Children in the playground, sitting on swing at Children's Village Nongkhai,…
I've been reading about a wonderful Isan Meal at SOS Children's Village Nongkhai:
Children in the playground, sitting on swing at Children's Village Nongkhai, Thailand
I've been reading about a wonderful Isan Meal at SOS Children's Village Nongkhai:
Som Tam or papaya salad which originated in northeastern Thailand is now popular throughout the country. It is made from green papaya, vegetables and spices. This delicious salad is served with steamed sticky rice. Read below the recipe and savor this famous Thai dish.
SOS Children's Village Nongkhai is situated in the district town of Nongkhai which is marked as the world's seventh city for the living of retired people. Nongkhai is in the northern part of Thailand, commonly called Isan. The region is located on the other side of the Mekong River along the border of Laos.
Isan is famous for the strong flavoured food with herbs as ingredients and pickle. Roasting and grilling are outstanding features of the northern region. The children at SOS Children's Village Nongkhai grow up healthy with nutritious food in Isan style especially sticky rice and som tam or papaya salad. They enjoy variety of delicious Isan food cooked by their SOS mothers. The girls normally help their mothers in cooking and thus easily learn to cook Isan food.
A lot of special menus are available in Isan food but in every day life mothers at SOS Children's Village Nongkhai cook simple meals. Som Tam or papaya salad is very nutritious and easy to cook. For preparing it one needs the following ingredients:
1 medium dark green papaya 4 garlic cloves 6 green Thai chilies 1 cup chopped beans 2 tomatoes cut into wedges ½ teaspoon fish sauce ¼ cup lime juice or tamarind juice ¼ cup chopped roasted peanuts
Recipe:Peel the papaya and rinse with running water. Remove the seeds and shred the papaya with a grater. Set aside. Place the garlic cloves and the chilies in a mortar with a wooden pestle and mash to a paste. Place the papaya and other ingredients in the mortar and gently combine all the ingredients by mixing with the pestle. Add the tamarind juice and fish sauce. Transfer to a serving plate and add peanuts before serving. Serve with steamed sticky rice.
Sunset in Gampong Cot - Tsunami Indonesia
Life finds its way back to Gampong Cot by Carola Vogl
"Come on, Putri*, smile at auntie bulé, auntie bulé makes picture!" Putri's mother Saljani tries everything to make the little girl smile for a picture the "foreign aunt" is taking. Putri yawns. She is tired and relatively unimpressed by the camera and the attention she is getting. She will soon be celebrating her big day: Putri Tsunami Irayana, the "Daughter of the Big Wave", will turn one.
When the sea surge washed away the small village of Gampong Cot in West Aceh on 26 December last year, Putri's very pregnant mother, her husband Adnan and their two daughters were standing in front of their house. A strong earthquake had roused them from their sleep. They ran outdoors, into the open air, into supposed safety. The water from the sea came in a rush sounding like a muffled roll; the enormous power of the wave just tore their simple cabin apart like a toy.
The fight for survival had begun for Putri's family and the dwellers of Gampong Cot. Within the twinkling of an eye, nothing was left of about 400 homes, the shops, workshops and the school. Only the small mosque in the centre remained. Saljani and Adnan managed to find their way through debris and masses of water to a small tree which stuck out of the flood water next to the mosque. They climbed up onto the roof of the mosque one after the other, already dead-beat. Neighbours and friends who had already sought refuge there helped them as well as they could reaching out their hands and throwing ropes to them.
Putri could not wait any longer. Her mother went into labour spontaneously in the presence of nearly 300 people who had managed to take refuge on the roof of the mosque. Putri Tsunami Irayana came into the world protected from the looks of the village dwellers. Her father and the village's midwife cut the umbilical cord with a blunt knife.
When the water went down a bit in the evening hours, Adnan cautiously put the little girl into a reed basket which the fishermen of Gampong Cot usually use to carry their catch. The family of three left the roof and headed off to the next medical centre to make sure Putri and her mother were protected from infection. Adnan, balancing the reed basket on his head and with the water up to his chin, made his way through debris and mud in pitch-black darkness. Saljani followed him. After a two-kilometres-walk and seven hours later, they finally arrived at the medical centre and were completely exhausted. The earthquake and the sea surge had only done partial damage to the medical centre which meant that Putri and her mother received medical assistance there. Despite his exhaustion, Adnan started the search for his two daughters who had been separated from their parents due to the masses of water. It was all in vain.
Putri is a healthy and happy child. She does not know about the dramatic circumstances of her birth; she does not know about her two sisters who did not survive that very same day. In the meantime, the small family has moved to live with other survivors from Gampong Cot in one of the wooden huts the Indonesian government has hurriedly set up using foreign donations. The people live there crowded together with chickens, geese and goats; they use water from a container and shower, brush their teeth and do their laundry side by side.
The people love their homeland. They have been living in the coastal areas for generations. Neither tough storms which regularly sweep the area, nor government decrees prohibiting reconstruction below 4 kilometres away from the beach can keep them from coming back to Gampong Cot. They count the days until they can go back to living in their hometown again.
And finally, in three weeks time, they will be able to return! SOS Children's Villages has built 130 family homes for Adnan, Saljani, Putri, and others. This means 45 sq ms of solid brick construction to weather the strong winds and bring back everyday life to Gampong Cot. Lack of construction wood, rocketing petrol prices and the harsh five-kilometre-ride on non-existent roads makes this a cumbersome task to perform. Still, despite all difficulties, the cornerstone for the village's new primary school will be laid in December; the organisation is also establishing a kindergarten for the small villagers.
The SOS Family Strengthening Programme primarily targets the men of Gampong Cot. Three tractors and two rickshaws should provide them with the opportunity to make their own money and live independently of donations. This means self-confidence and work instead of paralyzing inactivity at the wooden huts; true and sustainable support instead of charity.
House No 8 will be a joyful house. Adnan, Saljani and little Putri will fill it up with life. Nobody will ever forget about what happened here about a year ago. However, the people of West Aceh are a tough outfit; with Allah's help they will manage to rebuild their colourful village life. "Udep tanyau nyoe meusti ta peujak laju" - life must go on in Gampong Cot.
Relief activities for tsunami-afflicted areas in West Aceh: The organisation SOS Children's Villages built houses for 130 families, a primary school and a kindergarten for 66 children from the village in the fishing community of Gampong Cot (West Aceh). Three tractors and two rickshaws were bought for the men from the village. The mosque of Gampong Cot will be refurbished and equipped with books and praying gear. Orphans will be provided with specific financial support.
The village of Suak Raya (West Aceh) currently sees construction work on houses for 190 families, a primary school for 49 children and a kindergarten. In December, the cornerstone will be laid for the first SOS Children's Village in West Aceh. 150 orphaned children will find a new home there in 15 families.
*Putri was called Aulia Tsunami in earlier stories. However, as a matter of fact, Aulia was one of her two sisters who died on 26 December.