As usual we buy some bottles of water on our way to the media center and I start working on writing and editing my material. At 10 am we gather at the WFP office in Jakarta. Today we join another food distribution in a village in Pariaman, 2 hours from Padang. We are going to deliver 1300 boxes for 2000 beneficiaries. Again children and women. On my way over here I read an article about a recent report on increasing world hunger. This report stated a direct correlation between the education of women, their active role in political and economical life and the percentage of hungry people. More active women means lower levels of hunger. Of course…I am not surprised by this outcome.
Again, the women at the clinic show a lot of gratitude and ….want to take pictures of the white (extra white after these days) creature from Europe. I see a group of women watching me. They are giggling. After a while the bravest of them says “where are you from”…? I am lucky since this is the only question I can answer in their own language…”Belanda”..I say proudly. A loud “ohhhh” follows… Very sweet. The director of the clinic and the head doctor explain to me that the earthquake has influenced the children mentally and physically. There is less food for the children, a lot of whom were malnourished already before the earthquake.
Malnourished children have an increased risk on catching illnesses and hunger keeps them from developing into healthy adults. The biscuits will provide them with the necessary supplements They also tell me about the stress that the earthquake has caused amongst children. They are still scared and have trouble sleeping.
The process is exactly the same as yesterday: the midwives will take care of the actual distribution to the people. When we leave, we receive a lot of gratitude and a lot of sincere and spontaneous smiles. Again.
Tonight I will go back to Jakarta, so we go by the media center one last time to say goodbye to the girls en to thank them for all their hospitality. I hop behind a computer to work on my final blog from Padang. I would have wanted to do and see more. The distribution of all the biscuits for instance…and the arrival of the trucks with 16 MT on Saturday, but my job here is done. I have uploaded a short flip cam video which shows you the distribution of the biscuits at a school in Padang
. A colleague of WFP made it...I can’t be everywhere at the same time. Although that’s what I wish for sometimes…there’s so much to do.
Of course I will write a blog with my final thoughts…for myself and for those who are interested. Now I am going to prepare for a long trip back to the Netherlands. Lots of time to do some thinking. I need it.