Coping With The Past

An Indonesian woman sits by a mass grave memorial Monday Dec. 26, 2005 in Ule Lheu, just outside Banda Aceh, Indonesia. AP

I'm Barry Petersen and this letter from Asia comes from Banda Indo, Indonesia.

When you look at a a field like this ,what was once a neighborhood that was wiped clean by the tsunami, you say to yourself, why hasn't this been rebuilt, after all it's been a year. . those who are in charge of the rebuilding reminded us of one sad fact -- most of the people who lived here, most of the people who might have rebuilt here, were killed the day the Tsunami came through.

It's one of the many things you face in this place.

And although it's our job as reporters to ask questions and understand what happened, here it seems like every one has a story almost too hard to bear.

Like Simiati who rebuilt her little restaurant. Almost casually, she told us how she lost two of her four children in the tsunami. It was said…as a passing matter of fact.

Not far away, we met Mr. Fakli. On the walls of the garage…pretty much all that's left of his house…is a list. He runs down the names…father, mother, brother, sister, wife, younger sister.

He tells us…I will never forget them. But he adds that he is remarried now, a new wife to help him raise his one daughter who did survive, and maybe to start a new family.

Again…matter of fact.

So people here are matter of fact about what they lost. It's as if they said to themselves…I suffered, but so did tens of thousands of others so there is nothing special about my suffering. It happened…get over it…move on.

So we bring your attention to another fact that someone shared with us – there's been a bit of a baby boom in Banda Aceh. What you might call…tsunami babies.

You have to believe that having a baby represents a kind of hope…that people believe that the future will be get better.

There are no guarantees in life. The people of Banda Aceh know that better than any of us. But there is a need to get up and try again. And so - people are.

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