10-12 February 2005 - Eric

I had a great time in Medan and met some great folks including a very calming
Buddhist man named Jimmy and his sister A Cin who helped me considerably. I
headed back to tsunami land after a hectic day rushing through the Medan
airport but missing my plane. When an ATM ate my card for the second time and
I realized I would not have enough cash to purchase a motorcycle and also
make the trip to Aceh, I scurried to the hotel on back of Jimmy's motorcycle,
grabbed my things and hauled ass to the airport but too late. I ran into a man
named Hendro whom I knew from Aceh and ran into on his way to Jakarta. He
gave me the key to his motorcycle in Aceh and said I could use it. Luck was with
me. I finally got back to Aceh on a later flight by upgrading to business class and
sat next to the ambassador from Yemen.

I met with U.N. logistics personnel that night to research a plan to deliver water
purifiers to villages still isolated along the western Sumatran coast. Over 80
kilometers of coastal highway from Banda Aceh to Meulaboh and 110 bridges
were completely destroyed by the tsunami. I am considering a solo backpack
into areas isolated from both road and heli.

An hour after I returned from Medan, we had a 6.0 earthquake epicentered fifty
miles away that sent the locals into a frenzy. They had experienced several
earthquakes in the days I was gone to Medan, and thousands of people were
fleeing in fear of another tsunami. Police were racing through the streets telling
the people over P.A.'s not to panic, that there was no danger. Ours was the only
car heading into the city as thousands of people were heading in the other

Because Eddie and I had lost our accommodations, I stayed in a house with
other displaced people in major mudville which was being used for storage by a
charity. It was in the heart of the city's flood-affected area and there was a water
mark four feet up the wall above me. The neighborhood was eerily quiet and
mostly vacant but for a few defiant young men who cussed the tsunami and
dared it to return. I looked over the house and neighborhood and made my own
escape plan just in case. I didn't sleep too well that night mostly due to
mosquitoes, the little bastards, but I was also a bit concerned about the chance
of continued quakes, etc. Since I had no access to updated seismic information,
I phoned a few friends back home and asked them to check with U.S. seismic
agencies and to call me back if they thought another earthquake was eminent.

12 Feb 005

Yesterday, we revisited the village of Labuy and it has undergone notable
changes. It is getting cleaner, (though still a mess), there have been large
deliveries of building materials, the children seem more cheerful and of course
that makes everyone happier. Walking around I got the feeling that they will
somehow continue on in spite of the disastrous card dealt them only a month
and a half ago.

With Aaron's translation ability, I have learned of many touching stories of
survival and heartbreaking tragedy. We spoke to a man who cheerfully told us
how his four children survived the tsunami by climbing a palm tree. His
motorcycle, key to his livelihood, also miraculously survived though it had quite a
knock from all the salt water it swallowed.

Aaron and Eddie have headed to Krueng Raya. I have remained to request U.N.
heli transport to Calang on the western Sumatra coast. Other options of
transportation include chartering a boat for about 3,000,000 rupiah, ($300) or
small airplane. Later today I plan to head down the western coast as far as this
Suzuki Smash 110 will take me.

Check out the website as there are many newly posted photos and info. Please
take care and as always accept my warmest regards. I miss you all.

Love, Eric
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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