Cyclone Sidr - Disaster Area
“Why are they waving at the car?” I naively asked the driver who was taking me to basecamp in Bagarat. “Their homes have been destroyed - they are asking us to stop and help,” the driver somberly replied. It was then that it sank in - I was in a disaster area. The tipping point for me - the point when shock turned to tears, was when we drove by a school. The school kids yelled - in English - “STOP! STOP! STOP!”. But we just kept driving - even if we could have helped them, we would have been mobbed if we stopped.
I also never expected to have trouble taking photographs. For the first time, I was no longer greeted with inquisitive and happy looks. I was snarled at - one person even hissed. “Don’t take my photo!” one yelled. “Don’t take photos - give us something instead!”, “You only come to take photos - not to help”….