25 March 2005 - Eric
Banda Aceh, Krueng Raya, Sabang, Sumatra, Indonesia

Today I went to Krueng Raya to meet with Bapak Marzuki, our master craftsman,
Kecik Jabar Yasser, the village leader and Paglima Laut Ahmad, Sea Commander
for Lhok Krueng Raya. We sat at a big sturdy table with backrests and a white tarp at
the edge of the town’s paved road. Every piece of wood to make it was cut from a
fresh log with a chainsaw. I’m talking twelve by one planks ten feet long of the
hardest stuff you’ve ever seen.

After a lot of shoulder slapping and nodding we ordered coffee and discussed the
boat project. The military activity seems to have subsided and things are back to
normal. Marzuki recently met with Afan who has the next wood shipment cut and
ready to deliver but must wait for a few sunny days to dry up the muddy road. This
shipment is expected to arrive on site any day and should keep the crew working for
twenty days.

Returning from Krueng Raya, I took a trail from the main road across a pasture
through a thicket with eighty screaming monkeys and onto the beach where an
incredible amount of ocean debris has come to rest. I walked past a dead fish a few
times before taking a good look and immediately wondered if it might not be one of
those rare ancient missing-link fishes like a coelacanth. It has those horse jaws and
strange hover fins and is all funny looking. It was laying on the beach where a huge
amount of fresh coral had washed up last tide. There were old cement-coated
chunks and rounded weathered ones that looked like they’d been kicking around a
while. There were also large fresh pieces of reef newly sheered off by the tsunami.
Maybe when the old fish lost his coral habitat he hung in there for three months
before dying and washing up a few days ago. I asked around but no body knows
about it and not having time to research was hoping some old-fish dude out there
would take a look at the pics and get back to me.

The coral laying around the strange fish today looked like the coral I recently saw on
the west coast of Weh Island. Weh is a tax-free island and site of kilometer marker
one for all intent on driving from one end of Indonesia to the other. Weh lost only
eighteen people during the tsunami but a great deal of its prized coral reef was
thrashed. Some Australian military people worked for a while to clear the beaches
and revive the attraction.

Exactly where, I could never remember, but a twenty-minute walk beyond the end of a
road bordering jungle and ocean is a beautiful tiny village resort. There is an ocean
channel between the resort and another small island not too far out where fishermen
park their boats and reel ‘em in. Just before the tsunami hit, eyewitnesses who saw
the water recede say you could have walked across the glistening reef to the other
island. It charged in and wrecked the place but Weh’s steep slopes to the ocean
provided retreat for most people.

Deep in the jungle I saw that Indonesian dogs are domesticated just enough to
linger at the human perimeter and chase off wild pigs. Last night Azhari told me his
heart was perfect, very good. He talked about members of his family lost to the
tsunami. He thinks about his mother, how much she loved him and how sad she
must have been to leave him. Tomorrow Islam remembers Jesus’ death.
Journal Entries - Click to
Read:

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 –
Eddie

4 February 2005 – Eddie

2 February 2005 – Aaron

1 February 2005 – Eddie

30 January 2005 – Eric
Journal Entries
Journal Entries
AIRO Posko Krueng Raya
Village spared by tsunami
Idled kerambas
Seaside village
Strange Fish
Strange Fish - Part II