Friday, December 26, 2008

It's a Go!

On Christmas Eve I received an email from Kate Wade asking if I had any airline preferences on flying to Aceh so it looks like the project is a go, a wonderful Christmas present. I sent her a few “wants” no “musts”. I’ll leave it in Kate’s hands to get us there in time to start on the 12th.

I can now begin preparation in earnest on my return to Wisconsin after the holiday in Canada. We had a huge snowfall in North Bay on the 24th and here’s a photo taken Christmas Day on a footpath about 100 meters from my sister’s home as we walked off all the wonderful food. It will be my wallpaper on the PC to remind me of cool temperatures while enjoying the heat of Indonesia.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Beginning

Greetings! I'm starting this blog in hopes that I will be able to post to it while working in Indonesia during the first quarter of 2009. I will be traveling, with another volunteer from Arizona, to the Aceh region of northern Sumatra, for a three-month assignment to rehabilitate an HF and VHF radio network installed by another Red Cross national society but not placed into operation. Our job is to get all of the radios back into working order and to train the local staff on radio operations. The radios are all part of an early warning system being put in place in preparation for the next natural disaster.

This, you know, was the region most impacted by the tsunami that struck on December 26, 2004. The International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) have been doing great work in the area to help the Indonesian people recover. Our project is a small part of that overall effort.

At this time we're still awaiting final signatures on the project. If all goes to plan we'll be heading to Indonesia early in January. For now, I'm going to enjoy the Christmas and New Years holiday season with my wife Ann and my family in Northern Ontario.

Stay tuned.