1 / 19 / 05 12:41pm Indian ocean Simeulue
(Click on photos to enlarge)
(My friend Alyssa wrote this for me in her words as I dictated to her what I wanted to say tonight)
Don’t know where we left you last, anyhow, first and foremost we’d like to thank you for sharing in our thoughts thus far…the day really started once we’d made landfall at the village across the bay from where we spent our time yesterday. The people there had been traveling via canoe or by foot to the nearest village in order to receive food or aid of any kind. Two hundred or more people had already made their way to shore upon on arrival. Seeing and feeling how happy they were to have a presence in their own village, reminded us all of the reality of such disaster.
The medical clinic was set up. The food, tools, water, fishing supplies, etc., were organized and the beautiful people began to line up for the distribution of aid. The medical team immediately continued their effort, from simply assessing common ailments, to truly saving lives. The difference they’ve made is very inspiring thing for us all. Same as yesterday, people lined up for they’re goods we’ve been distributing. These things are planned to be essential for, boosting morale and keeping people on a more inspiring diet then just rice and noodles.
Now, having realized that laughter is, and always will be, the best medicine. We did our best to do anything possible to take the kids’ minds of off the life they are now forced to lead. Soccer and volleyball games were taking place. If you kept your eyes from the mass destruction in the foreground and the emergencies under the medical tent, you’d think that these people couldn’t be happier. The highlight of the lighter side had to have been the more than 30 kids that stood up on a surfboard for their first time. I’ve heard it say that there is nothing a good day of surf cannot cure and it has never been more apparent. One by one the groms took turns, being placed already standing on the board. You’d see the fear of uncertainty quickly turn into the one of a kind feeling that on gets when gliding across the see…let alone for the first time!
By the time we’d done all we could do for the people there, we were at least able to leave (moving on from one village to the other is always so hard) knowing that we brought a sense of hope through it all.
Next stop was the final village in this bay that we’d yet to lend a hand.
Being short on time and thinking that anyone in need of medical had come over to our other posts, we left the meds behind. It made sense at the time as the sun was fading fast and the mosquitoes would soon be a worry. However, it took but a second and a single look in sick people eyes to realize that the medical team would do what they came to do, night or day, malaria mozzy hours, proper clinic or not. Doctor tools were rushed in and we set up hospital a short way inland. Long story short…I’ve never seen more mozzies (mosquito’s) in my 5 years here, a few more lives we’re saved, more people were consoled by our presence and a poor child went from deafening screams of pain to a simple but heartbreakingly brave grin. Everyone broke out in cheers once the we finished our long day.
Everyone reading this might be thinking that this is some “feel good story about the surf industry coming together to give back but I realize now more then ever what bullshit that is. This is people helping people, giving not to receive but because this is how it should be. This is just one group’s effort. There are thousands of individuals dedicating their entire being to helping the victims of the earthquake and tsunami.
If you want to feel better about all of the sadness here, pay tribute to the victims who have perished and the people who are still not out of harms way, by living today like it’s your last. It’s what many of the Indonesians here are doing and one of the only things we can do to bring some good in alll of this.
One love and super peace…thanks for tuning in…talk to ya tomorrow.
OK, that was actually her spin on things. I think I will wake up for a second and type a few Timmy words. Dustin and I hardest part today was setting up the sat phone and sending off these photos and journals. We are trying to video and take photos and help and all ways possible but Dustin and I were having issues with the satellite phone. The sat phone cost us a lot of time (and Quiksilver a lot of money) but we ended up pulling it off. I know it killed Dustin to leave his film cameras at home and shoot all digital on this trip. He’s more the artist type. But it was important to him to set his personnel issues aside and bring this information to world. We are not tech guys so this for us was a big accomplishment.
We felt that it was one of our main missions to get this
information out to the surf world. Hopefully it worked. My moms working skills were awesome today. Her 27 years of restaurant experience at the Sugar Shack have been so key on this trip as she has been in charge of inventory and seeing everything that goes off the boat and makes sure each village we go to get the right amount of aid. Tears come to my eyes right now because anyone who knows her sees how hard she works at the Shack and that’s what she is doing here now. So she is so determined and focused. She doesn’t even have time to take a sip of water.
Mira was off her head busy today (everyday). Thru the corner of my eye I could see her lining all the patients up at the clinic and making sure it wasn’t a chaos hospital. Same with the aid tent. She is always the one to jump off the boat first and go to the head of the village and explain what we are doing here. She has really been our true leader on land. The show wouldn’t run with out her.
I want to say hi to my wife and I love you and say hi to Kylah and the one in your stomach. Hi to the rest of the fam and all of you at the Shack. We are all well and having the time of our lives.