Saturday, February 7, 2009

Sea Containers

OK. So you have a number of sea containers and you're not sure what to do with them. As you may know, there's a business in it's infancy in the US where empty sea containers are being turned into homes. Well here at the Ajun compound of the IFRC in Banda Aceh they made use of several of them. 

In these photos of the office buildings, you can see that sea containers are used as the prime building material. They're almost unnoticeable at first. No argument here as to how wide your office is. It's the width of a container.

In the first photo the lady in the foreground is Odette Cyr, a French-Canadian from the Gaspe area of Quebec who's been living in this part of the world for a long time. Odette was in Sri Lanka when the tsunami hit and got caught up in it, but luckily was one of the survivors. Since then she has been involved in the tsunami recovery programs in the region and currently works for the IFRC. She's very typical of the people you meet here, separated from their families but intensely dedicated to helping people less fortunate. Her husband is still in Sri Lanka. Odette is a hoot and I think speaks Bahasa with a French-Canadian accent. 

Last Friday Glen and I went to the main Indonesian Red Cross offices in Banda Aceh and completed all of the work required to their radio installations. At the end of the afternoon we were able to declare that we had a working radio network as we had a clear conversation over the HF radios with the Red Cross branch in Takengon up in the mountains. As of right now we only have two radios on the network but this will change over the coming weeks.

Yesterday (Saturday) we flew to Medan, the largest city on Sumatra in transit to Nias Island today where we have radios to set up in two cities.

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