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Greenpeace Assists--and Blogs--Tsunami Relief Effort
Emily Gertz, 18 Jan 05

Since early January, the Greenpeace flagship, Rainbow Warrior, has been assisting Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) to bring supplies and medical help to parts of Indonesia hit by the earthquake and tsunami. On the ship's blog, the crew has been recording their first-person perspectives of slowly getting MSF's personnel and supplies onto the ground, as well as logging the occasional absurdity and a drip of acid commentary.

Accounts like this show that the disaster is still very real for thousands, even as it fades into the white noise of world news.


From the January 18 entry,

Tsunami Relief: Lamno Day 3

We arrived in Lamno early this morning. It was good to see the MSF guys greeting us with two fishing boats ready to load...

On the way to town, on either side of the road, nothing remains. Only plastered floors that can tell you that there once use to be houses on top of it. Our guide said it used to be a densely populated area. By the landing site, there were three concrete buildings that are still standing. The buildings look like they weren’t even finished yet. Bare bricks show here and there, cement walls with no paint. Most of the walls in the first and second floor are mostly gone now and what seems like a balcony facing the river had collapsed. It used to be a boarding school complex and a lot of their students didn’t survive the disaster.

Aside from the three buildings, nothing stands for hundreds of meters inland. At one point on the road, we can see the three masts of the RW, when I am sure before the disaster it would be impossible to see.

...On the badminton court in front of the school there was a pile of clothes. It seems that the TNI dropped some secondhand clothing for the refugees yesterday. The remaining pile must be the ones they don’t want. As I go closer, I was surprised to see half of the pile were…neckties!! What on earth are they doing here? I am sure a lot of the villagers don’t even know what to do with them.

Apparently, there is a very logical explanation to this. The batch must be one of the many confiscated second hand clothes that have been imported illegally to the country. The government instructed that all of the impounded clothing that hasn’t been destroyed, to be sent to Aceh.

In front of the school an American medics group set a medical service there. I am not sure what they are doing there. But a lot of groups set themselves up in Lamno are doing either assessments or coordination meetings. Glad to see that MSF is actually doing something!

Humanitarian and medical aid organised by Medecins Sans Frontieres being loaded onto the Greenpeace flagship, Rainbow Warrior.

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