As I'm sure the whole world is aware, on Boxing Day there was an earthquake in SE Asia (centered on Indonesia, I believe) which registered just under 9 on the Richter scale. This led to tsunami's which in turn devastated much of the region. The horrifying pictures are on our television screens almost twenty-four hours a day, currently; everyone knows someone who is affected by the disaster either directly or has a friend, relative or colleague missing.
I'm very thankful that my friend (and fellow blogger Renee) left Phuket and returned to Singapore a couple of days before the disaster struck. I didn't find out until yesterday that she was well, and I must admit to spending a few anxious hours scanning lists for her name.
Other acquaintances still have members of their families missing. Teams of people are working together to help scan through all the online lists, forums, newspapers etc to see if they can find mentions of the missing. Huge community blogs have been set up to collate all the information available and to coordinate people who are flying out to help, and those who require help. I am so proud to be involved with the blogging community at this time.
As for me, I've donated. I've donated all the money I could afford to do so for this month (including January, which is always a very lean month, anyway) to Oxfam. I'll also make sure to take any unwanted and resalable items to the local Oxfam shop so that the money raised from those articles can be sent to further assist the aid efforts. It's the very least I, and my husband can do.
I've never been so profoundly grateful that I live on an island in the middle of a tectonic plate.