I have a promise that I haven’t fulfilled. I promised to write more about my life, and the inspirations I found as I worked in post-tsunami Aceh, Indonesia. Yet when there are just too many stories to tell, added with procrastination in the name of that cliché ‘too-tired-after-work’ excuses, the stories remains stored my mental memory instead of in my laptop’s.
My life progresses so fast. Somehow I am overwhelmed by its speed (yet I really enjoy it :)), and along the way, I have more stories to record, and to tell. So, some months after I left Aceh, I landed in a new organization. Decided to be faithful to my profession as a disaster management as well as a communication practitioner, I chose to join the ASEAN* Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on disaster management. It is known by its shortened name, the AHA Centre, in which AHA stands for the ‘ASEAN Humanitarian Assistance’. So here I am now, expanding my working area from the northern tip of Sumatra Island to thousands other islands across ten countries in Southeast Asia.
Only in my first week after joining the Centre, a super typhoon hit the island of Mindanao in the Philippines on December 4, 2012. More than a thousand lives were taken, almost another thousand were missing as the mudslide swept New Bataan, a municipality in the province of Compostela Valley (also known as ComVal). Damages and loss were widely spread over 8 provinces with Davao Oriental and Compostella Valley as the most severely affected provinces. More than eight hundred thousand people were displaced, as more than two hundred thousand houses are damaged (UNOCHA Humanitarian Bulletin Issue 14, 2013).
|Royal Malaysia Air Force (RMAF) officers securing the load of relief items for the Philipines at the RMAF Base in Subang, Malaysia, December 7, 2012|
On the day when the typhoon swept the island, I and some colleagues were in our hectic days of preparing for the launching of the Disaster Emergency Logistics System in Subang, Malaysia. The logistics system will help a quick mobilization of emergency relief items during disaster emergency response.