Hello Pandang, Indonesia

So I have neglected to write an update for a very long time. Here’s a tiny update to give you a taste of things to come in the next few weeks.

I got back from Morocco and settled into my home away from home in Switzerland. I met Marina, a former coworker from MSF who I met in Liberia. We traveled around Switzerland seeing old friends of hers. I practiced some Italian, went cross country skiing, and spent quite a while sick as a dog from a stupid cold I got in Ticino.

I returned to the US and hit New York where I talked to MSF, then Seattle where I saw my nephew and his parents, then on to Portland, Roseburg, and San Francisco. It was great to see the family and friends on the west coast.

I have had enough vacation, and I have been looking for my next job. I talked to the founder of Humanlink about working in Indonesia opening his first office there. The job would have been 3 months, and would have interrupted my MSF career temporarily, which would have been ok, but maybe not so good. The timing wasn’t good anyway because I wanted to be in San Francisco in late April to see Marina again when she comes through the US on a month long trip.

A week ago or so there was a sizable earthquake in Padang, Indonesia on the island of Sumatra. Jon decided to change plans and do a 1 month exploratory mission, starting in Padang and seeing where Humanlink could be helpful. He invited me to come along for the trip, and since it fits into my plans perfectly, I decided to come along.

So on Wednesday night we left San Francisco and then we had a 30 hour long Thursday due to crossing the international date line. I went to sleep last night wondering if my watch would EVER change to Thursday! I woke up this morning refreshed, and now I am at the government’s office for coordinating relief work. The situation here is completely under control, because Indonesia is very practiced now, and because the earthquake was small and did not effect government in the big city. Tomorrow we will head out to the country where the damage is and meet with CARE, MSF, Medcins du Monde and others and get a feel for how they are doing, if we can help, and how we will be able to help next time once Humanlink has the base here up and running.

We will head on to Aceh, where there is much more development work going on. We will fly up there on Monday afternoon.

I will post more info about what we are exploring, and finding, in the next few weeks. In the mean time, go to Humanlink’s website to see what Jon’s vision is.

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