Five Years On

Five years ago, on Boxing Day 2004, the tsunami that now bears the name of that day-after-Christmas holiday, took the lives of 230,000 people in a dozen Asian countries in a ferocious and tragic turn of natural events.The cataclysmic wave event was triggered by a 9.0 earthquake with an ocean epicenter off the coast of Sumatra

In a frightening and somewhat sickening coincidental twist, today’s news reports: A strong earthquake struck Indonesia on Saturday (Boxing Day) just before 6 P.M.  The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake, measuring 6.0 on the Richter scale, was centered in the Banda Sea region off the Tanimbar Islands. A tsunami warning was not issued by authorities, and there were no immediate reports of injury or serious damage.

Perhaps today would be the ideal time to schedule a volunteer vacation to help in community building in one (or more) of these recovered, rebuilt communities.

Spend just a day or many working in Thailand or Sri Lanka. North-by-Northeast does volunteer outreach in tsunami-hit Andaman villages in Khao Lok province of Thailand. You can teach English, helps at schools, beach clearing, mangrove reforestation, and other community-building activities. http://www.north-by-north-east.com

i-to-i does coastal community volunteer work trips from 2-12 weeks in Sri Lanka. You’ll do beach revitalization and community teaching projects as well as helping with the seat turtle conservation project. http://www.i-to-i.com

There are of course many other avenues to being of service in these and other communities recovering from natural disasters. None of us can ever prepare for something like this, and any community so hard hit would depend on outside help for years to come. Take a moment today to think about the power of the natural world and how quickly everything can change, without warning, in any life. Then think about making a concerted effort for change in your own.

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