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22 April

Page history last edited by PBworks 17 years, 12 months ago

Saturday 22nd AprilArabella Churchill

 

Should Haggis travel?

 

Hags had a really bad night and feels awful this morning - so awful he is not sure he should come down south, but in the end he decides to - and at 7am we set off in Dedy's taxi to the military airport, to catch the UN World Food Programme helicopter. It is an amazing flight down the west southern coast of Aceh - we can really see how much devastation the tsunami waves caused along this coast. Large areas are still under water, and may villages and towns have clearly been completely destroyed and annihilated.

 

Inspecting for housing

 

Ronald Ritchey of IDES (whose housing project we are going to inspect for Michael) is at Calang to meet us and we drive south a further hour to Teunom. We stop and look at some of the houses IDES have built along the way. While I am inside the house, talking to the villagers about their house, Hags does a mini show outside. Inside the house there is no furniture at all - just some mats to sleep on, and a cooking set handed out by one of the NGO's. One of the women I meet is still living in a tent - this is 16 months after the tsunami - no one should have to live in a tent that long! There has been quite a bit of rain the last couple of days down here - I ask the lady if her tent leaks - "Oh, yes", she says. All their clothes get wet and have to be dried outside each day - it is very difficult for them. It really is dreadful! We drive on to the house where Ronald and his wife Ellen are living, and unpack and settle in. There is the most delightful tame monkey, who takes a great liking to me, and who I have great fun playing with. In the afternoon Haggis sleeps some more while Ronald and I go to the village and look at more of the houses that Ides have built.

 

It's still grim here

 

In this area of 16 small villages, where 10,000 people used to live in, approximately 2.300 died, and virtually every single house within 1 km of the shore was completely destroyed. IDES have already built many houses in this village of Aloe Ampang and 2 other nearby villages - and many more are still needed. The foundations of many of the original houses remain, and people are camping on them, in tents, waiting for a house.

 

Many families are also housed up in the hills at the "Barracks", waiting for a house in the village where they used to live. There are scenes of devastation and detritus and flooding and tents, and then you turn a corner and there are a cluster of wonderful IDES houses - white with different coloured trims. They are really nice.

 

The British Red Cross will apparently be building permanent houses later, but this may take as long as 1-3 years. Because the IDES houses will only count as temporary (though they will probably last 10-15 years) the families who have been temporarily housed by Ides will also be recipients of a British Red Cross house in the fullness of time, and these houses will have a toilet and mandi. So then each family will hopefully have a 72 sq metre house, which is much more liveable when you have children. You might say, "Wait for the permanent housing", but it is now 16 months since the tsunami - you can't ask these poor people to go on living in tents or barracks any longer. One of the wonderful things about the IDES houses is that they do not take long to build - 10 days is the fastest and 35 days the slowest, so if Michael can give this money, the houses will be up real soon. How wonderful to be able to transform the lives of 130 families - I am hoping it all goes really smoothly. (I will write about the housing project separately in more detail soon, with a separate link - and let you know what happens!)

 

To the doctor's

 

Ellen and I take Hags to the doctor's and he is loaded down with pills and rehydration salts and told to drink a LOT of water (which of course, I had been saying for days! Suddenly this was a sensible thing to do, now the doctor had said so! Hey ho!)

 

Dinner at the IDES house and lots of fascinination information about the area from Ronald and Ellen. Early bed, and sleep very well. More "buggy" here, so big be gone Baygone spray and mosquito net.

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