“no damage here after the tsunami”. i was astonished, as this area was flat, not far from the beach, but our companion from the municipal administration repeated it. so i started asking for explanations and after some minutes it turned out: people here had been poor before the tsunami, the loss of their huts didn’t count as damage worth accounting. to make this very clear: our company was not a hard-hearted bureaucrat but quite the contrary, father of two and very emphatic. and he understood my helpless laughter after i had understood his explanation.

and the people living here are still poor – their open pit latrine, barely 10m away from the open well illustrates the whole situation. it was this place together with the reading in the city profile that we decided to dedicate the surplus of the donated money to the building of toilets as a very first and basic item that might help the people to improve the circumstances of living here.

their unbroken sense for beauty, for order in certain places, for harmonic colors sometimes shining through made a great impression on me. my photography there, more documenting, more often than not under pressure of time, was rarely up to these moments so my framing of the top image was poor, much too wide, and cropping turned out to be the only solution to rescue this image.

“no damage here after tsunami”

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