Going the Extra Mile

A series of reports from Last Mile Operation’s Matt George, who flicked the switch to ‘ON’ as soon as the earthquake hit Padang on Septmber 31st. For Matt and LMO workers that means small units getting right to where help is needed as fast and efficiently as possible. These guys don’t do ‘big’, their aim is to bypass bureacrats and organizations so they can get medical or humanitarian help to people that need it as fast as possible.

Here’s some updates from LMO’s website: http://www.padangoperations.blogspot.com/

LMO crew prepare a supply truck with essentials for victims of the Padang earthquake

14 October 2009

There was a fire in Chinatown today right next to our clinic. No traumatic injuries, thank heavens. One building gone. Lots of respiratory patients. The fire department performed admirably without tanks, oxygen or masks….Insane.

**I accepted a medical mission tomorrow up into the landslide country.

Be well & thanks for your support.

Matt

13 October 2009

Though we still have our small medical clinic up and running in Chinatown, we alsocontinue our supply phase of the operations here partnered with the German Group Arche Indo. We have found a number of remote villages that have yet to be helped and we are currently getting the trucks as close as we can and then carrying in supplies on foot.

We have found the most useful supplies right now are tools, nails, tarps, bamboo, rice, canned fish, cooking oil, soaps, feminine pads, baby food, sledgehammers, crow bars and kerosene for lamps.

The kerosene is tricky. It does not travel well and always finds some way to leak all over hell. Not to mention that it feels like we are driving around with a load of Nitroglycerin considering that every Indonesian smokes cigarettes, disaster or no.

Funny, in all the disasters I have helped with around the world…cigarettes are always in great supply. Odd.

Of note will be the supply of clothing and goods we are getting shipped to us from the surfing industry. Thanks to Sean Smith at SIMA for this effort. He organized the whole thing and it will be a big help. At any rate, the energy is up, the team is working well. Our main connection here in Padang is a man named Charli Josal, the local hardware magnate. He can be found in some of our photos. A very special word of appreciation must go out to him. Without his expertise, capabilities and compassion, we would be sunk. Thanks, Charli. And to all of you, thanks for your support and belief. Do not forget our fundraiser Friday night at the premiere of Hans Hagen’s new film. Again, thanks to all. Onward, ~Matt

October 11th

Dear Friends,

The long clean-up begins here in Padang. First aid and general health continues in our humble clinic in Chinatown. Mostly wound and infection management, redressing bandages, suture removals, splints and some midwifery. Also, there is a great deal of respiratory distress due to the particulate matter in the air. This place is just dusty as hell. Everything kicked up from the debris like a tule fog. We were able to get our hands on a big supply of simple face masks. The whole town is wearing them. Believe it or not, it really helps. Quite often in a situation like this, the simplest solutions are the best.

We’ve also begun a small program that is bypassing all the confusion of the big organizations. Today we were able to obtain hygiene kits, food and tools–enough for about 150 families. This is mostly stuff that falls off the back of a truck…if you know what I mean. We will be sending the materials out in the morning as soon as the sun comes up.

Even though rainy season is upon us, there has been no rain for over a week. Very rare here. The weather, predictably here on the equator, has been hot and humid, about 90-105 degrees. The lack of rain has been a Godsend, because so many people are still without shelter. We will continue operations here.

/p>Trying to raise enough dough to start a boat operation up to the more remote northern coastline, and from there overland up into landslide country. Again, thanks to all for your continued support. Padang, the crossroads of international surfing, is in distress and you are all answering the call.

Onward, ~Matt

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