Banda Aceh - Arrivals

i came to help out the Tsunami relief when the second wave hit Nias
i travelled to Nias by truck with the food supply
we got hit by a landslide and the dirt surrounded the truck
Sumatra is a ecological disaster zone
they sold out their rain forest for palm plantations
but the soil is unstable and prone to landslides during heavy rain.

we carried over 40 tonnes of rice into another truck
and made it accross to the Nias.

so many people had died
i was meant to take photos
but i couldn’t take a single one
i was overwhelmed by death
and i saw a man trying to find his wife in the rubble
the tears in his eyes overwhelmed me
and i found myself by his side
lifting wood and debris
till we found her lifeless
we cried

i helped carry the orange body bags
and found myself helping with medics
then after several days of no sleep
i broke and sat looking out towards the sea
i felt useless, i was a cameraman
but i could bring myself to take a photo
i couldn’t photograph grief
i wish i was a medic or an engineer
these people are more needed here
this was were i thought i would quit

then these kids yelled at me
they wanted me to play mud pies with me
and pointing at my leica
wanted their photos
so many smiles

i loved how children wash away the pain
and can find simple joy and happiness
in little things

i took their photo
and we played
making sand castles
and i found that strength to go on
and find that joy in sad times

Journal Comments

  • Pilgrim