Day 8 – Amani Toomer and Tony Richardson Visit Sri Lanka
J. Ethan Medley, NY Giants
February 18, 2005
After waking up to our customary breakfast at the hotel, our group piled into our vans and traveled to a tented camp for displaced families in Godagama. Many people have been living here since the disaster, with the camp still a work in progress. We came to lend a helping hand, digging a deep water drainage pit with shovels and hoes, and cleaning up debris and trash that remained around the camp. Many things are different here, as villages have no form of trash removal, so they simply burn it. While dug and cleaned, some of the villagers pumped a water well that had become too dirty to use. As we were leaving, a water truck arrived to fill their tanks with fresh water.We did receive some bad news today when we were told that tomorrow’s activity, our visit to Ampara, had to be canceled due to travel complications. Ampara lies on the east coast of Sri Lanka, where the country bore the brunt of the tsunami. Today’s evening activity was supposed to be our security briefing for that trip, but with that no longer pertinent, we were able to drive through the town of Colombo, stopping to walk down streets and visit shops. Security near our hotel is very tight, as former Presidents Bush and Clinton are arriving in the coming days. We will barely beat them out of town, as tomorrow will be the final day of our trip.
Set-up in 1963, WFP is the United Nations frontline agency in the fight against global hunger. In 2003, WFP fed 104 million people in 81 countries, including most of the world’s refugees and internally displaced people. Currently, WFP is helping to feed more than 850,000 people in Sri Lanka, with a large logistics network spread throughout the country. For more information on their efforts in Indonesia and throughout the world, please visit www.wfp.org.