Banda Aceh, Aceh, Indonesia
May 28-29, 2004
I met this girl at a Banda Aceh displaced people's camp, sponsored by the Japanese government. She was 11 years old, and wise beyond her age. The other children were ecstatic to see us, but what surprised me the most is that they want to share their stories. This is the basis of a book I was helping with called Letters from Aceh which will be published soon.
Nurmalahayati started talking about it by herself and then she offered to write her story for me. She told me that she wants the world to hear it.
I promised her.
Now it's your turn to hear her story.
I posted it below in Indonesian first and then translated as best as I could into English (the Acehnese add their own dialects, so some words were difficult to translate)
Saya waktu gempa di warung dicari sama mamak. Habis tu ada orang puland dibilang sama orang itu air laut sudah kering. Pulang. Ayah saya lari ke gunung. Abang saya sudah kedak air di Weser. Abang saya pulang ke rumah abis itu abang saya tidak ada lagi. Naik mobil dilihat mamak dengan aku di ambil adik sama mamak. Mamak saya dengan saya lari terus. Habis itu mamak saya duduk di jalan. Di bilang sama saya “mamak jangan duduk di atas jalan. Cepat lari ke gunung”. Habis itu mamak aku, “air pasang” aku ambil tangan mamak abang saya dengan adik abang saya mau lihat mamak. Mamak ambil adik sama saya. Abang Faisal dibantu sama tangki. Saya tiga malem tiga hari tidak ada bantuan.
Pertanyaan: Gimana kehidupan sesudah tsunami?
Kelas: III SD
Umur: 11 Tahun
Hari Minggu tgl. 26 – Desember 2004
Adnen (50 thn) – Ibu
Sabirin (20 thn) – Abang
Safuran (18 thn) – Kakak
Faisal (14 thn) – Abang
Yang Tidak Selamat
During the earthquake, my mother was looking for me. After it happened, some people returned from shore and said that the ocean was dry. We went home. My father ran to the mountains. My uncle was working close to the water. My uncle came home, and after that my uncle wasn’t there anymore. My mother saw a car and put my younger brother on it. My mother and I kept running. After that my mother sat down on the road. I told her “Mother, don’t sit on the road. We have to run to the mountain fast.” After that my mom said “the water is rising”, so I took my aunt and my cousin’s hand and looked at my mom. She took my other brother. A tanker truck helped my cousin, Faisal. I was without help [on the mountain] for three nights and three days.
Question: How is life after the tsunami?
Age: 11 years
Sunday, 26th December, 2004
Adnen (50 years old) – Mother
Sabirin (20 years old) – Cousin
Safuran (18 years old) – Older Brother
Faisal (14 years old) – Cousin
Nurmalahayati (11 years old)
God bless all the Tsunami survivors in Aceh and the rest of the affected areas.