Thursday, April 24, 2008

MPR's 'In the Loop' Story Slam

Yesterday I wrote and read a short story about my experience in Aceh for MPR's 'In the Loop' Story Slam.

Here is how it begins, as I rewrite it without the 4 minute time constraint:
Panga was half nightmare and half paradise. A few tall coconut palms and two ancient mango trees provided a little shade, a relief from the parching heat of the sun. Around their trunks were a cluster of tents, a bunker fashioned from coconut palm logs, small buildings being built from scavenged sheets of corrugated tin and thin planks were beginning to take shape. The bunker was manned by a group of young Indonesian marines, or "Marinirs". A long green canvas tent, with crisp yellow letters that said "Departmen Sosial" was the largest of these structures that now stood over the ruins of the town, where 100% of the buildings had been shorn off of their foundations. The walls had smashed into millions of pieces of concrete that on average could be palmed in one hand. In between the concrete pads, tiled bathroom floors, and deep holes held open in the earth by conrete well rings several feet in diameter, there were tangled piles of clothing and hairbruhes, children's toys and flip-flop sandals, colorful plastic furnishings that typified the average Indonesian householder's sense of style and simple pride.

A small crowd formed daily to watch and wait for the arrival and departures of helicopters...


It is possible that my story will be picked to be broadcast on an upcoming "In the Loop". I'll link to it if it ends up on the web!

The theme was Achilles Heel, and it was hard to work that in in just 4 minutes, and I didn't get to tell the whole story about the Red Cross fiasco, or anything at all about the Samaritan's Purse mindfucks and dangerous lies of the housing program manager, who I was going to call "Jethro" in the story.

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