Saturday, March 31, 2007

Hidden beach hike

Alastair, Janette and I hiked to a hidden beach today. Just 20mins from Banda Aceh. It was cloudy and even had thunderstorms, but it was refreshing and therefore welcoming. Hiking in the rainforest is best when it's raining!

We saw killer monkeys, rainforst crabs, rabid dogs and bloodsucking butterflies!

on the trail

Alastair and Janette

Janette and I arriving at the beach

the hidden beach all to ourselves!

Friday, March 30, 2007

Staff Beach Party

The Build Change staff

We threw a party for the staff. took the last half of friday off and headed to the beach. It almost got canceled because a crazy thunderstorm.

some of the staff

Cici and Nana

Even playing American Football

There were dark clouds,
but it was still hot!

Eka serves

Elizabeth and Cici

Me and Mizi

Me and Ipon on the hotrod

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Kajhu Project Assessment

Kajhu per-tsunami

Kajhu post-tsunami

It's been a while (again) since my last entry. For the past three weeks, I've been leading the project assessment for 125 houses to be constructed in the sub-village of Lambatueng in the village of Kajhu.

Conducting the initial village meeting.
left to right:
Ainy (Oxfam), Elizabeth (Build Change), Cici (Build Change), myself (Build Change) and Damien (AusAID)

The assessment consists of: 1, conducting village meetings informing about the housing designs, construction timeline and requirements for receiving a house while screening out any scammers. 2, visual inspection of all of the temporary houses built right after the tsunami by Oxfam, an Oxford, England based non-governmental organization (NGO). 3, Mapping out property boundaries for each homeowner, which we just finished today. 4, Interviewing each of the homeowners on housing designs and watsan (water and satiation) system placements. and 5, demolition of the Oxfam temporary houses. Once this is all done, construction of the new permanent houses will be started.

Initial sub-village meeting

Ijol and Cici prescreening the beneficiaries

people of the sub-village at the meeting

Inspecting and documenting the temporary houses.

Mapping the land

another meeting, one where we picked the names of the families who's houses will be built in the first phase.

Mapping the sites

Setting up the village noticeboard, showing the different house designs.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Indonesia's aviation safety, or lack there of

I can say one thing. I don't know another country that has a higher track record with airline crashes than Indonesia. Starting in 2005, an Adam Air plane crashed shortly after take off from Medan, it crashes into a neighborhood creating an inferno, everybody on board dies, many on the ground as well. Another Adam Air disappears over the Java Sea, later found, everybody died. And yet another Adam Air plane has a hard landing and snaps off its landing gear, lucky no one dies. And most resent, a Garuda Indonesia Airlines plane lands too hard and fast snapping the plane in half and exploding into a fireball after skidding off into a rice paddy field in Yogyakarta. The last three crashes happened with in the past two and a half months.

The president decides to half the max age a plane can be from 20 years to 10 years, avoiding the real problem in general all over Indonesia: Maintenance!!! I'm getting pretty disgusted with this country's lack of maintenance on everything. They just don't see the effort paying off. The government isn't taking responsibility for its actions either. If all the crashes we had since the start of this year were due to pilot error, then they need to train them better, because something is NOT working!

Wish me luck; I'm flying Garuda next Friday.

the lastest crash in Yogyakarta
You Tube

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Two Earthquakes rock Sumatra

magnitude 6.3 and a 6.1.

New York Times

Elizabeth is flying down there tomorrow to do some recon.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Mount Aspiring

Mt. Aspiring's summit

Bonar Glacier, laying at the base of Aspiring

It's been a while since I've made an entry in my blog. Last week I was on RnR (what we call a mandatory break) so I headed south and east to New Zealand for Mount Aspiring. Jay (from San Francisco) and I went on a climbing trip to try to summit this mountain located in the Southern Lakes region of South Island. We didn't summit, but we weren't disappointed either. It was an amazing trip! The most amazing so far for me!! We met up in Christchurch and drove to Wanaka, under warm clear skies, where we staged the trip. Mount Aspiring may be under 10,000feet, but it's a hard mountain. And one of the most beautiful I've seen. And the hot and clear weather, which is rare for New Zealand, helped a lot too.

Jay and I at Lake Pukaki

Volta Glacier

Lake Pukaki

Jay climbing Shipowner Ridge

(photo by Jay Pisano)
Me climbing the Northwest Ridge