terse & at large

GRRRRR. Arrrgh. And sometimes a travel log.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Nias, Part Two

06 April 2005
I sleep through the first of several aftershocks to hit the area while we are in town. The rest of the team, apart from F - who also slept through the temblor - marvel at how well I slept that morning.

Nias #8
Originally uploaded by Terz.

We send the medical team to the clinic while the doctors, H and I get dropped off at the Baupati's office for a meeting of the NGOs. I do not need to attend the meeting and instead take a walk through the part of town near the office where it's most heavily damaged. I engage in a little Marlboro diplomacy, sharing a pack with the policemen guarding the areas where the heavy equipment have begun removing debris from the collapsed buildings. We stand at the street corner a moment, taking in the sight. Eventually I ask if I could get closer to take photographs of the clearing up operations.

Nias #9
Originally uploaded by Terz.

He accedes.

Nias #6
Originally uploaded by Terz.

I learnt the previous night that Nias is 70% Christian, 20% Catholic and only 10% Muslim.

I am eating a lot of the dust from the rotorblast of the helos landing in the next field. The Chinooks, especially, send clouds of choking, stinging dust through the clinic - a boon and bane to our efforts in the town; I wonder how the medical supplies stay sterile in such conditions.

Watching the helicopters land has become the new spectator sport for the people of this town of dust and debris. I am reminded of my time in Meulaboh, but not of its emotional resonance.

We are told by the SAF ground commander that they'll be leaving Nias by the weekend, which means that MR will have to take over the running of the clinic. The problem is that the SAF have been running the clinic as a 24-hour A&E: some or all of us will be expected to spend the night at the clinic to receive emergency cases. Clearly beyond the capabilities of our little band of 4.

Nias #7
Originally uploaded by Terz.


Nias #12
Originally uploaded by Terz.

In the afternoon, I visit the IDP camp in the hills for the first time and I'm treated to the most beautiful rendition of "Give Thanks" (in English and Bahasa Indonesia) by the refugees there. They'd fled their homes after the initial earthquake and have only been back once or twice to gather up their belongings. The rest of the time, however, I'm mired in the duties of being the logistician, checking on the stores and going on the water run.

Nias #11
Originally uploaded by Terz.

It's becoming obvious that my role here would be different from when I was in Meulaboh.

Nias #13
Originally uploaded by Terz.


  • At 9:28 PM, April 14, 2005, Blogger Tricorn said…


    "Still hoping to save the world. Not earning as much, but infinitely happier with life in general. Which doesn't explain the angry blog."


    A true blue hero!

    Great stuff, Terz! Keep those memories coming!

    P.S. I can explain the "angry" in your blog. It comes from "caring".


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