SRI LANKA ANIMAL RELIEF OPERATION
After working in
the tsunami devastated areas of Sri Lanka, I returned to a pile
of news clipping, emails, and questions. People asking what it was
really like; If aid was reaching the victims? How people were responding
to the losses? In hopes of sharing my experience, I took photographs.
I ran out of ink writing in journals. So when people ask, I have
plenty of pictures and words to offer.
But still I struggle. I struggle to
share what it is like being invited into a home, now defined by
a pile of bricks and a box. To have a mother point past a missing
wall to the sea and explain where she last saw her three children
I struggle to explain the honesty
of a man as he tells me how many people he saved, how many are missing
and how many are dead in his sea side village. Then concludes by
saying "missing and dead are the same thing."
struggle to express the face of a child as she stands next to me
pointing at a small field of freshly covered soil. It's her mother
and father she is showing me. Somewhere beneath the dirt they lie
with others of her village. She is grateful they are there and not
lost at sea like her friend's brother.
Never before have I seen so many lose
so much. Yet life continues. Smiles shine through the dust. Cuts
begin to heal, and burning piles bid the past farewell. No one expects
life to return to normal. Normal no longer exists. Nature is now
embraced as a changing force that grants no immunity, even to simple