Monday, October 08, 2007

The Spiral Staircase of Death...

Arriving in Meulaboh was a slightly surreal experience. Like arriving back in a place you know you’ve been but nothing is familiar so it’s like being somewhere you’ve never been before. The thirty minute drive from the airport took 3 ½ hours because of flooding but once we hit tarmacked roads the scenery was totally foreign. The areas near the coast that used to be riddled with the flattened foundations of houses is overgrown with jungle hiding the destruction. The open air markets and restaurants have been replaced with storefronts and buildings. The roads have been tarmacked and driving now doesn’t involved dodging parts of the road that are washed out. The neat, newly painted houses built by NGOs as part of the response line the roads surrounded by gardens and sheds. If you had just been dropped here and knew nothing of the level of destruction this place had sustained you would never be able to guess at it.

Personally, I am glad to be here. It is nice to have my belief that aid work does work, is necessary and good rekindled. My most pressing fear – well, my only fear - is how to navigate the spiral staircase of death from my second floor room during an earthquake. I have had enough trouble getting down a straightforward staircase when the earth turns to jelly much less one that twists precariously to an obscene angle in the middle.

1 comment:

Kristin said...

Make like a fireman and slide down the banister. No tripping. Plus you can do it regularly to say you are practicing in case of emergency.