Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Suspended in Singapore

Arrived at 6.30am at the vast and sprawling and terrifyingly efficient Changi Airport after an uneventful flight. We left Auckland at 1.05am and were immediately presented with a large meal - which I guess is very generous but not exactly necessary!

I was fortunate to have a window seat but not quite so fortunate to be sitting next to a gentleman who not only snored regularly and loudly, but also, in his semi-conscious state, seemed to assume that my left shoulder was an obvious and natural extension to the small pink Airlines pillow that was propped between his head and seat. The tricky part for me was trying to wake him in order to slide past to stretch the old legs.

Phil and Chalpat were a few rows back. What a great idea booking a couple of day rooms ... ahhhh a nice long hot bath. I have now emerged after some sleep blinking into the artificial light to be faced by endless miles of people movers and smart shops. We fly to Jakarta in a couple of hours.

These few hours will be an extraordinary contrast to Nias and Banda Aceh where we will find ourselves in a day or two. This is a tremendous opportunity to demonstrate how money raised by New Zealanders and channeled through an array of agencies and community organisations is making a difference already. There are so many wonderful stories - a few of which we heard at the media launches in Auckland and Wellington - but there are so many more to be told.

It is a privilege to be part of this trip and I so hope that in some small way, this series of visits will help to promote the extraordinary work that NZAID and many New Zealand agencies are engaged in.

Kia kaha and until tomorrow - Mike




Mike in Transit

Just heard from Mike who has arrived in Singapore on route to Jakarta. Informed me that he was off in search of a banana milkshake (!) before catching some zzzzz's. Will arrive in Jakarta early morning NZ time.

A bit more relaxed now that things are underway and all the plans for the Indonesia leg of the trip have more or less come together.

Still a few logistics to finalise in Sri Lanka, but also seems to be coming together. A little concerned that we may have squeezed too much in - there are a lot of stories to tell.




Itinerary

Indonesia
DAY 1: Wednesday 30 November
JAKARTA

DAY 2: Thursday 1 December
JAKARTA - MEDAN

DAY 3: Friday 2 December
MEDAN - NIAS

DAY 4: Saturday 3 December
NIAS

DAY 5: Sunday 4 December
NIAS - BANDA ACEH

DAY 6/7: Monday 5 December/Tuesday 6 December
BANDA ACEH

DAY 8: Wednesday 7 December
BANDA ACEH - COLOMBO

Sri Lanka

DAY 9: Thursday 8 December
COLOMBO - GALLE

DAY 10: Friday 9 December
GALLE - AMPARA

DAY 11: Saturday 10 December
AMPARA - BATTICALOA

DAY 12: Sunday 11 December
BATTICALOA - COLOMBO

DAY 13: Monday 12 December
DEPART COLOMBO




Tuesday, November 29, 2005

One Year On

One Year On is a collaborative initiative by the local aid and development community to profile New Zealand funded response to the Boxing Day 2004 tsunami disaster.

Over 40 agencies and community groups are involved - ranging from NZAID, the Government's international aid and development agency which is managing New Zealand's $68 million official aid-package to the region, to community groups that raised thousands of dollars through concerts, collections and sausage sizzles.

As part of One Year On, a group of New Zealand journalists and photographers is visiting key New Zealand-funded projects in Indonesia and Sri Lanka to see how our Kiwi generosity is making a difference to those affected by the tsunami. The media trip will take place from Wednesday 30 November to Tuesday 12 December, 2005.

The purpose of this Blog is to provide information and images from the media trip, highlighting the stories of New Zealanders involved in the massive-scale recovery and reconstruction effort.