Banda Aceh, the impression it gives me is, a face with uncountable scars and scratches, and a body too weak to function normally again
January 5, 2005 (Banda Aceh)
It's been five days since we first arrived Aceh. In the past few days, I have been working non-stop in the mobile medical center. We traveled through different means of transport such as helicopters, charter flight, small van, boats etc to visit the remote areas and costal villages, and to locate if there is any victim left unattended there.
Banda Aceh, the impression it gives me is, a face with uncountable scars and scratches, and a body too weak to function normally again.
I woke up very early this morning, in the hope of seeing this devastated city clearly in the wake of a day.
I got on the news van, and took a look of what really happened to this city. I have been working all the time inside the center, I have never had a chance to see the true face of Banda Aceh. Now that I saw it, my heart is filled with unspeakable sorrow. Words fail to describe the pain in my heart. The buildings, the roads, the trees, all deformed, all broken, all smashed. I can imagine how helpless the people here were when the earthquake and tsunami hit all of a sudden.
We stopped by the sea shore, sometimes the tides sent one or two dead bodies back to the shore. Under the sunlight, one can almost mistake this place as a tourist paradise. It is so hard to believe that tens of thousands of lives were taken away in a split second.
A town, once was the heaven on earth, now becomes a total wasteland.
Nurse Ms Elaine Lau Wan Ling and Research student from the Industrial Engineering Department, Univerity of Hong Kong Mr Albert Ko Wing yin, both of them are experienced relief workers from MSF Hong Kong. Ms Lau has been actively involved in MSF relief work since she was a student nurse. She was a volunteer worker in MSF Hong Kong office then. Later on, she became an MSF field volunteer. From 1999 to 2003, Ms Lau participated in the relief work in South Sudan, Kosovo and Afghanistan. Mr Ko is a very experienced engineer, and is skilled with logistics management. He has worked in South Sudan and Uzbekistan, from 2000 to 2001. Ms Lau and Mr Ko left Hong Kong for Aceh on January 1.