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Posted:After a sleepless night, tossing and turning, I finally opened my eyes this morning to find myself washed up in a wave of memories of last year, and the horrendous impact of the tsunami.
It was a moment where everything suddenly changed. Turned upside down. I had been joyously hanging out with friends, playing, drinking celebrating Christmas-- then Boxing Day, woke by a hysterical call from my mom saying, " get up get up, turn on the news, there has been an earthquake and a tsunami. It has wiped out Phuket and Khao Lak. " I bolted out of bed, heart pounding.
And then began the hell, of not knowing where all my friends were, trying to reach people, unable to, seeing the images of places I know, just gone. Absolutely gone. Weeks, of not knowing who was alive and who was dead. Hollow inside. Wanting to go and help, to be there, but every single stupid aid agency said dont go, you'll be in the way... So stuck, feeling paralysed, desperate, waiting...
Eventually, some Thai friends that made it started calling, saying come, we need people that speak both languages. So I ignored what the aid agencies said. My amazing community raised a bunch of money, and I went over to donate it, work, and find out what happenned to the people I loved.
So much loss. So much work. So much despair, so much hope. I could not do enough. Where to even begin!
Compassion, in action. People from everywhere, trying to do whatever they can do to make an awful situation better. Inspiring!! The depth of grief, terrifying. Those that survived the waves told me about drowning later in their grief.
Families, who lost everything, taking me as new family. Trying to find a reason, any reason, some meaning, some solid ground to rebuild upon. A reason why they should rebuild? Did they still want to live? Last year, this time, those reasons were hard for many people to find. Now, better. But the impact is still so huge, not something one years passage will smooth over.
At any rate. It was an overwhelming expereince, even for someone like me, on the periphery. I have not found peace within myself around it yet, landed back in Canada sooner than expected, to deal with sickness here, family turmoil , death and grief . I never really finished with the expereince there.
I had intended to be back working so much sooner than now, but my own life needed attention. So, much much later, I now prepare to go back, to work again, to see the next chapter, next month. Mixed up feelings.
But today, tears streaming down my face, I want to remember.
Remember those I lost that day. I wish I had not taken for granted that I would see them again. I hope they knew, on some level, how important our brief connections were, how much they enriched my life. I miss them. I let them go, with love, and still, a certain amount of longing...
I want to remember those who survived, and honour the amazing resilience they have shown trying to piece thier lives back together. The gift they have offered me, by showing me such fragility and strength. Greta, Khun Sumer, Anne, Jist, so many more. I am so happy to know you!
I want to remember the people I met working there, who dedicated huge portions of their lives, all their resources, all their hearts and brains, to helping rebuild, offering comfort, care. Highest respect! Those people showed me the best about our world, the best about humanity. Tanya, Sophie,Debbie, Tom, Micheal, Tirian, the crazy Kevin's, Jason, Khun Pong, Khun Chu, Khun Preecha, Khun Oud.. so many more... All the amazing volunteers. You awe me . What a community you created! So much love and respect for the kindness, cleverness,pateince, dedication,and hard hard work put in. Thank-you!
So, a day to remember. Thanks to all of you that donated, worked,supported friends, or otherwise helped with recovery from this disaster. It is still in progress, and will be for a long time. If you want an opportunity to help, they still need help, all sorts of help, in most of the regions effected. Believe me, it is you who will benefit most from volunteering!
It has been a hard year. Looking forward to a new one!
Rest in Peace
"God *was* my co-pilot, but then we crashed, and I had to eat him..."
Posted:You seem like a really goodhearted person andrea..! keep shining! There's not enough people like you in the world.. you act while so many people keeps saddling their horse but never rides it. it's to easy to close our eyes and convince ourself that there's nothing we can do to make a difference..
I wish you all the best for next year! "Chog dee ka! kohn djai dee mak-mak!"