Thursday, May 08, 2008

Villages vanished

From: Erica Tubbs
Sent: Thu 5/8/2008 11:32 AM
To: Newhall, Sarah

Our assessment team came back from the hardest hit areas of Bogale and Laputta yesterday and immediately brought home the message that food and clean water were essential.

They cut their mission short to ensure that the response could be ramped up immediately and that supplies could begin to flow. As we sat in the dark office without electricity listening to their report- perhaps we were all half-way still reflecting on our own tragedies. No water, favorite trees and gardens destroyed, houses without roofs or in the case of many in the Yangon office entire trees in the middle of our family rooms.

But then came the quieter stories. The stories mentioned in the hall or to individuals in a whisper. Stories about entire villages vanished. About the boats that couldn't pass the small tributaries because of floating bodies. About the man who threw himself in front of the vehicle as the team was leaving Bogale shouting "please hit me! I don't want to live anymore!"

And then we began to realize... the scope of this tragedy can never be about a single sorrow. It's just too big.

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