Sunday, December 04, 2005

Next stop Aceh

As expected it seems as if Mike and the team may be encountering some difficulties getting internet access in Nias. Later today they will be heading back from Nias, via Medan, to Banda Aceh for a 3 day visit.

The destruction the tsunami brought to the Aceh region is well-documented, but the scale of the disaster there is truly difficult to comprehend. Many towns were virtually wiped from the map and over 160,000 people dead or missing -- a staggering number when you consider the population of Wellington (400,000).

I hope that, as well as seeing the NZ funded work firsthand, the team gets a feel for the wider context of this response - the recently signed peace agreement, the environemental issues, the efforts to bring effective coordination to this huge effort and the timeframes involved. I am sure you could spend many months covering those issues and 3 days will provide just a taster, but important that to we get into the public arena.

I'll have to give a bit of a plug to World Vision who have helped finalise the on-the-ground logistics for the Aceh visit. I'm now confident that the team will get picked up from the airport! and will not be stranded anywhere during the visit. Thanks also to all the other NZ based and Aceh based comms staff who have pulled together to organise visits etc for the team - its much appreciated.

Also heard this morning from our guide-to-be in Sri Lanka who has confirmed all accomodation and transport for the team...I must admit to a sigh of relief (or two) when I saw his email sitting in my inbox.

The generousity of the all those who have helped on the One Year On project is really something special.

Off to go an buy extra stregth bug repellent (much mentioned in the last 2 weeks) and hopefully Mike will post soon as my NZ based musings are not quite as interesting!!


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