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“Star of the Month” for March - Deng Ming

Deng Ming: A Service Engineer's Journey in Turkey: Devotion, Challenges, and Compassion

During high school, the song "Romantic Turkey" filled me with a longing to visit Turkey. In May 2022, I bid farewell to my family, including my one-year-old child, and embarked on a journey to Turkey to fulfill my mission and tasks as a service engineer for my company.

Upon arriving in Turkey, I discovered that reality was quite different from my imagination. As a service engineer, I was not only responsible for providing technical support for rescue equipment but also for visiting customers to maintain relationships. My first experience with the harsh realities of my new life occurred during a trip to the Turkish-Syrian border to repair equipment for a client. This was the first time I had ever felt death so close, as the area was a gathering place for the Kurdish party. When an armed man came running towards me with a gun, my legs trembled, and my mind went blank. I thought it was over. Perhaps I should have chosen to stay in Istanbul, but I couldn't let down my clients who were waiting for me. Fortunately, the outcome was successful. We completed the equipment repair and customer visit, demonstrating our courage and persistence to our clients.

Although my primary responsibility as a service engineer was to assist in the work, I insisted on performing frontline repairs to prove to our clients that our service was the best, not only in China but also the whole world. Through my work, I gained many friends among our clients and built strong relationships, promoting and driving our market development efforts.

In February, a major earthquake struck Turkey. At the company's request, I urgently coordinated all available resources and equipment and dispatched service personnel to the disaster-stricken area. We drove for 20 hours straight through a snowstorm to reach Hatay, where we saw destroyed buildings and pitiful refugees. Our hearts were heavy and sad. We successfully connected with the Chinese rescue team, and my primary responsibility was to ensure that our equipment did not malfunction during rescue operations, as well as to transport the rescue team, provide on-site command, mobilize equipment, and provide dinner for the team.

When the rescue efforts concluded for the night and we returned to our temporary camp, the nights there were unforgiving. On the first day, all I had was a thin, small blanket to keep me warm. Without a moisture-proof mat, the cold from the ground seeped upwards. The tent let in drafts, and I couldn't sleep due to the cold and concern for the trapped victims, continuously praying for them.

I vividly recall one day when we searched for survivors and victims in the rubble of a collapsed building. The victim's family had requested our assistance, telling us that their sister's family, including children, might still be alive. We risked danger from aftershocks and a potentially collapsing building but couldn't refuse their desperate pleas. When an aftershock did occur, we ran out of the building's collapsing zone. Fortunately, the building only swayed but didn't collapse. We continued the rescue operation but sadly found that the entire family had perished.

When there were no tasks, I helped cook at the camp. I remember one day when I spent hours chopping vegetables for dinner for the Chinese rescue team, which was expected to join us that evening. After preparing food for nearly 80 people, I realized that I had developed two blisters on my thumb. However, this was nothing compared to the efforts of our rescue team, who were still working tirelessly. We had to ensure that their dining needs were met.

The nights in Hatay were terrifying for me because the signal in the area was so poor, especially in the city's ruin. I had to pick up the rescue team every night at around 10 PM. One night, my navigation malfunctioned, and I found myself lost among soldiers guarding the streets and the rubble of collapsed buildings, with the pungent smell of corpses in the air. In the darkness, I feared for my life if an aftershock were to strike. Thankfully, I retraced my steps and successfully picked up the waiting rescue team. It was then that I realized my fear of the dark.

There were many more experiences and sorrows, but I won't dwell on them. On the 13th, at the request of the embassy, civilian organizations, including ours, orderly withdrew from the area, ending our rescue mission. Perhaps what I did most during this time was to mourn the deceased and bless the living.

May the deceased rest in peace and the living stay strong. I hope that by next year, new cities will rise from the ruins, and perhaps this city will vaguely remember that our service team once helped them.

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