I am writing from Batticaloa today. I have been with intermittent email and phone access since I arrived this past Sunday. I took a night train which wasn’t a terrible 9 hour ride. I was able to catch a couple of z’s along the way.
This week I have spent visiting the villages where HHR has been doing tsunami rehabilitation. I have heard incredible stories from the women who have benefited from HHR’s program. One woman told me today that though she is 35, no one will marry her. Her land is now occupied by the army (her house having been destroyed by an LTTE and Sri Lankan battle), her father was abducted and hasn’t been seen in 10 years, and her mother is mentally deranged. She then explained how happy she was that HHR has found those who have been missed by the big NGO’s and that her sewing training is going to help her supplement her meager income. Though I personally had no part in finding her, I was happy to be there, listen to her story, and hopefully be able to pass it on. A year and a half later, people here are still terribly suffering from the tsunami, and this war. I have been proud to work alongside this wonderful organization.
Another interesting thing about Batti is the number of NGO’s here. Virtually every other vehicle is an SUV with a large flag flying which displays the various NGO’s working here. The most ubiquitous are World Vision, Oxfam, CARE, and the Red Cross. Most of the expats are very nice, though I have met several who seem to have spent a little too long in this area and didn’t seem to interested in talking to a bright eyed American who has only been here for 2 months!
I hope everyone is well and I look forward to seeing everybody when I get back. Until next time…
Posted By Greg Holyfield (Sri Lanka)
Posted Jul 28th, 2006