Meulaboh – the capital of the West Aceh Regency – was one of the hardest hit areas by the tsunami, being just 150 km from the epicentre of the earthquake.
One afternoon, we were sitting by the vast beautiful sandy beach in Meulaboh, enjoying the sunset and sipping our coffee “tubruk”.
Abdul Djalil, from our partner GSF, told me this beach was once the main road connecting Meulaboh in West Aceh and Banda Aceh, the provincial capital.
The two cities are now linked up by two other routes, but these roads are often disconnected due to landslides and flooding. When this happens, apparently all delivery of equipment and staple food to West Aceh and the surrounding area is completely cut off.
“Pak” Djalil also took me to visit three primary schools whose teachers had been trained through a special programme with him.