30 January 2005: Eric

After a long week of travel and some fun in Singapore we are now
in Jakarta. In Singapore we stayed two nights in the tallest five-star
hotel in the world and saw much of what I’d consider the most beautiful
city I’ve ever visited. We roamed the streets, ate some great food and
were shown the entire city by one of Aaron’s business compadres. I
found interesting Singapore’s socialistic base and how successful they are with it.
The city is clean and progressive. Everywhere you look there is spectacular
architecture and people from all over the world. The official language is English and
that is what they all speak but the accent is so strong that you could swear they’re
speaking it as a second or third language. The island of Singapore is its own
country at the tip of Malaysia. It is young, having gained it’s independence from
Malaysia in 1965 and ever since has thrived as a major world port. Everything is
automated, including toll road payments and speeding tickets. Across the sea from
the shore and our hotel balcony we could see the mountains of Indonesia

We arrived two days ago in Jakarta to meet with Aaron’s contacts here.
They were oh so very happy to see him and we were well received. After
some orientation with some of the people who led some of the emergency
relief we checked into a nearby hotel. During the few minutes before
bed Aaron described a pain in his abdomen and suspected a foul appendix
or urinary infection. We were immediately faced with the decision of
going on to Banda Aceh the next morning as planned or dealing with it
completely before heading into an area besieged with medical emergency.
Aaron saw a doctor who poked and prodded but couldn’t determine the
problem. He returned to the hotel and we continued to analyze him and clearly
determined that he had a hernia. Not bad for three dudes with no medical training.
We sent Eddie on to Aceh and I stayed with Aaron. He checked into the hospital and
told them he had a hernia, would they please fix it. He underwent the operation and
is doing fine but will have to stay in Jakarta for a week or so until he heals and feels
strong enough to travel. The doctor’s fee was five-hundred dollars and it was a very
modern facility which had concerned us since the initial doctor couldn’t see the
obvious bulge in the groin. Ironically, the last time Aaron spent a night in a hospital
was twenty five years ago in Jakarta when he was treated for typhoid.

This has slowed us from getting to Aceh but also allowed to make
preparations that would have been impossible to do there. I’ve been taking care of
business rounding up phones for the three of us, arranging motorcycles for us to
use when we arrive in Aceh, etc. Today, I’ll kill little time by taking a long ride around
to see the sites. The taxis are unbelievably cheap, the food is so good and the
coffee here in Java is, well it is hhhkkhhhuuuhmmm. I was hiking down the street
and contracted with some dude to cart me around while heavily laden with two
backpacks. Talk about a rush.

I am leaving Aaron here and moving on to Aceh to hook up with Eddie in
the morning. Chomping at the bit. Once there, I’ll have internet
connect through a wireless system which IBM has set up for the relief workers for a
30 kilometer radius. I’ve heard there are glitches. Please feel free to write,
(ernestweatherspoon@yahoo.com), but keep in mind that I may be slow in
responding until I get into the swing of things so. Please keep attachments to

The people here are so sweet and appreciate that we are here to help.
In Aceh, we’ll be finding our niche but it looks like we’ll be
organizing to rebuild fishing villages and ship yards, boat building and bridges.
Eddie contacted a man willing to donate a large volume of building materials to
begin a boat manufacturing facility as most, if not all, of the fishing boats were
destroyed. I have been referred to several people involved with the bridge rebuilding
and I can’t wait to pull a Volkswagen out of the mud with my rope. Our contacts are
as good as those of the U.N. itself including the Police Liaison for International
Relief Effort, the coordinators of Islamic Volunteer Relief and the local Office of
Humanitarian Aid. We’ll choose projects coordinated and prioritized by the local
agencies which best match our abilities. Everywhere we turn the doors are being
opened and we walk with confidence in our hearts knowing that our efforts will
benefit those who truly need it.

Aaron is good, in hotel recovering. See you as I am heading into the
jungle to check on remote fishing villages. Have everything.

If you want to contact any of us directly, our email addresses are as

Eric Lyman:  ernestweatherspoon@yahoo.com
Aaron Lyman:  alyman@austin.rr.com
Ed Bloom:  ebloomtx@swbell.net

In the mad rush to get out of town I neglected to say goodbye to most
of you. But I appreciate the shower of good wishes and support. Thanks
so much. Love, Eric
Journal Entries - Click to

16 April 2006 - Eddie

22 January 2006 - Eric

27 September 2005 - Eric

6 September 2005 - Eddie

1 August 2005 - Eddie

28 July 2005 - Eddie

4 July 2005 - Aaron

16 June 2005 - Aaron

19 May 2005 – Eric

18 May 2005 - Aaron

24 April 2005 – Aaron

14 April 2005 – Eric

29 March 2005 – Eric

28 March 2005 - IM-Aaron/Eric

26 March 2005 – Eric

25 March 2005 – Eric

15 March 2005 – Aaron

16 March 2005 – Eric

11 March 2005 – Eric

3 March 2005 – Eric

27 February 2005 – Eric

23 February 2005 – Aaron

23 February 2005 – Eric

20-22 February 2005 – Eric

18 February 2005 – Eddie

18 February 2005 – Eric

16 February 2005 – Eddie

10-12 February 2005 – Eric

12 February 2005 – Eddie

11 February 2005 – Aaron

10 February 2005 – Eddie

9 February 2005 – Eddie

7 February 2005 – Eddie

5 February 2005 – Eddie

5 February 2005 – Part 2 –

4 February 2005 – Eddie

2 February 2005 – Aaron

1 February 2005 – Eddie

30 January 2005 – Eric
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