International Team Continues to Build Aceh Campus (7/05)
before their lessons with our children in Aceh.
Interview with a Tsunami Orphan – The Story of Fahrul
Fahrul is a ten-year-old boy from a fishing village nine miles (15k) from the capital of Aceh who now lives in Grodzins House, OI Sumatera. After helping to break ground for Roosevelt island House, Fahrul told his story:
Fahrul, his parents, his sister, and his two brothers tried to outrun the wave, but all but he and his sister were washed away. Fahrul was carried three miles by the wave, was deposited on a mountaintop to be discovered two days later, at which point he was rescued and placed in an Indonesian government-run refugee camp. A very distant relative took his sister, but refused to take him.
“I’m glad to have this new home that is clean and cool and comfortable,” Fahrul explained through a staff interpreter. “The refugee camp was really hot and we had canned sardines every day. Here we have great food. I love school… I don’t know what I want to be when I grow up, but maybe a farmer. My father was a fisherman,” Fahrul explained. “I would like to plant rice,” he added with a twinkle in his eye.
“I like my new home because I have many friends now,” he said. “I also like the color white because it is very clean,” he stated. “And I pray five times a day (like all children in Aceh do), although I cannot read Arabic yet,” Fahrul confessed with some embarrassment. Fahrul is now receiving medical attention because of his condition resulting from swallowing so much dirty Tsunami salt water. He completed the fourth grade on schedule, being driven to his original school from our orphanage every day, and now attends fifth grade at the local school.