Four years ago today, an earthquake triggered a tsunami in the Indian Ocean which devastated Aceh. Other places, including Thailand, Sri Lanka, and India, were also badly hit, but Aceh suffered the most. Of the 225,000 people killed, about 165,000 were in Aceh alone. It lasted about 30-minutes on a Sunday morning, leaving wreckage and corpses everywhere. The devastation is still hard to comprehend.
The Tsunami put an end to the 30-year conflict in Aceh, and led to the biggest reconstruction effort in history. I came in mid-2006, and remained for almost two years working on private sector development projects. It was one of the best times of my life.
Aceh is peaceful now, and is reintegrating with the world. But the holiday season will always be a little sad for me, in part because of the tragedy, and in part because I miss Aceh so much.