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Thursday, 16 October 2008


Great choice Carl,

I just spent an hour on his blog. A solid photographer and impressive fellow to say the least. Guys like that make me feel lazy and pointless. ;-)

Nothing extraordinary with me: I just happened to have been at the right time in the right place where my skills were welcome and means of support available.

Take 1, Batticaloa, eastern Sri Lanka before the tsunami. On mission for a capacity building project on environment planning, the local colleagues I met there were of genuine interest in collaboration and showed a lot of engagement, up to traveling accross the island for 50 units, meaning 2 nights in a public bus and in between 8h of training, all for the betterment of their people.

Take 2, Tsunami. With those personal relationships, it was a just natural reaction to look for means of helping, and I was lucky that the City of Munich was able to offer a generous amount of money for reconstruction.
In this situation I learned a lot about what it means to live as a member of an ethnic minority in a war-zone: the government had denied pretty much all gear to the city administration of Batticaloa, the hospital and so on. They did not have even a single wheel type loader to clean up the debris. For Batticaloa it was the foreign help which brought substantial support and improvements to the people. Later we achieved project funding by the European Commission that allowed us to continue the capacity building work there.

Of course the work with the locals on many mission s brought opportunities to follow my photographic goals, and now I am reaping those benefits. But there is nothing special with me, no greater ability to endure hardship than many of us have, just sharpened eyes and ears for the situation of my fellow men and women.

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