11 February 2005 - Aaron

After a wide turn out over the sea, we were about to make our final
descent.  From my window seat, my first look at the devastation awaiting us swept
into view.  No before and after pictures were necessary.  The entire coastline was
clearly altered in some strange, unnatural way.  Then as we completed the full
turn, the utter beauty of the unaffected areas just a few kilometers inland gave me
a glimpse into what will ultimately come to pass-reconstuction and restoration.  
Such was Banda Aceh’s first salutation of greeting to me…”Selamat
Datang…Peace be Unto You in Coming”.  

Yes, I made it.  The guys immediately put me to work as we attended two different
briefings including one that is regularly held entirely in Indonesian by the military
coordination effort. I have been very impressed with the strong coordination being
done between various gencies, including our own.  We really savor some of the
various meetings they have here.  A few notes from our “Daily UN Media Briefing”
are at the end of this update.  

We took a trip out to Labuy, Pak Suriyah’s village, and devastated by the Tsunami.  
Both Eric and Eddie were totally surprised at the changes in the last 10 days
since they were first there…tents have been set up, lumber was being unloaded
from huge trucks, and most importantly, there were smiles and laughter.  The
people there, with help from volunteers around the world, have now begun the
work of rebuilding and reconstruction.  Each person consistently said that they
cannot change he past, but have hope for the future.

Eddie and I are going back out to Krueng Raya today, while Eric is heading up the
coast to place some Katadyns’. Since submitting Eddie’s report about a potential
boat-making operation there, there has been a lot of visibility on this effort from the
Indonesian government.  Eddie and I and hope to see, first-hand, how and where
the boats there could be made to complete this effort.

Down in Calang, 80 km down the west coast in the area of Krueng Saba, another
mini-catastrophy has occurred…rains have washed out the temporary bridge built
to access the area since the tsunami hit.  UN transports are being sent in with
food and water now.  We were urged to join the effort there and bring water
filtration systems in.  We are preparing the applications necessary to go on-board
in the next few days.  The problem is that we are on our own once we get there-
looks like yet another adventure awaits us.

Kurt Warner and Amani Toomer from the NY Giants are coming today to
help with the relief effort and to raise awareness of the huge work needed here.  
We may meet them on Sunday morning (I hope to give Kurt a few pointers on
throwing from the pocket).  They will be working directly with the World Food
Program and will load trucks, distribute food, etc., right alongside everyone else
here.  

Enough for now…Ciao and love,

Aaron

Daily UN Media Briefing” on Friday:  

Shantha Bloeman, Unicef
Mia Turner WFP,
Hiro Ueki, UN OCHA

Overall funding situation:  Soon after the Tsunami, total was $977M, now as of 07
Sept, $848M (80% of the pledges have been commited or paid…$57M more in
private donations.  To be used within 6 months for relief and recovery.

Total amount pledged by all countries…$5.5B…from 87 different govts, and
$375M from private institutions or individuals…including ours.

The suboffice of OCHA says that cooperation between various coordinated
groups is going well and establishing an extended office in BA.

UNICEF is working to establish sanitation systems to support 45k families, and
includes practical personal kits.  Brought in 2 Septic tank trucks to drain
overflowing septic systems, 5 more coming.  

Distribution of school kits to 57k children, and recreational kits to the kids also.

Most children seem to be living in some kind of extended family situations.

Briefing on Tuesday on the govt’s policy on separated/placement of children.
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
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