Table of Contents

2005 • Gratitude to Alfred Residents in Tsunami Aftermath, Nadine Hoover; Alfred Sun: Alfred, NY.

Thanks goes out to Alfred and Andover residents for enthusiastic support of relief efforts to tsunami victims in Indonesia through the Alfred Friends Meeting.

Jeanne and John Hyland orchestrated a presentation by Nadine Hoover of tsunami relief at the Alfred Bandstand on July 20th where $3,700 was raised to provide homes to five families in Aceh, Indonesia.

Alfred Fire Department provided tables and chairs. Bob and Bonnie Meyers directed the shopping and cooking of 150 beef on wick dinners. Nicole and John Seibert coordinated supplies and Samantha Tracy assisted with logistics. Pamela Hawkins provided audio-video support and Randy Gillett provided sound. Ann Baldwin made macaroni salad and Maria made coleslaw down at Maiers’ Market Basket. The Collegiate assisted with food and Virginia Rassmusen baked the beans. Father Gene offered encouragement and spread the news. Sarah Rozard and Fenna Mandolang helped set up. Mary Huntington and June Brown sold tickets and served food. Alfred University students stopped by to help set up projection and numerous others helped so naturally and charitably, our thanks could go on and on.

Nadine Hoover took $4,000 from Alfred to Aceh in May. At that time, Acehnese adults and older children were cleaning up and rebuilding after the disaster, while younger children often just swarmed, with few safe places to play. So she used those funds to purchase shoes and school uniforms, clear play spaces and purchase toys such as soccer balls for tsunami orphans.

Nadine serves as the Coordinator of Relief and Recovery for the American Friends Service Committee. She showed a video of reconstruction efforts in villages around Meulaboh on the southwest shore of Aceh and slides of emergency food and medical assistance, community organizing, clean up, housing, water, sanitation, children’s activities and economic activities for longer-term recovery, particularly along the northeast shore of Aceh.

The Society for Health, Education, Environment and Peace (SHEEP) from central Java designed a traditional Acehnese home. By using bolts it is more earthquake resistant and may be moved. Some villages face land disputes that may take years to settle. Therefore families can get back into homes if they can be dismantled and moved when necessary. They are built out of old coconut logs downed by the tsunami. SHEEP supplies bolts, corrugate roof tin, and other imported items at a cost of approximately $650 per home. Alfred raised $3,700 which will support the building of five homes.

Alfred State College also raised $1,678 and requested that the funds to go children and youth activities or other urgent needs on the ground or to housing if that seemed best.

Although the media focuses on all the problems, Nadine’s experience has been that hundreds of local, national and international NGOs have thousands of people on the ground working longs hours, six and seven days a week to help as many people as possible. This disaster is massive; it goes on and on and on. Four months after the disaster Nadine was still going into villages where no one had been yet—no food, no support. Working through the American Friends Service Committee, she assisted with emergency food and then informed the World Food Program, Save the Children and the local Red Cross. She coordinated with Oxfam to drill wells for clean water.

She works in areas of the heaviest armed conflict. Aceh has been in a war for thirty years protesting their loss of autonomy after the US-backed military coup of 1966 and the unjust distribution of proceeds from natural resources, particularly oil and natural gas. Just east of the Exxon-Mobile plants in Lhokseumawe, North Aceh, tsunami victims who have lived under armed conflict their whole lives also struggle under the weight of leprosy. These people look forward cautiously to the impending peace accords, to be signed on August 15th, just two days before Indonesian Independence Day.

Nadine Hoover travels under a minute from Alfred Friends Meeting (see text below). She returned to Indonesia on August 8th for two months and looks forward to sharing her experiences upon her return in mid-October.

Traditional Acehnese home under construction after the tsunami in Peunaga Pasi, Meulaboh, West Aceh.