ntang (ntang) wrote,
ntang
ntang

Worth the price of admission...

There's a story in the latest National Geographic Adventure magazine (April 2005), written by someone who was in Thailand when the tsunami hit. It's called "The Tsunami Volunteers", and it's pretty self-explanatory, I think - it's about all of the tourists and visitors who didn't run off and leave after the tsunami, who stayed to help them recover and rebuild. Very powerful story.

Read these excerpts:

"Looking in the first bag, the boys get excited, chattering in Thai. One calls for water, and they pour it on the shoulder of a girl lying there and wipe off the mud and writhing maggots. A tattoo appears, perfectly preserved: a rose blooming, its thorny vine wrapped around a dagger. It's difficult, in this moment, to be one of the only people possessing any clue to her identity and not know who to tell. I wonder if she ever thought that her tattoo might one day help her family to know her fate."


"After the globes, Winchell helps me put on a ventilator and, absurdly, a Hello Kitty shower cap. "This is heavily improvised, as you can tell. Breathe through your mouth," he says. My heart races, and its difficult to draw a full breath through the mask. The humid air is thick with the smell of the dead and rotting, and I am afraid of how I'll react. There is no way to prepare oneself for such a grim task, but the volunteers I meet are remarkably resilient. Unable to imagine a horror like this, they've discovered exactly -- profoundly -- what they were capable of. Now, through layers and layers of plastic and latex, it's my turn."


Anyways. There you go. It's a very good article, both interesting and moving. Brings back some memories of September 11th, the shock and horror and how so many people banded together to help. Of course, this tragedy was much larger, and can't be blamed on any people. But you get the idea.
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