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Boxing Day Tsunami Photo Museum, Sri Lanka

On boxing Day in 2004, I think we all remember the incredible destruction caused by a tsunami all over SE Asia. Sri Lanka certainly did not escape the carnage.

The country has come back from the destruction. When you remember they have also had a civil war in the last decade, it is very impressive to see the recovery. Not to say a casual ride along the coast is bare of  examples of destroyed buildings. You can still see shells of concrete buildings, but they are the exception.

We were in transit when I saw this sign.

I gave out a shout to our driver, Farzan. This was NOT on any itinerary. However that is one big advantage to having a private tour, you can damn well stop where and when you want. This "museum" was just an old house that was probably pretty well destroyed on 12/26/2004.

The museum was started by a Danish expat and survives on contributions.  It is very moving and impressive. You walk around in this old house in a very somber mood.

This is a photo of a local train that along with the rails was completely destroyed. It was caught in the second wave, which I believe is always bigger than the first. Many many people died in this train because after the first wave they ran into the train thinking it would survive the wave.

This was not merely a photo museum. Half the space was dedicated to drawings by children survivors who were encouraged to draw what they experienced as therapy. This drawing of the train wreck especially caught my attention.

This painting seems to express the terror quite well.

We were told that not a single Buddha statue was destroyed. This one survived.

Some child summed it all up. Not only for the tsunami victims but for civilization.

We walked out of this museum, after making a decent donation, in quite a somber mood. I think that was the intent.

Thanks for reading. Share this with a friend. Next time you see a natural disaster on TV, be glad it wasn’t in your neck of the woods and try to contribute a few bucks to the recovery, please.

Next post, ALBINO AND BABY TURTLES!

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