Raderstorf World Wide Adventure

Sunday, January 02, 2005

Sad news from the Island

Dear Loved Ones,

We are off to the US Embassy to get our passports replaced. Yesterday we purchased backpacks and some underwear. Scott's equipped with a new computer, a camera, and a used cell phone. We are all rested and will probably head north within the next week. We received this news from Golden Buddha Beach today. Many of the children they spoke of performed Thai dance for all the guests on Christmas eve. I can still see their precious faces. More than ever we are truly one human family!

Big hugs and love to you all!!!!

Joellen

Email from Paul Saunders (warning - this is a very depressing email):As for the village, everything within 500 meters of the ocean is in big trouble. There was a hut in the middle of the road and the huts are all flattened. Some of them are just gone- there no rubble or debris to clean up everything has disappeared. You'd never know that there was a hut left there unless you'd seen it before. The school is a pile of rubble and apparently there were a few kids as well as the teacher in it when the wave struck. The teacher is dead as well as lots of the kids. There are 39 definite deaths and one body still unaccounted for. That is about one fifth of the population of the village. The body of Lek's son has been found and Nut's brother's family are all dead.We went to the fishing village near the mangroves and it's unbelievable. There is nothing left at all. It's not like there's some foundations or rubble because the houses were all wooden. A government worker went to asses the situation and said that there was no disaster because he couldn't see any sign that humans had lived there. All the kids were killed and every adult except for two who climbed trees. The bodies of the rest have been found. The only sign that humans have been there for any length of tine is a kid's swing left swaying poignantly in the wind; unfortunately there's no-one left to swing on it now. When you think of all the kids shouting "Hello!!" at you it really brings tears to your eyes.Some of the villagers up near the mangroves saw the wave coming and instead of climbing a tree they got on their motorbikes with their families and tried to beat the wave to the school where they could turn left and move away from the sea. None of them made it. What was even worse was that we were driving back to the centre and we saw a woman lying in the road. We put her in the back of the pickup and then took her down the road to some paramedics. She was ok and not involved in the wave- she'd just fainted upon finding her son's body.We have also been to Hat Praphat Beach where the Research station is that works closely with the turtle project - the little village there is worse than Baan Talae Nok. There are seventy dead which is about eighty percent of the village. The carnage is unbelievable.

3 Comments:

  • At January 5, 2005 at 1:09 PM, Blogger Bro said…

    FYI to all:
    Efforts on all fronts in America are being mounted and sent your way. The US govt. and the people of America are pulling together, once again, to contribute in unison through thousands of spontaneous efforts to get relief there. Please be encouraged your govt. and its people are doing SO MUCH there are logistical difficulties never before encountered. God bless and pray for these efforts to find their way to you.
    Bro in California

     
  • At January 5, 2005 at 5:39 PM, Blogger Denise said…

    Wow. I just found your site and all that I can say is wow. I'm so sorry for what you've been through - sorry for what everyone in that area has been through. I cannot imagine how difficult and horrible it must have been and still continues to be. You and your family have my best wishes and prayers.

     
  • At January 10, 2005 at 5:28 PM, Blogger Diane said…

    I am so sorry for all that you have been through. Warmest wishes for a safe return and quick recovery for all in your extended group. Take care.
    Diane
    Coworker in the Fredericksburg, VA site

     

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