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02/11/05 12:00AM
Total Collected:
US$ 69,122.10

Journal from the Ground
by Kelly Craft and Kari Krakow

Friday, February 25, 2005

¬[02/24/05] [02/26/05]®

We went to visit the school, Min Mesjid Raya, in Kampung Ateuk, where Dian’s mother teaches. The children were so excited when we arrived. They crowded around us and kept saying “Hallo, hallo” to us. So many smiles and greetings. Although this school was not affected by the tsunami, some children who have suffered the loss of their own schools have been placed there. We met the principal and other staff at the school and gave them some of the donated supplies. Then we visited a classroom. Here they call it grade 5, but it is the equivalent of 6th grade in the American education system.

11AM- Saiful read and translated the letters from Kari’s children to the class. The children loved looking at the pictures. They promised to write letters back.

11AM- Baby Bear is looking at the work of one of the children. The children were excited to share English with us and sang us some songs. We sang some of our favorite songs to them “Hello There” and “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star”. It was a privilege to be invited into the classroom. It’s always interesting to see the similarities and differences. One constant is the wonderfulness of children.


12PM- Saiful had to pick up his aunt, uncle, and their son and help them move from their temporary post-tsunami home to the home where Saiful and Dian lived when they were first married. While we were picking them up, we were invited into the house to see a traditional wedding stage for a member of his family also living there. We got to meet the bride and see her beautiful hennaed hands.


2PM- Today we toured southern Banda Aceh, along the coast. Saiful has been taking us to progressively more ravaged areas each tour. He has been very sensitive to our emotional endurance, although today was very difficult. We passed miles of IDP camps with people living in tents surrounded by rubble. The three women in this photo are collecting scrap metal which they can sell for money.


2PM- Today we went to a city museum to see an exhibit of “Pameran Lukisan Anak Anak Korban Tsunami”, translation: “Painting Exhibition of Children Surviving Tsunami”. Over three hundred drawings collected from all over Aceh. The exhibit was sponsored by Islamic relief (www.islamic-relief.com). The pictures showed the tsunami from a child’s point of view. The children depicted people floating in water, climbing trees, and running for the hills. Huge waves, black water, helicopters, and broken trees were some of the recurring themes. It is so hard to imagine what it must be like for the children who lived through this disaster. The exhibit was especially poignant.


5:50PM- Our last visit in Banda Aceh… Saiful took us to the IDP camp where members of his village are temporarily living. It was especially emotional since we had seen the damage of the tsunami to their homes and because they were people Saiful knew. The conditions in the camp were very depressing. It’s so hard to imagine living this way. People were excited to see Saiful and we all shared a moment together in a central meeting place near their tents.


5:54PM- Kari is giving donated supplies to a child in Saiful's village.

We are signing off now. Tomorrow we are leaving Banda Aceh.

¬[02/24/05] [02/26/05]®