Sunday, May 01, 2005

Still Here

Sorry about the lack of communication, firstly the internet connection went down and then I was on the most beautiful (and remote) island in the world.

We took a two hour boat ride to Pulo Aceh the day before yesterday and spent the night there.

When we arived one of the elders walked us around where the village used to be. It was maybe 1km but in heat up to 45 degrees C it felt like 10K I almost passed out. There is just no way to get out of the heat so now everyone is laughing because I have turned from white to pink.

Later we took another boat ride to Melengge (check photo for correct spelling) another village on the island.

One of the JRS guys was standing on the beach with a placard saying David and Cameron, as if he was picking us up from the Airport.

Near the camp is an awsome waterfall where we could bathe. It was the most wonderfull thing I could imagine. I was expecting the freezing cold river water we get in NZ but it was a exactly right. There were monkeys bats and lizards all over the place as well as river fish.

I am still getting used to getting out of a air-conditioned car and into a heat which makes you instantly sweat.

Today we traveled out of Banda and into Pedi district. We had a few worries with the Police but it was all sorted out. I think Father David and I are the first white people they have seen so when the children saw us drive past in a big new 4WD they were yelling "Movie Star!" and things like this.

We also had problems at the port before we left for the Island but I didn't know till after we had left. Unfortunatly we stick out like sore thumbs which makes photographs difficult as everyone stops what they are doing when they see you.

One thing which bothered me was when we were driving through the waterfront area and some young men began to pose and give the thumbs up smiling and laughing yelling "Tsunami! Tsunami!"

Anyone who knows me will know I have an "interesting" diet so food has been a bit difficult but the things I do eat are so good. Everywhere we go we have food. They eat a lot of sea food here so I have been telling people that if my brother Tim and my mother were here there would be no food for everyone else!

This place is just wonderfull though. I love it here the people are so patient and friendly, and the JRS staff are wonderful. Every day they try to teach me Bahasa and Acehneese.

The area of Banda which is on the flat land close to the ocean for maybe 10/15km inland was flattened, only the odd house is still standing. Everywhere around the area are flags and little signs. The signs are marking out people's land. Its just a square of rubble. You cannot imagine the power the waves had. I saw what was left of a chasis of a large truck folded over back on itself. Right in the middle of one residential area there is a huge ship probably 50m long and it is sitting 15km inland. Another big barge (50m aprox)with its tugboat still attached which was carrying cement was parked in the middle of the road and has been turned into a cafe.

There is just no way to describe it or show photos which would do it justice. All around the coast you can see a line where the vegetation has been torn away in some places it might be 40m high. You really have to see it to have any auge idea of the power.

Everywhere everyone smokes, even young children. A packet of Molborough or Luckys costs Rp7000 which is about US$1 which is making me kick myself for buying smokes in CHCH duty free!

For all of you who know Ted he said to say hi and that he is doing well. I am meeting him for coffee tomorrow morning.

The mozzies wern't so bad the first couple of days but I have been bitten a few times just now!

Any feedback on the photos would be great or any comments at all.

Anyway I have been infront of this CPU for too long and I need to fill my water bottle so
E noho ra



Anonymous Anonymous said...

So have you got sunblock yet pinky?

4:26 pm  

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