I forgot to mention that yesterday, January 20th, I found the shelter for the survivors of my village for the first time. We’d been looking around but did not know where to find them, until I got a call from my brother who had already been back to Jakarta with my surviving sister and her family. He told me that he just saw Pak Abubakar, a former community organizer of our village on Metro TV, Indonesia’s CNN-like channel. Pak Abu was interviewed from where he and others from my village were taking shelter, Gedung Sosial of Banda Aceh. My brother eagerly asked me to find them and find out anything they know about our missing siblings and family members.
I went there around noon to learn that they were under-supplied for basic needs including underwear for men and women, cooking appliances, prayer needs, eggs and other food to accompany rice. Without any delay, I went to the command post and asked for a quick delivery of supplies for them. While the post actually does not serve IDP camps, I was taking the liberty to do so as I also put Aceh Relief Fund money into purchasing supplies that the post had been delivering. By 2pm, a pick up truck full of supplies were delivered to my village folks shelter (sorry for not having photographed it).
Ok, back to 21 January:
This is Hari Raya or Eid Festival Day. Although we did not close our post, the activity was much less than on previous days. We are among the very few who stay open to deliver supplies if requested.
I started the day by joining the Eid prayer at 7:15am at a field close to Kampung Ateuk, where I stayed with Dian’s (my wife) aunt for the last two days.
Then I went around and stopped by my wife’s folks in Kampung Ateuk, Banda Aceh. Of course, the conversations were about family members, missing and surviving ones. A lot of questions were asked about Dian and our three children whom I had to leave in Ithaca
At around 11am, I went to the command post to meet our dedicated volunteers. I thanked our volunteers who came from outside Banda Aceh for celebrating Eid in Aceh, far away from their loved ones.
In the afternoon, I spent time at my village folks’ camp outside Gedung Sosial. Some of them stayed in the camps as they have nowhere to visit during this “visiting-relatives day”.