Eric Lyman
Journal Entry 27 September 2005
Banda Aceh, Sumatra, Indonesia

It’s good to have my friend Paul Clawges’ company and help around here all the way
from Idaho. We are enjoying the Indian Ocean sunsets, hearty village food and language
study. Boy, do we get the languages; Chinese, Indonesian, and Acehnese. We speak
them all better than any other foreigners living in this neighborhood.

If there is a Chinatown in Banda Aceh it is at Peunayong where there is a common
Acehnese _expression, “Today relax. Tomorrow, relax again.” The whole country is
getting ready for Ramadan in a few weeks. Paul, Eddie and I, (and Aaron, though he may
not know it yet), plan to join our Islamic neighbors in learning something about the less
fortunate by abstaining from eating, drinking and smoking during the damned daylight
hours. Cussing is in there also.

The Big Fish renovation is coming along. It still rattles night and day with unexplainable
noises like scurrying, banging, screaming and plenty of tap, tap, tapping. Ten times a
day we hear something funny, look at each other wide-eyed and shrug shoulders. I can’t
tell you how many times I have carried a big stick downstairs expecting some lurker in
the night and found only doors locked and barred. Like Eddie said.

I was fortunate to be here for Indonesia’s Independence Anniversary and also the
signing of the Acehnese Peace Accord last month. I mean guns were flying all over the
place. Ex-fighters were laying down their arms and Indonesian soldiers were leaving the
province, that is. There are lots of optimistic people from both sides believing this a
grand moment for the Acehnese to begin enjoying a lasting peace. I have met several
who had been imprisoned but were freed by the peace accord. They all seemed like nice

I am enjoying learning about boats and talking about boats. Boats up and down the
Sumatran coast share a similar design but vary according to local application and
preference. Common Acehnese boat colors are blue, red, green, yellow, well I guess all
colors. You got the five meter, the seven, both wide and skinny, the seven and a half, the
niner, the eleven, the fifteen and on up to the biggest in Krueng Aceh harbor, the twenty-
seven meter of which there is one. In west coast Meulaboh, boats must be low profile to
pass under their bridge. Now, that’s the kind of boat I’m talking about.

In the AIRO works are renovations of six large fishing vessels in Lampulo. One, the 15-
meter Alaska, rests alongside the road in a neighborhood one kilometer inland. Its
owner used to live and work in Alaska. Another 23-meter boat owned by Islamic Relief
will be shared among fishermen of nearby Lambada Lhok village. The others are sitting
in the Lampulo boat yard awaiting their turn.

There are three main voyages for large vessels. One leaves at dawn and returns at dusk
using nets, poles and whatever else gets the fish into the boat. Another, which also
returns the same day, goes out past the coral shelf into deep waters in search of yellow
fin and larger fish. The third main type of fishing voyage from Aceh involves being out in
deep waters for a week or more until either the boat catches its fill or supplies run out.

Here’s something about fishing in Banda Aceh. Before the tsunami there were in Krueng
Aceh, the river inlet behind us, ninety-eight large vessels that went to sea daily. Today,
nine months later, there are twenty-seven. Peunayong fish market is growing but there is
a lot of shrimp, crab and fish being transported to the markets here from Lhokseumawe
and the east coast.

Now with all this talk I’ll be going to sea. Yrrrr.
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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