26 March 2005 – Eric
Banda Aceh, Krueng Raya, Indonesia

A full and heavy truckload of wood has arrived on site in Krueng Raya today.
While waiting for it, the crew was able to use the facility to repair and bandage a
few other boats that weren’t too badly smashed up.

The fresh shipment of beautiful dense reddish-brown hardwood, with bark still
attached, has been unloaded and stacked near the work area. The crew will
begin cutting out the three-part papans which will set like the ribs of a whale
turned belly up. They will be cut to shape and fastened to the luna, the large
strong beam at the bottom, then doubly wrapped with planks of a more flexible
type of wood. The offset seams of the planks will be filled with some kind of goo.

When I finished my activities at Krueng Raya today, I stopped at the beach on the
way back to pick up some coral and play with a few old crabs I know. When
Azhari and I hopped on our hogs to ride out of there my rear tire was flat, the
second time in a week. This time I was a bit worried since I was in the middle of
nowhere with an hour of daylight left. And, I’d just seen one of those dragons
scurry into the swamp, good sized one too. I pushed the bike down the beach
and out to the highway where Azhari helped me wave down a car. The first to
come around the bend pulled over to help but before it even came to stop I could
see it was way too small and full of women. The driver sat with his car in the road
while big trucks flew by and told me all about how his car was too small and how
it was full of women and how sorry he was he couldn’t take me down the road.
The second car to stop was a little bus but also full of women. But the third car
was a bus only half full of men and women so we threw my bike in the back and
Azhari followed on his. Like a sardine, fifteen kilometers back to town I rode
answering all the people’s questions while a hot motorbike rubbed their shins.
They mostly asked things like where I was going and where I had been and if I
thought Aceh was a nice place.

After I got it fixed I went to a volunteer appreciation party put on by the artists of
Aceh. The party was pretty fun and really made me feel good about being here.
The folks from across the street at Turkish command were recognized for their
extraordinary contributing efforts. It was good to see my neighbors on stage.

Now that efforts have shifted from relief to reconstruction some organizations will
be gone soon and won't be coming back. Because foreigners have not been
present for many years, the Indonesian government wonders about the presence
of foreign aid workers in the highly Muslim province which was already bucking
for independence before the tsunami. I do not yet know exactly what our status
will be as each organization is evaluated case by case but it looks pretty good. I
do know that the UNHCR, UN High Commission on Refugees, recently
announced it is leaving after the Indonesian government did not respond to its
proposals to manage the refugee support effort.

I think Americans should know that the average citizen of Aceh greatly
appreciates America's role in this global effort. Indonesian national and local
leaders and the all the people I’ve met say thanks for the initial rescue response
with logistical help by the U.S. military, our sending the USS Mercy Hospital ship,
the generous outpouring of the American people in general and now our
continued support in rebuilding. This has made me very proud of my country.
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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