There are several markets here in Banda Aceh, and specifically, everything from the clothing markets that sell tunics and hijabs to the Chinese market and the fish market. Even chickens have their own market.
Lampu'uk, where the 2004 tsunami travelled nearly 7km inland, killing nearly 4 out of 5 of the population and wiping out a generation of school kids. but today, like most Sundays, Acehnese spend their time with family and friends at the very place that caused so much destruction. But still, recovery moves on like the ebb and flow of the tides. Below: families play at the beach and after dusk at the beach.
Probably the most colorful classroom i've been in...the walls painted a chalky blue and the afternoon light pouring in from the side window as two schools girls in arabic class singing a Lebanese pop song at an Islamic boarding school in Banda Aceh.
Calls for prayer echo throughout the northern-most tip of Sumatra, Indonesia. Banda Aceh was put on the modern day world map when the city and surrounding villages was destroyed from a 7-wave tsunami that killed 130,00 ppl. Landmarks and monuments are ships that landed on people's homes and unmarked mass graves that hold tens of thousands of people. You really have to be here. The amount of water that flowed into the capital is incomprehensible.
When I heard this quote, it was meant not only literally, but also culturally. Sharia Law, or islamic law, was in placed about 10 years ago, and becoming more strict (subjective term) with the increasing departure of ngo/aid agencies, affecting non-muslims, like the Chinese community, from conducting business during Islamic holidays, and preventing the sale of non-muslim products/items. This quote also has another meaning which I"ll get into much later after I photograph one of my projects.
On my first day, we (my guide, her friends and I) were fortunate to go into the Tsunami Museum, which opened in August, but now closed to the public due to lack of funding to continue beautification projects of the 4-story structure. The Museum cost $5.6 million usd yet there are still thousands of families still homeless throughout the province.
Achenese hang out at momuments such as the giant ship that landed 5 km from the harbour.
Here are a few images from my last couple days in Cambodia. I really enjoyed my time there, especially because I had made a friend, and without her, I wouldn't have been able to see and capture so much of city life. I didnt' get a chance to visit the Killing Fields, but will visit the next time I'm there.
Tuol Sleng Museum - Pol Pot's secret prison in a former high school. One building was so eerie (the second pic) that I couldn't even walk in. If you don't know the country's history, you should. The Khmer have only been free of war for 10 years, and more recently, the shadow of the past looms during war tribunal's of the Khmer Rouge officials. Here's a link to a brief history and timeline - http://www.pbs.org/independentlens/refugee/war_cambodia.html
Apsara, traditional Khmer dance - This 71-year-old woman, who danced since she was 5 year old for the Royal Palace, teaches traditional dance to youth.
Phnom Penh, Cambodia...there is food everywhere in this city. i swear one can never starve! Well i'm currently in Banda Aceh, Indonesia, and a few days behind in my blog postings...much to share and show but the past week i've been out shooting all around that by the time i get back i'm just exhausted. anyway, here's a couple quick pix to share on food and travel...a slight detour from the journalism style of my photography.
Steamed banana with coconut and a bundle of medicinal herbs for sinus problems.
chicken feet from the market.
the "food court" in the market...hmm soup.
rice with beans and coconut stuffed in a sugar cane stalk and little coconut desert wrapped in banana leaves
monks in a wat (temple)..wats area amazing places btw.
We drove 20 minutes outside of the capital in search of local cockfighters. While the sport is legal, gambling, like in Mexico, is not. The light was falling quickly but luckily we (my local friends) and I were able to find a couple of people willing to be photographed. The country is also cracking down on cockfighting, although a tradition, because of the gambling.
So on our way, we drove past a new development for Cambodia: the suburbs, with a rent to own concept. With a rising middle class, some Cambodians who are career professionals may be able to afford something like this. There are new developments springing up everywhere in Phnom Penh, usually where the poorest of the poor live in slums, forcing them to relocate perhaps even farther from the city, or onto the streets.
We then continued onward, passing a old traditional Khmer village for tourists (for both Khmer and foreign) and a pond.
Well in my previous post i didn't mention the water festival where the city nearly doubles in population and the streets are jammed pack with tuk tuks and motorbikes for three days. its basically a frenzy of the two and its just crazy! the water festival highlights the reversal of the river but i can't remember which way it goes, but i think after the rainy season, the lake gets so full that the water shifts direction and returns to the lake, or something. anyway, they celebrate with boat races and festivals.
Below are pictures at the start of the races and also of the other side of the river where people live and fish on boats.