by Saiful Mahdi
The mobile clinics did not run today. The nurses, who also look after
their own families, do not come as today is the day before Eid ul Adha
Islamic festival day. Acehnese call the day “Uro Meugang” when livestock
especially beef is sold everywhere. A father or a son-in-law is
seemingly obliged to bring meat home to be cooked for the breakfasting
of Arafah Day and for the Eid celeberation the next day. Mothers are
often busy at home cooking festival foods and cookies helped by their
Some of our PCC volunteers are going back to their village. “Hari Raya”
is the day where you meet your family members and village folks. But the
PCC command post remained opened and very active. The aid supplies
distribution is going on as usual. At the end of the day, I was told
that the day was the busiest as we sent more than 7 pickup deliveries to
villages in Banda Aceh and Aceh Besar. Besides basic supplies, this time
we include prayer needs like “mukena” or “telekong”, sarong, and the
Qur’an. Also a lot of new childrens’ clothes were distributed today.
Some were even distributed on the street where we found kids. If the
kids wore badly torn clothes, PCC volunteers just approacedh the kids
and ask them to take the new clothes. Ready for Hari Raya!
Even some of Indonesia’s military (TNI) come to PCC command post
to report their missing family members and to ask for aid
Using a two way radio donated through CNY Aceh Relief Fund,
Linda, one of the PCC board members is coordinating the aid
supplies deliveries. On stacks behind her are some supplies from
an international NGO, delivered daily to IDPs.
We formed Team 8 last night and had a meeting at 10am. We talked about
the mission and objective of the team, job descriptions, and the
immediate agenda. We agreed to ask Ed Aspinall, a researcher and
volunteer from Univ. of Sydney to help us collect contacts in UN bodies
and International NGOs before he leave on Jan 25. That way, we might
have better access to those organizations.
PCC volunteers come from different backgrounds and places. Not
all are Acehnese. There are volunteers from Medan, Jakarta,
Surabaya, and other places, including foreigners who come to
work at this very active humanitarian command post. Some
volunteers said that they are happy because work at PCC keeps
them busy. Even the government central post at the city hall,
where they first went, is not as busy.
At the afternoon, a very dear friend of mine and I went to see another
dear friend who survived the quake and tsunami but lost his wife and one
daughter. A younger daughter keeps crying and is hardly separable from
the father. It was in Indrapuri, about 30 minutes by car.
Sabri, my dear friend who found his wife dead after the tsunami
and lost one daughter. (His story was covered on CNN in the US
about two weeks ago and in its footage Sabri was shown limping
and moving from shelter to shelter with a picture of his missing
daughter.) He was reporting his surviving younger daughter when
we visited him.
Sabri, a great friend whose leg was trapped in a hole when
running for his and his daughter’s life from the Tsunami’s
Supplies are delivered even when night is falling. Rickshaws are
used when our rented pickup trucks are occupied with aid