Saturday, December 27, 2008


tsunami revisited

four years ago on this day 26 Dec one of the worst natural disasters in our life time happened very close to home. fifteen months after it happened i went to Acheh to join the 'habitat for humanity' and Indonesia office effort to build houses for the victims of the tsunami at emperom.

i was the only volunteer from my company from malaysia that came but i didn't actually work very much. bricklaying isn't exactly difficult but too exhausting under the hot sun so being a lazy bugger that i am i just worked a bit in the morning and then just ambled away talking to people. and anyway , i came basically to show my solidarity and my sympathy to the victims.

and the victims too just stayed away from the housebuilding activities. i guess they just felt that they have suffered enough. just wait for the houses to finish and come in. after all the house building were contracted out already. all the same i felt a bit disappointed not to meet any of them apart from a few kids who came milling around us.

and so i spent my one week there walking around and snapping photos and talked to kids and any people that i happened to meet. heard a lot of grim and sad stories and rumours. one rescuer mentioned that he was perplexed why all the women victims that they found were completely naked but the men or children were not so.

and humans being humans, some victims were quite petty. some complained the houses being built for them were smaller than their neighbours (that were built by different donor organization.). some even complained that the houses were built in a shoddy manner. (probably right too with all the busy bodies and do gooders like me messing around with the bricklaying and house paintings).

on my last day there the 'habitat' people drove me around to see all the worse hit areas and where it started first at lokhna beach. i couldn't help myself and cried a little.

Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?