"AIRO Big Fish Chapter 2"  1-AUG-05 - Eddie

Many souls were lost here.  Some are still around.

We have finally moved into "AIRO Big Fish", located on the waterway leading out to the
Indian Ocean, and overlooking the markets out front.  After several weeks of renovation,
the top floor was ready and I have seen here for a week now.  The back deck overlooks
several large fishing vessels and is privy to some of the most spectacular sun sets just
beyond the island mountains, palm trees and the tsunami's path of destruction from the
Indian ocean.

My first night here it seemed to be cats, bats, or rats fussing all night.  Big Fish was not
yet fully sealed-up and aside from the massive mosquito attacks, there seemed to be
something moving around on one of the lower 2 levels.   The place is now fully closed in
and heavily locked down, but the shuffling at night continues, and it's not cats, bats or

Many souls were lost here and I believe some are still hanging around!

We will have a neighborhood celebration and traditional blessing of the site by the local
religious leaders once Big Fish's renovation is completed.

That last 7.0 quake happened my second night at Big Fish.  It shook us pretty good here,
set off sirens and sent people out into the streets.  But it was over in less than a minute
and there was no damage and no tsunami.  I spent the minute between two bed
mattresses.  It was a long minute just the same!

The local cleaning crew has been cleaning our street and the entire block. We have
placed several 55-gallon garbage cans painted with AIRO's logo in front of each of our
neighbors' shops.  It's now much easier to throw trash into the containers than into the
street.  We know that as pride returns to the area, businesses will again thrive.

Our bathroom/mandi is now being moved to the other side of a soon-to-be kitchen wall.  
The mandi will be a bit modernized; it will have a seat, but won't flush and the water tub
will be right next to it for cleansing!  An added hand-held shower sprayer will help, but
there will still be no hot water.  Next up are lock-down toolboxes and shelving on the
ground floor.  Then onto 3 second-floor bedrooms.  I like it.  Finally, our own place!

Functionally, Big Fish is a real improvement over our original  "quarters" - we had just
one tiny room, one desk, 2 chairs and 3 cheap mattresses on the floor. Every time we left
the room we had to take everything of value with us in heavy and bulky backpacks.   At Big
Fish, you'd have to bring heavy equipment to break in.  Now our stuff is safer than it was
on us!

We are proving to be effective and efficient in our work here and are being noticed.  
Larger NGOs (non-government organizations) do not have enough personnel on the
ground to get things done.  Some have looked to AIRO.  We are now building 56 more
boats, and increasing this to +150 by the time I take a break in September!  At least that's
what the ghosts told me last night.

Love, hope and Casper in Aceh,
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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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