu. Read Part I, Part II, Part III, and Part IV

Thursday

Our friend Shannon arrived by plane from Suzhou Wednesday night after hearing about the work we were doing and deciding that his experience as an EMT would be of use. As I mentioned earlier, the Red Cross was chalk full of volunteers so the three of us decided to head over to Heart to Heart International. Heart to Heart is an NGO that has been doing a lot of work with the relief efforts and the only non-Chinese organization allowed access to the disaster area.

After working with a large, cumbersome organization like the Red Cross we were excited to get involved with what we thought would be a smaller, more organized and efficient group like Heart to Heart. However, upon arriving we realized that what we had envisioned as a slick multinational NGO headquarters was more of a converted classroom in an English training center. This seemed curious as we had heard that Heart to Heart had been working in Chengdu for 10 years, but we decided not to pass judgment and simply get to work.

Shannon told them about his EMT (Emergency Medical Technician) qualifications and they immediately put him in a group that would be going to the mountains for rescue missions the next day (Friday). Jake and I told them about our EBL (Experienced Box Lifter) qualifications and they pointed us towards the warehouse and told us to start lifting.

As the afternoon wore on, individually all three of us began meeting other volunteers and interestingly enough all of the conversations seemed to go the same.

Me: “So, where are you from originally?”
Dude: “I’m from Texas/Arkansas/Alabama”.
Me: “Oh, so why are you living here?”
Dude: “Oh I live in Kunming”.
Me: “Ok, well what do you do there?”
Dude: “Yeah its south of here…(changing the subject)…what do you do?”
Me: “Oh I work in the ice cream industry…haha…yeah I’m serious.”
Dude: “We’ll thanks for coming here. You are a blessing.”

…Rinse and Repeat…

Laowai ReliefDespite the unwillingness to answer our questions we came to find out more and more. Nobody seemed to have a discernible job outside of volunteering. People were of varying ages between 20-55 and nobody had EVER had a job, and as such had no idea how to run an organization like a disaster relief NGO. Many people were from out of town but nobody stayed in hotels as they either stayed “with the group” or “at a member of the group’s house”. Everyone was either from China or the southern part of the United States. There was a grandma and grandpa from Texas who appeared out of nowhere every lunch and dinner time to serve up an amazing feast. Grandpa used to be a pastor in Texas.

By Thursday evening we had pretty much figured out that they were an underground Christian organization. Jake was a little sketched out by this, but Shannon and I had both grown up in Church-going families (Shannon Catholic and myself Methodist) and we decided that they seemed to be doing good work so as long as they didn’t harm anyone we didn’t really care.

As Thursday wore on Jake and I showed our mettle in the warehouse and were rewarded the jobs of assistant TO the warehouse manager and assistant TO the assistant TO the warehouse manager, respectively. What did that mean?

“We need you guys here at 7:30 am tomorrow morning to divide all the supplies that will be going into the vans, and then load them into each vehicle accordingly.”

“Ok, no problem,” Jake and I said, happy that we got a steady job.

We spent late Thursday night discussing the predicament of working for an evangelical group and reviewed their website again to see if we had missed something on the first read through.

From the NGO’s site: Heart to Heart International is a leading global humanitarian organization that works to improve health and to respond to the needs of disaster victims worldwide. We specialize in delivering essential medicines and supplies, as well as providing the necessary training to increase the level of medical care in underserved regions of the world. It’s a challenging task, but it is made easier through our network of partners and passionate volunteers — both of which fuel our ability to respond to human needs on a global basis and keep us on the cutting edge of humanitarian work around the world.

We didn’t…

Friday

Friday morning Jake and I arrived at 7:30 am.

“Ok, there will be eleven cars going up to the mountains today,” explained our manager. “Here is a list of what everyone gets.”

It read… “Four hygiene packs, two large bags of bread, a bunch of more stuff, and two tarps”.

As we were sitting on a stack of roughly 75 tarps, it seemed odd that only twenty-two would be going to the affected areas. Jake and I wondered about the decision making process here, but it was our first full day and we weren’t really in a position to question.

Jake and I started dividing everything up and by 8:30 am we had eleven groups of divided supplies ready to load into eleven cars.

The first car was a silver SUV with mud stains on the side and a group of four ready to hit the mountains. We loaded the car up and off they went. We were fired up.

Laowai ReliefThe second car came about fifteen minutes later, and knowing the urgency in the mountains we were a little annoyed at the lack of efficiency. The car was an old beat up mianbao che that didn’t look like it could make it through Chengdu, much less through the mountains. When people started piling out of it in order to load supplies our eyes widened.

A Chinese church group of seven or eight people wearing matching bright green shirts were all attempting to fit into this car built for five. The car was built for five if supplies were not meant to be put inside.

The group reminded me of my high school youth group. Everyone was young, roughly half girls and half guys. People were laughing, chasing each other around the parking lot and play fighting. This was not the rescue/relief team we had envisioned. These people did not have rescue training and were not equipped to deal with their task. Jake and I were about to explode, but we chose to keep our cool and try to solve the problem.

“We need to fit all of these supplies into your van, so at least half of you can’t go today,” said Jake.

After talking for a few minutes the group came to a decision and sent a member to come speak to us.

“All of us would like to go to the mountains today, so we will put all of our supplies in that car and all the people in this car,” they said as they pointed to a car the size of a mini cooper, which was also set to take five people.

Laowai Relief“Well, that doesn’t really change your problem,” I explained, realizing that their solution meant one car would take little to no supplies just to accommodate people who were of no use in a rescue effort. “You should be taking more supplies in both cars and less people in both cars.”

“We will take what we can fit, but we are bringing all of our people.”

Jake and I immediately reported this to our manager, who told us it wasn’t her decision and she told us to talk with someone else. We followed it up by asking another two people and finally got the answer to “let them be”.

This event repeated itself at least one more time, and by 10:30 am we found ourselves dumbstruck as we sat on a pile of over 50 tarps in a parking lot in Chengdu. We had just helped close to 100 untrained people with no relief skills push their way into a disaster zone that didn’t need more onlookers.

It became apparent to Jake and I that Heart to Heart were more concerned with getting people to the mountains than getting supplies to the affected areas. Not long after the earthquake they had received an all access pass from the Chinese government to go anywhere in the disaster areas under the guise of an experienced relief team, and they were intending to use it to flood the recently stricken areas with evangelists.

My purpose with this post is not to tell people to stop donating to Heart to Heart International, but simply to let people know what they are really donating to when they give to this group.

Talk on Laowai Quake Relief Part V: Emergency Evangelism


29 Comments
  1. This is really eye-opening. It’s unfortunate that the group decided to push for “conversions” instead of providing aid. But with this many groups out there I guess we have to expect some people to abuse the openness the Chinese government is providing for their own agendas. It’s a shame as it will only hurt foreign groups from getting in next time a disaster occurs.

    Thanks for the post, I’ve enjoyed the entire series.

    J.

  2. Profile photo of

    @John: Agreed, if Christian organizations use tragedies in any way to further their religious agendas, not only is it deplorable and unethical, it’s cruel as the time would, obviously, be better spent actually helping save people, not souls.

    @Tim: I read Gary’s post, and don’t necessarily disagree with his hypothesis – that the conflicts in the Middle East are about power and a clash of cultures more than about religious differences. However, its message lost my interest when it started to preach the way of the Lord.

  3. As a Christian I am pretty disappointed to hear about this. While I do agree that at times like this people are often are able to find peace in coming to know God, the church has damaged it self so much over time by trying to “get people when they are down”. And it shows a lack of respect for people and their physical need.

    I really don’t know much about Heart 2 Heart, I would hope that their intentions are good, in that they want to offer something in addition to physical help to the people who are affected, this is something that is of course not going to be understood by someone who isn’t a Christian.

    But at the same time just as Ryan said there is a definite lack of morals if they are sacrificing physical aid (which is why they are allowed to go up there) for evangelists.

  4. Evangelists/missionaries, whatever you want to call them, this is one point on which I agree wholeheartedly with the PRC government – kick the lot out.

    @Sir Stingley
    “they want to offer something in addition to physical help to the people who are affected” – what exactly is this extra you hope they will receive. I would have thought First Aid, on-going medical treatment for the injured, food, shelter were the priorities, but I’m not an expert – correct me if I’m wrong.
    “this is something that is of course not going to be understood by someone who isn’t a Christian.” – so unless we are Christian in the first place we cannot understand, which is why we all have to be converted to Chritians in the first place so we can understand. Oh, now I’m beginning to see your logic!
    Brilliant.

  5. Interesting blog. I am also concerned about the lack of Heart’ to Heart’s transparency. The earthquake has raised their profile in China and abroad and they have obviously been a major recipient of donations. If you are correct, that they have been using these funds to transport people with no useful skills to the affected areas then it is a serious matter. Do you know what money was used to supply the vehicles? Do you know where they went and what they did? I believe that many people have been donating money to Heart to Heart with the intention of assisting in the supply of much need materials and if this money has been misappropriated then some action should be taken. I recommended Heart to Heart myself to my friends and family back in the UK and would be very angry if your concerns can be substantiated. Please keep us informed. Thanks,

  6. @ Timothy
    I was also recommending this to anyone and everyone as a safe alternative before I went there and got in the mix. When I arrived they had been working together a little over a week and still didn’t seem to be very organized.
    I met one doctor in the group, although he had only been to the mountains one day out of nine. The rest of the group were volunteers from underground churches throughout China.
    Like I said, I am not 100% against the idea of church groups doing aid work, but they must present themselves as a volunteer church group as opposed to a well oiled machine of an NGO.
    The vehicles were all donated by different people in the group, many of which lived in different provinces throughout China and filled their car with volunteers. Again, not a bad thing, but when they all want to go to the mountains in place of supplies it is.
    As to where they went, my friend Shannon went with them and hopefully he can comment on here to give more information.
    It is really hard to say if the money is being missappropriated, they are getting a lot of donated goods and it seems like all of them are getting to the mountains just not in a timely manner. As for the donated money, I’m not sure where that is going. Again, hopefully Shannon has more insight.

  7. I’ve spent a few days working out of the center and know that groups that go out through Heart to Heart are responsible for providing & paying for their own transportation. Those costs aren’t coming out of the funds given to Heart to Heart.

  8. I’m back. I love turner’s picture of the overcrowded little car (cue Benny hill or circus music). At the start of the operations H to H was letting any idiot out in the field, some where just earthquake tourists (if your one of those you should reexamine why you are on this planet).
    I want to tell you first, that I was in on many of Turners early observations and the three of us (turner, Jake, myself) spoke about it together.

    A lot of bitching about disorganization and under qualified people AND who are all these god folk??
    (Please read the whole entry)

    Well regarding the first two points.
    From running political campaigns, I can see the growing pains of creating a volunteer staff with no experience but huge hearts. You simply can’t handle everything from the start. On top of that everyone has to be nice to each other! That slows management down as everyone is sensitive to group decision making, etc.
    Also At the start, they were hampered by a poorly defined leadership hierarchy, overwhelming demands and little experience. This is a normal phase.
    What they had (and still do) is patience, dedication and good people willing to stick it out and solve problems.
    They are finding there way and I think turner and Jake would agree if they saw it today.
    H to H has been working with a professional in the field of Major disaster relief and they are setting up a very professional command center. The leadership is getting stronger and only qualified vehicles and teams are going out. Before there were no systems. Hell, turner called to check if I was alright, they told him “Shannon who?”
    Thankfully no ones been hurt so far. The system improvements should keep it that way (though there is no system for the Chinese driver- “me first!”)

    The leadership now consists of doctors who have worked in disaster zones in Africa and Asia.
    The planning for trips and location selection is getting very professional. The community and its needs are identified before a team heads out.

    No more Benny Hill cars going into the mountains!

    The god thing, hmm. Well I like Christian do gooders, or Muslim do gooders or any do gooder. It makes feel better about people. I’m often not a do gooder so when I am, I feel better about myself, frankly. So I was happy not to take a lot of pictures because people where in deep shock and misery. People now ask me if I was on TV. I could give a shit. I almost ran over a pretty little Chinese reporter wearing an army shirt (in the camera frame), skirt and heels. I wrecked her interview anyway, that made me feel good. Am I still a do gooder?
    Too many people taking pictures not enough people supporting from the gut. That’s not heart to Heart. They are giving and doing everything they can.
    Do some volunteers speak of evangelism as there primary goal? Yes, but they are volunteers, the organization is not pushing that. H to H is relief oriented.
    I met some great people there. A lot of volunteers with different reasons for being there. I was never held back even though I was not “In the club”.
    Also if you don’t feel god’s presence in this time of need and through this kind of work I don’t know where you would. Not to be too corny but I know I did. I saw mountains that killed villages; I met families that held hope against all odds. I saw people come together to help strangers and risk their lives to do it. Without cash reward or TV time.

    Your money will deliver cooking oil, tents, tarps and anti- biotic’s, and maybe a prayer or two. A few volunteers may scheme to come back and preach. Still, better then hearing some village party leaders say, “The government will take care of our spiritual needs.”
    sl

  9. I almost ran over a pretty little Chinese reporter wearing an army shirt (in the camera frame), skirt and heels. I wrecked her interview anyway, that made me feel good. Am I still a do gooder?

    It makes you the best kind ;-)

    Cheers for the well-balanced comment Shannon, much appreciated.

  10. Thanks Turner and Shannon for your replies. It is good to know that the vehicles were supplied from funds other than those donated. Also I never had any doubt that donated materials were reaching those in need. My real concerns are over the decision-making processes of those managing the operation and those volunteers dispatched to the affected areas. From the reports on this blog series it would appear that most of the “club” have other considerations in addition to disaster relief. I wouldn’t want to deny anyone the right to offer pastoral care as well as material aid but am not convinced that the two can be efficiently combined in one operation. Relief aid should be distributed in accordance to need; not to any other factor. The problem is that Heart to Heart have received donations from donors who were likely unaware of their competencies and characteristics. If they are not distributing aid strictly in accordance to need then they should not describe themselves as a humanitarian organisation. Humanitarianism is to serve the needs of humanity without discrimination, religious or otherwise. I have no evidence but simply can’t believe that the religious convictions of many of those involved has not been to the detriment of this and future relief operations in China. But now I am slipping from objective to subjective criticism that maybe influenced my self-deluding pagan aspirations! Therefore I shall simply forward my concerns to Heart to Heart and urge anyone with similar concerns to contact them in order to exert collective pressure. A number of my students have lost their homes in the earthquake and I am sure that they will be adequately comforted by the amazingly caring response from the Chinese populous. They have little need for new gods but do need material and monetary donations. I shall now recommend local Red Cross organisations in preference.

  11. timothy, I strongly recommend H to H. I’ve seen the Chinese red Cross operation also. In my opinion, it is the circus and they won’t improve systems and are unable to modify and grow.

    I have seen and delivered the aid to the communities. like i said they are customizing the distribution of needs by community. For example, Wolong. They are heading into the monsoon season, they need tents cots, chairs, oil ovens, blankets, etc. Things to stay dry and warm. Other places need water purification systems, etc.

    H to H is evolving into a classy operation. Chinese Red Cross is a sieve.
    If your unsure, about what to do, may I suggest donating hard goods. Boxes of cooking oil, rain coats, or as you like, contact H to H and ask them what they need. Actually i think they would rather have hard goods then money.
    Let me add about the “decision making process”. Never, having sat in on planning meetings, have I heard one word about fulfilling any needs other then humanitarian disaster relief.

    The main strategic planner for the command center also is not in “the club”. He is a professional from the EU and designs disaster relief command center software-he’s world class.
    I

  12. @flotsam

    Without wanting to start some kind of religious debate that will probably get on everyones nerves(as us Christians have a tendency of doing). I just feel that I need to clarify my previous comment.

    The fundamental belief of Christianity is that we have been given a gift that is greater than life itself. Furthermore we want to share that gift with other people. This is why I can understand the thinking of the people going up to share their faith with others who have had a horrible ordeal. People who are not Christians will not understand this way of thinking, as they don’t believe that this gift even exists. I certainly wasn’t suggesting that you convert to Christianity so that you can understand why these people wanted to go into the mountains and share.

    At the same time I stand by my comment that I believe it would be of greater benifit to take up supplies to the people in need as a priority and show Jesus’ love in a practical way.

  13. @Sir Stigley

    However right we might think our beliefs to be, they are beliefs, not knowledge. That being the case who is to say whose belief is correct or better than others? Is it the beliefs of Muslims, or those of Sikhs or something else? There simply is no rational answer. On top of which do we not also have an issue of respect here?
    http://www.answers.com/topic/belief

    If people come to you, your church, chapel or meeting house that is fine – and if they want to they will – but you should not persuade/coerce/cajole them to do so. If what you have on offer suits people, for whatever reason, they will take it.

    There is nothing wrong with doing voluntary work, in fact the world would almost certainly be a better place to live in if more people did it, but it should never, ever come with strings attached or be used as a front for hiding other agendas.

  14. @flotsam

    This is precisely why I said people who are not Christians will not understand why they wanted to go and share.

    The Bible says that Christians are to go out into the world and tell other people. Not to wait for them to turn up at the church. This doesn’t fit in with the modern western mindset, but is still a basic part of Christianity.

    I can’t speak for all of the Christians on the planet, but I try never to make anybody feel uncomfortable when sharing my faith. I certainly don’t try to coerce/persuade them to believe what I believe. If they don’t want to accept what I hear, then that is their choice.

    I agree with you that if you are going to do volunteer work, it is essential that it is done with the utmost integrity.

  15. Shannon, I appreciate your reply and it is good to know that you have first-hand experience of Heart to Heart’s operations. However I am troubled by your assessment of the local Red Cross. If they are a “sieve” as you describe then that is worrying, perhaps then Heart to Heart’s “classy” operation maybe more appealing to some. However, I would recommend that people donate to domestic Chinese NGOs with the aim of empowering the local communities to help themselves with necessary assistance from the wider population. If there are problems with the operations of the local Red Cross then it would be better to further support them rater than abandon them. China will face further natural disasters in the future and needs to further develop its own humanitarian capabilities. The earthquake operation will be invaluable experience. I am sure there is a place for Heart to heart but if the Chinese government will only allow one foreign NGO access to the affected areas I wish it could have been a more transparent and capable outfit. The description Turner gives of evangelist volunteers play fighting and laughing sickens me. I guess that their naivety and innocence maybe an asset to a Christian group intending to make friends in the mountains but they are going at the expense of others with practical skills and knowledge. The mental health of the earthquake victims does worry me but I am sure that the majority of skilled disaster relief volunteers can crack a joke or paint a face in order to cheer some people up. So far amongst foreign-led efforts I have been most impressed by Sichuan Quake Relief operating out of the Chengdu Bookworm. They are committed to transparency and have already published accounts. I would like to recommend them in addition to the local Red Cross as I do believe it is important for the foreign community living in China to help in the best way we can. Does anyone have any experience of their capabilities and effectiveness?

  16. Timothy,
    I also spent time working with Sichuan Quake Relief while out in Chengdu, and I agree that their operations were the most transparent and without agenda except getting the job done. They are simply expats and Chinese who live in Chengdu and orginally came together at The Bookworm and eventually decided to form this group.
    The owner of The Bookworm, Peter Goff, is instrumental in its organization and continuing development and out of everyone I worked with in Chengdu I got the best feeling out of his intentions. I really think that you can’t go wrong with Sichuan Quake Relief

  17. justrecently
    So why is there a tendancy for the religous to work together in “clubs” which exclude the non-religous? What differences do they see?

  18. @justrecently: I don’t think we’re talking about “religious people”, as that’s a pretty broad cross-section of society. I think what we’re talking about here is an evangelical Christian group and what they consider “decent” and “undecent [sic]“.

    Saving a lost and misguided heathen’s soul might be a decent thing to do by the Christian point of view. But from my point of view it’s narrow-minded, ignorant and self-fish – or not decent.

    It’s a matter of perspectives.

    @Timothy Adam Chuter: So do gays, and I think in both cases it relates to surrounding yourself with people who aren’t critical of your beliefs, which I can understand – as much as I wish it didn’t have to be that way.

  19. @ Ryan: I have the impression that not every comment is making that difference here, between religious people, and the “emergency evangelism described in the entry. I think that at least three comments above go beyond criticising its behaviour, and I disagree with them. I’m not religious myself, and missionaries taking advantage of victims deserve a bad press – as long as critics don’t stew a general anti-religious agenda on it.
    @ Timothy: apart from what Ryan has said already, I think the tendancy you describe is kind of unfriendly, but not “undecent”. And I don’t think there is such a group as “the religious”, when you want to judge people in terms of their openness or firewalling.

  20. Ryan – I agree. Homosexuals may prefer the company of other homosexuals for positive or negative reasons. The positive being accepting companionship; the negative being fear of persecution. But why do the evangelicals we are discussing here appear to seek the company of other evangelicals to the exclusion of others?

    They love their god and they would like others to feel the same. I see nothing wrong in that and I believe most people would be equally accepting if also unconvinced. However it would appear that they choose to use their often sizable wealth to preach in far-flung corners of the earth in what I can only describe as a cost-benefit calculation. They are surrounding themselves with those most likely to be convinced. Most likely, not because of a lack of critical thinking but because they are so grateful for the material aid they receive at the same time.

    justrecently – point taken. I was lazy in my description of evangelists. I am sorry. What worries me is the “unfriendliness” that you describe. If evangelists’ only desire is to spread the word and love of their god then why limit their efforts to the earthquake victims and other similarly venerable people? Why do they describe themselves so loosely on their website? Why did they keep secrets from Turner? Why are they so desperate to reach those worst-hit? Why do they need to help those people to find their god right now?

    I can only surmise that the difference they see between these victims and everyone else is their desperation for help in whatever form it takes. If I were their god I would hope that they would spread my love to those who would truly embrace it because it suits their existing nature. Surely the belief in a god is not something to be traded for and surely the appeal of their god should be equally convincing to all of us. If Turner wanted to help and they wanted to help then what is it that stops them working together. I conclude that they work alone in order to ensure that their sales-pitch is not diluted by the presence of others bearing gifts.

  21. @ Timothy:
    I think many evangelists also FEAR non-believers. After all, most of them probably think of others than themselves as hell-bound people (as black and white as Chinese official propaganda paints the Dalai Lama and other “enemies”). In short, while they may think of themselves as chosen ppl, they may also be driven by fear. Personally, I’d rather try to justify the fear that gay people may feel, because they are really confronted with hate in many places, and I’m not really thinking of them as self-righteous. But fear is fear, there are places where the evangelicals are confronted with hatred too, and I think that fear can lead to unfriendliness in any case. Hope I’m not generalising too much myself now. It’s a more complex issue than to judge the behaviour of the “emergency evangelists”…

  22. @ justrecently
    I think your judgment is quite true. I am sure we can all fear persecution is certain situations. But with Turner’s description of the unwillingness of some volunteers to answer standard questions and Shannon’s description of the excluding “club” mentality I can’t help but feel little sympathy for any fears they may have. This is especially true when, as Shannon tells us, some volunteers admit that their primary objective is evangelism. Why should any potential donor trust an organisation with such a potential weakness in its humanitarian decision-making? It is true that they are volunteering their time as any other may do but I wonder how they are truly connected with the organisation. Is Heart to Heart really open to all and do they recruit with only the interests of disaster victims in mind? Are these realities then reflected on their website, which has surely been the channel for many donations since the earthquake and Heart to Heart’s increased media profile. How many volunteers (who just happen to also be Evangelists) can you have before you are, by default, an Evangelist organisation. If everything were transparent then I would gladly shut up! But then again I am British and we do love to moan! As the only authorised foreign NGO in the area (is this still true?), Heart to Heart have a responsibility to the international community from whom they are receiving funds. The first step is to truly know who they are.

  23. Hi Timothy,

    that’s true, and I think this entry and thread can help with that. Personally, I still prefer the Red Cross – but I’m not taking proper use for granted. See Shannon’s entry of June 5, 2:58 pm.

  24. I hope this thread has helped but even if it hasn’t it has been good to talk. I think my concerns have been in some way fuelled by my frustrations. Frustrations caused by an inability to do something hands-on to help despite only being just down the road. After the earthquake I soon realised that I was of little use to the relief operation so have limited myself to donating money and materials to the fund-raising efforts of my students. I think China can deal with this operation more than adequately but I do feel it is important for the international community and those foreigners living in China to be part of it in order to represent our concern. I guess the Chinese government has similar ideas by continuing to allow Heart to Heart and others to operate. It would be a shame if such a sentiment were in any way abused by those with the chance to make good use of it. I firmly believe that only those with the capabilities to help more than they hinder should get hands-on. Anyone else, to borrow another’s phrase, is likely to be an “earthquake tourist” or one with questionable agendas.

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