Thursday, August 04, 2005

A Farewell to Sabang

Monday, 1 August, 2005: Banda Aceh

One week until I leave Aceh. As I right this a lump is forming in my throat. Yes, I want to be home, but it’s also bittersweet because I know many of the people I meet here I will never see again. But we’re not trying to think about it. Heck, I’m busier than I’ve been all summer and still have so much to do!

But our team took a break this weekend. We took all of our local staff to Sabang, a sleepy little island four hours by ferry off the coast of Banda Aceh. I was in Sabang for a day back in June… actually, on a dive boat off the coast, but this time we actually stayed in bungalows on the island… very much a camp feel. The bungalows are small houses on stilts. They have VERY BASIC accommodations, but you don’t need a lot of AC when you have the breeze coming off the ocean. Teh, our wat-san engineer has been on Sabang several times doing assessments. The island was also affected by the tsunami. They lost about 150 people and also have internally displaced person camps.

But… we were trying hard not to think about work. It really was about bonding as a team. Our local staff is very near and dear to my heart. After all, I hired everyone of them! They really are part of our team and we would fail miserably if it wasn’t for them. We also brought our housekeeper, Ibu Murne, and her husband and son. It truly was a great weekend. It was also Ruby’s first week back. She had been knocked out for almost a month with typhoid fever and it felt great to hear her squeals of laughter.

There is something laidback about beach culture, regardless of where you are. Aceh is a strictly Muslim province and the only women not wearing headscarves are Chinese and westerners. But as soon as the ferry docked in the port, you saw women undoing their headscarves and tossing their now-free hair in the island breeze. It had an effect on all of us. I felt like one of the characters in the Twilight Zone "Kick the Can" episode where we all revert to children. It was a refreshing that I have not experienced in years.

We drove to the bungalows over a coastal road lined with rocky cliffs on one side and jungle on the other. We passed many a monkey and ran over a two meter long snake. After we checked in, we had a late dinner of freshly caught grilled grouper and after an amazing moonlit walk on the beach, the team retired by eleven. We were up at seven to catch a dive/snorkeling boat. It dropped a group off at a natural coral garden and then took Kerry (a dive-friend of mine from Australia) and I to a great dive site. While we were diving, our drivers stayed on the boat and unsuccessfully tried to catch our dinner. They did catch two blue trigger fish… but I must say, these fish are stunning underwater… and very sad and small when their lying dead on the floor of your boat. Interestingly though, they have a very thick skin and can stay on a boat without ice for up to twenty-four hours without going bad.

After a day of diving and snorkeling, we returned back to bungalows and took naps. Teh, our grillmaster, actually insisted on bringing our charcoal grill from Banda Aceh… Unfortunately, we didn’t have anything to throw on it. We had to send a crew into the village to pick up fish. At five-thirty, right before sunset, we herded the group in our cars and drove up the north west coast of the island to “Kilometer Zero” which is the most northerly and westerly point of Indonesia. It started raining… and once we got the required photo to prove we were there, we headed back to the bungalows. Despite the sprinking, we still had a great bbq and were up till two in the morning talking… we also discovered the local hooch, a banana-chocolate liqueur… yes, it tastes as bad as it sounds! I signed off at two but several people went fishing until four in the morning. Ruby (see pic) caught a sizeable squid!

The next day was spent lazily having breakfast and talking. A few people went snorkeling from the beach… I just enjoyed not thinking of work. We sent the drivers in the morning on the car ferry and took a fast ferry in the afternoon. While the car ferry docks outside of Banda Aceh (the port is still destroyed from the tsunami), the faster passenger ferry is smaller and can dock in Ulelee, the old Banda Aceh port. It’s also in the heart of tsunami country. I cannot describe the feeling you have. You’ve just had an amazing weekend on a proverbial island paradise, taken a modern fast ferry, and you dock in place that looks like an atom bomb struck. As we got off the ferry, there was a broken down mosque in front of us… it was the only standing building in a 10 or fifteen acre radius. Utter devastation, sobering like nothing I can put into words. The tsunami actually struck while the ferry was on the way from Sabang to Banda Aceh. In the water they didn’t feel a thing… it was only when they arrived to Banda Aceh and couldn’t find the port that they realized something had gone terribly wrong. The friends who were waiting to pick them up were dead and the homes that they were coming back to were gone. Life in color, going to black and white.

9 Comments:

Blogger www.k-and-ktreasures.com said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

4:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

6:11 AM  
Anonymous as seen on tv stores said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

8:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

it was a truly eye opening experience. my mission was for 2 weeks on the island of Sabang, made a couple of trips to Banda where the devastation is unspeakable and as I write this a colleague of mine has just come back from there, says the situation is still status quo, not much done.

regards
Kipps
Global Sikhs

1:03 PM  
Anonymous plush said...

companies marketing mineral makeups and also get the best bargains in mineral makeup you can imagine,
find aout how to consolidate your students loans or just how to lower your actual rates.,
looking for breast enlargements? in Rochester,
homeopathy for eczema learn about it.,
Allergies, information about lipitor,
save big with great bargains in mineral makeup,

change edition interviewing motivational people preparing second
,

interviewing motivational people preparing second time
,

interviewing people motivational preparing for a second time
,

black mold exposure
,

black mold exposure symptoms
,

black mold symptoms of exposure
,

free job interview questions
,

free job interview answers
,

interview answers to get a job
,

lookfor hair styles for fine thin hair
,

search hair styles for fine thin hair
,

hair styles for fine thin hair
,

beach resort in the philippines
,

great beach resort in the philippines
,

luxury beach resort in the philippines
,
iron garden gates, here,
iron garden gates,
wrought iron garden gates
, here
,
wrought iron garden gates
,
You: The Owner's Manual: An Insider's Guide to the Body That Will Make You Healthier and Younger
,
eat eating mindless more than think we we why
,


texturizer,
texturizers here,
black hair texturizer,
find aout how care curly hair,
find about how to care curly hair,
care curly hair,
lipitor rash,
lipitor reactions,
new house ventura california,
the house new houston tx,
new house washington dc,
new house pa philadelphia,
san antonio tx house new,
house new pa philadelphia,
new house washington dc,
new house ventura california,
the house new houston tx,
house new san antonio tx,
the house new houston tx, that you are looking for,
new house ventura california, you need to buy,
new house washington dc,
house new pa philadelphia,
new house san antonio tx,

hair surgery transplant
,

air filter allergy
,

refurbished dell laptop computers
,

hair surgery transplant
,

air filter allergy
,

refurbished dell laptop computers
,

hair surgery transplant
,

air filter allergy
,

refurbished dell laptop computers
,

chocolate esophagus heartburn study
,

chocolate esophagus heartburn study
be informed,

digestion healing healthy heartburn natural preventing way
,

digestion healing healthy heartburn natural preventing way
,
sew skirts, 16simple styles you can make!,
sew what skirts 16 simple styles you,
rebates and discounts on sunsetter awnings,
sunsetter awnings discounts and rebates,
discount on sunsetter awnings


truck and bus tires 12r 22.5, get the best price,
tires truck and bus 12r 22.5 best price,
tires truck bus tires12r 22.5 best price,
plush car seat strap covers,
car seat strap covers,plush,
car seat strap, plush covers,
oscoda voip phone systems, the best!,
oscoda voip the phone system,
oscoda voip phone systems,
exterior iron gates,
oriental wrought iron gates,
powder coated iron garden fencing,

4:17 AM  
Blogger Manikandan said...

I had my first headhunt in the curikudos job fair held in 2006. And now i think its time to switch over. Can some one let me know when the job fair starts again.

11:23 AM  
Anonymous lipitor said...

black mold exposure,
black mold symptoms of exposure,

wrought iron garden gates,
your next iron garden gates, here,

hair styles for fine thin hair,
search hair styles for fine thin hair,

night vision binoculars,
buy, night vision binoculars,

lipitor reactions,
lipitor reactions,

luxury beach resort in the philippines,
beach resort in the philippines,

homeopathy for baby eczema.,
homeopathy for baby eczema.,

save big with great mineral makeup bargains,
companies marketing mineral makeups,

prodam iphone praha,
Apple prodam iphone praha,

iphone clone cect manual,
manual for iphone clone cect,

fero 52 binoculars night vision,
fero 52 night vision,

best night vision binoculars,
buy, best night vision binoculars,

computer programs to make photo albums,
computer programs, make photo albums,


craftmatic adjustable air bed
craftmatic adjustable air bed, info here

boyd night air bed
boyd night air bed, low price

air bed in wisconsin
best air beds in wisconsin

cloud air inflatable bed
best cloud air inflatable beds

portable sealy air bed
portables, sealy air beds

aluminum rv luggage racks
aluminum made, rv luggage racks

air bed form raised
best air beds form raised

support equipments aircraft
best support equipments for aircrafts

informercials bed air
best, informercials bed air

mattress sized air beds
best mattress sized air bed

antique doorknob identification
antique doorknob, identification tips

troubleshooting dvd player
troubleshooting with the dvd player

flat panel television lcd versus plasma
flat panel television, lcd versus plasma pic the best

causes of economic recession
what are the causes of economic recession

free printable tax forms
free printable IRS tax forms

bed air foam adjustable
bed air adjustable foam

hoof prints antique and unusual equestrian prints
hoof prints, antique equestrian prints

buy adjustable air bed
buy the best adjustable air beds

air bedscanadian stores
air beds, cheap canadian stores

4:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

no deposit poker sign up bonus ? yes - slobodan žarač novac - Poker sans dépôt poker free money
no deposit poker sign up bonus free $50 no deposit online poker :)
Get $10 + 25 No Deposit Poker Bonus when you sign up to VCPoker or other room from that site 110% Super Bonus up to $550 or 50% signup bonus up to $250
I set up a deal with the US friendly online poker room, titan Poker to give all free money to spend nice time.
no deposit free promos Bonus guide to free online gambling money from online mansion, poker and full tilt
on Titan for the correct answer! .... While I was there I read a book called nenhum bônus de depósito - dinheiro gratuito brasil Le tisonnier sans dépôt.
Online Poker bonus - under construction poker site Go Just make sure the casino sign up bonuses below.
best poker rooms like the Full Tilt, titan Poker, is required. See details here - por nuevo gaiming Party Poker etc. sign up bonuses test yours skills of the players be sure that your not drunk before you lose to take bonus.
koleji bonus bez depozytu dobierasz sobie platformę jaką chcesz dla szerszej rzeszy graczy z polski.
Darmowe promocje finansowe z pokerem w parze albo następującym głąboko w promocji room titan lun też unikalny a platforma full tillt co nie jest prawdą.
Poker - bez depozytu - za darmo grając masz szanse wygrać dużą kase, spora ilość graczy online i wilele darmowych turniei
poker free bonus Jak zwykle za darmo :)

4:13 PM  
Blogger hong hunrak said...

hello guy
Do you want To play game casino online
Welcome To Gclub Casino online
--Baccarat
--Slot Jackpot
Please Click Here My Website now
Wish Lucky For You..Win Win
บาคาร่าออนไลน์
ออนไลน์
Goldenslot
Thanks you :D :D

5:04 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home