10 February 2005 - Eddie

From the very start, it was "Banda Aceh or Bust!" And now we will finally be
three in Banda Aceh!  I am writing this on Garuda Airlines, sitting next to the
President of AIRO, the man with the plan himself, Aaron Lyman, heading to
Banda Aceh.  Eric retuned from his short break in Medan last night, and now
Aaron is very ready to join our on-site efforts after spending the first two weeks
in Jakarta.  We are all in very good spirits; he is excited to finally join us in Aceh,
whatever the conditions might be - I showed him hundreds of pictures and it
only made him more charged to get there.  And after spending a couple of days
with him in Jakarta, I now feel recharged and ready to return with a renewed
excitement of carrying on in full force, and with full Indonesian language
capabilities!   Aaron made very good use of his time in Jakarta- created from
scratch (or maybe that was an itch) the AIRO organization, quaizi as it may be,
still, complete with business cards, letterhead stationary, even vests with the
AIRO logo embroidered front and back.  The vests are way cool, and give us
am immediate look of being official and even important.

Additionally, and more significantly, Aaron completed an entire Indonesian
translation of the katadyne water purification systems and his bringing them to
Aceh for us to insert into the individual units that we are distributing, greatly
enhancing their proper use and effectiveness in providing clean drinking water.
 We hope to get down the western coast this weekend, distributing them as we
discover the need.

We are a little less happy with recent headlines in the Jakarta Post... 3 fairly
major "after shocks" hit the same area of northern Sumatra yesterday, the last,
a 6.2 on the Richter scale, was reported to be but 55 miles out from the shores
of Aceh.  On the phone with Eric last night, he said the buildings shook pretty
good, it caused no apparent damage, save for a good scare that put most
everyone out into the streets.  He reported that locals were heading out of town
in large numbers in fear of another tsunami and that polisi were out in force
trying to talk people into returning home.  There were also reports of looting in
some vacated areas.  Just got off the phone with Eric prior to boarding and he
says all is back to normal - that of course is a very relative term in Banda Aceh
right now, and will be for some time.

Eric has secured transportation for us, a car and a motorcycle and is still
working on housing.  The options are extremely expensive or we stay in a room
in someone's office complex, again.  Not sure what we will work out but am
confident we will do much better with language skills and in-country expertise
of our esteemed, and now healthy President Aaron!  Hopefully we can still get
internet access at the UN Media Center - and if we go late at night, it is fast little
hassle.  It is also free.  We will likely head back again to Krueng Raya for more
detail on their current boat making capability - we will ask to see and photo
their productions facilities, whatever they may be.  We will also need to
convince them of the need to bring in more of the villagers to the boat making
work to both spread around the wages that will go into this effort and to
establish more skilled craftsman in the
area.  We'll see how this goes.

Your prayers, notes of encouragement and statements of pride over what we
are doing here have been very meaningful to us.  We really do lose perspective
here quickly and appreciate these communiqués, messages and web site
entries.  Simply reading your acknowledgment of our efforts here keeps the
wind in our sails.  If you have a way of sharing/sending around the web site
URL, www.austin-international-rescue.org, please do.  We will continue to post
pictures and stories there, as well as go there ourselves to read your journal
entries, blessings and well wishes.

We are about to land - and begin Chapter II of AIRO in Aceh - this time in full
force!!!
Hope in Aceh,
Eddie
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