Thursday, January 06, 2005

Asia trip?

I may go to Indonesia for the tsunami relief efforts. My organization has been besieged with pleas for help over there and our suppliers are all but shoveling containers at us, begging us to send them over there because we’re known for getting aid to where it’s needed most.

If I go, it wouldn’t be for a month. Too soon to tell. After visiting Haiti after the flooding, at least I know what to expect. The dead bodies will be gone by then, hunger and disease set in. In Gonaives, they did amputations without anesthesia, that’s how overwhelming the need was for medicine and supplies. Mothers talked to me with blank shock in their eyes about watching their babies drown as they were swept away. People living on their rooftops, mud clogging their homes. 2,000 died in Haiti, leaving hundreds of thousands of survivors. Now we’re talking 140,000 dead in Asia, with 5 million survivors.

Sheesh, anyone reading this must think I’m a nutcase. I go from whimsically writing about inventing purple prose words for a man’s private part to talking about dead bodies and disease and hunger. That’s my life. The pendulum kicks back and forth, forcing me to shift gears without warning. It’s nothing compared to the suffering of the victims. No wonder TV reality shows like Survivor hold no interest for me. I’ve seen the real thing, and it’s raw, real and blistering.

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