If Dec 29 is Day 1, day 3 is Dec 31 – new year’s eve. And I am away from my family – but I am here to help people who now do not have a family!
We are not certain where to go and finally get some guidance from the local authorities via the TNI – Tentera National Indonesia – the Indonesian army, to give us some indication of where to go and what help we can offer.
They brought us to a place where the vice governor and other big shots lived. That place was centered around an athletic stadium. What was left was a huge space totally wiped out and layered by sticky marine clay.
There were bodies all around the place, in every possible position and impossible corner. I can only imagine how they suffered. Please rest their souls in peace!
The troops were in high spirits as we went about bagging bodies and at last count, in 3 hours, we brought out 15. There were a lot more but those needed more time to get to and it was getting dark and we had to call off the operations for the day.
It is gruesome to see the bodies lying there. It is most distressing to see young children. But, we have to keep a brave front to this and do the best job we can – they died a terrible death, the least we can do is to give them some dignity now.