3 March 2005 - Eric

Azhari, whose name I spelled and pronounced differently a few days ago, is the
man interested in restoring the fishing industry in his village Lampuloh. Boats of
his village are completely different than the shuttling Keramba system of Krueng
Raya. They are larger with a cabin and employ 21 men at a time. His village had
eighty before and now has only forty. The rest of the data sadly suggests that
Lampuloh needs fishermen more than boats to rebuild its industry.

He was outside when the first wave came rolling in. He yelled to his mother and
sisters to stop standing there crying and start running and praying. He escaped a
fifteen-meter wave by climbing some structure that held while others all around him
were being swept away. He said the tsunami rolled out nearly as fast as it came in
dragging debris back the other way. He found his brother and father three days
later and they drank coconut water to stay alive.

Azhari told me he lost fifty goats, which squelches the theory that animals survived
using super tsunami sensors in their ankles. He said there were many livestock
and wild animals of all sorts killed.

I had told Azhari I wanted to go find a mountain and have a nice authentic Acehnese
lunch somewhere so this morning we took an hour’s motorcycle ride to the country.
We rode through the village of Sibreh on a dirt road that went for a long way deep
into the jungle up a steep grade over the saddle between two steep peaks and into
the next valley. We’d been riding in a light rain for quite some time and getting way
back in there when Azhari told me we probably ought to turn back. It started coming
down real hard and I looked into but passed up the opening of a large dry cave and
we crouched under a big tree until the rain let up. It was breathtaking scenery full of
incredible trees and dense tropical undergrowth. Birds.

Back down at the base of the mountain I paused to look at a beautiful country
mosque when it began to rain hard again. Soaking wet we ditched into a little
thatched-roofed café. I ordered coffee “pet” which means black, no sugar. It came
with a spoon and a little swirl of sugar in the bottom. I sent it back and asked for
coffee with no sugar and got Nescafe instant. I then told the Pak thanks but I really
just wanted a nice cup of traditional Acehnese. He brought me a big cup of boiling
water piled high with floating grounds. He reassuringly motioned that a few stirs
and it would be ok. Sure enough, the grounds dropped to the bottom and I had one
of the purest coffee experiences known to man. ‘Mangat that’ I told him.

They all laughed and watched me drink every sip. It has been a bit nerve racking
but I am starting to get used to having the entire room stop what they are doing and
just stare. Apparently, this is not a rude thing to do here because nobody thinks
twice about it or flinches in the least when I stare back at them. They comment to
each other about how I might be holding the spoon or the way I sip the coffee. I
have had complete strangers sit down at my table apparently just to watch me eat
or drink. I mean what are we gonna talk about?

We left the roadside coffee shop and rolled back through the streets of Sibreh.
Azhari passed up several cafés and settled on one in the heart of the market. Out
front in the market was a big table with a thousand big sharp knives laying on it. I
asked Azhari what the knives were for. He said for cut. For cut what I asked and he
said yes.

Many of the folks there smilingly told me they had never seen a white person
before. We sat down and they brought us a bowl of rice and a familiar concoction I’
ve had a few times now. It was as authentic Acehnese as you can get and it was
damned goot. In fact, our table had as its centerpiece the head. I asked Azhari what
exactly should one do with the goat’s head. He said is for eat. For eat what I asked
and he said yes.
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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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