Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Into the Bush

I will be incommunicado for the next three days. I will be going on an assessment trip to Calang (pronounced Tchalang). Calang was a city that experienced total destruction after the tsunami. It was built on a peninsula and the tsunami came in on both sides of the peninsula, devastating the town. There is not one solid building standing. I hope to go to the subdistrict of Sampoinit and implement a Cash for Work clean-up program as soon as possible. I will be meeting with various NGOs and the local government. Ruby, our new spunky translator, will also be making her first trip into the bush. Ricardo is also along for the ride. We are taking a large land rover with snorkel exhaust pipes and serious four-wheel drive. The road was impassable a few days ago but it has dried out now. It's only about 100 km away, to the south west of Banda Aceh but will take about 6 hours to get there. In Calang we hope to stay in the UN compound. They have tents set up. If the tents are full, we'll be sleeping outside under a mosquito dome... Can't wait. With my recent queasy stomach, I'm a bit apprehensive, but I have to deal... I have a feeling my thighs are going to get a workout on this trip... Let the fun begin!

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