Tuesday, March 28

Tsunami Recovery in Thailand | Part 1: THAI BAY

(Part 1 of a 12 part series)

Five weeks after the Tsunami hit, Sishir Chang went to Thailand to see how the people there were recovering and to see how those concerned could help. The following is the first installment of his experiences in the aftermath of one of the world‚’s most devastating natural disasters. Originally published in the Southasian, the article is being republished here, with previously unpublished photographs, with the author's permission.

Part 1: T

I hesitated for a moment as I walked up to the sea that swallowed people. Then I stepped into the clear blue waters of the Thai bay. I had just arrived in Phuket, Thailand a few hours ago and morbid thoughts like that were hard to avoid. This was a place that I had wanted to come to for years and even though I had been to Southeast Asia many times something else had always come up. Finally five weeks after a tsunami that had killed hundreds of people on the beach that I was standing on I was here. I had come to one of the hardest hit places by the December 26th tsunami to see for myself how the people were recovering and how those of us concerned about them could help. I came expecting to see devastation and hardship, which I found, but also much more. I found a beautiful country and people rapidly rebuilding from one of the worst disasters in human history and who are eager to invite visitors back to their country. I heard gripping tales of survival, tragic stories of loss and witnessed destruction on an unbelievable scale. I found frustration among survivors and aid workers but also surprising resilience. I found unbridled hedonism in the midst of wreckage, economic recovery and aid in unlikely ways.


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