Seenigama, Galle – Sri Lanka

December 2006

It ‘s been a year since that fateful December 26 when, in few minutes, a giant wave swept everything, leaving death and destruction. Nevertheless, in Sri Lanka in Galle district, the most exposed and affected by the tsunami, life seems to slowly take its course. Everywhere there are ruins and fragments of walls crumbled by sea power and many people still live in tents provided by international cooperation or in shacks built with recycled materials.The collective and personal tragedy experienced by people is epitomized in their eyes full of sadness and resignation: many people show pictures of dead or missing relatives and tell their story.

However children are back in school, in their neat blue and white uniforms; Streets are really busy, full of trucks and bikes and you begin to see, thanks to humanitarian aids, houses on lands cleared from rubble. Also the fleet of boats, necessary to fish up, has been rebuilt with, for example, italian funds destined to  local NGO, managed by Italian Civil Protection Department.Tourists are back again to crowd Hikkaduwa beach, one of the most developed sea-resorts on the island before the disaster.

Neverthless, inTelwatta, in front of shrunken railcars of Colombo-Galle line, recovered from the swamp where they had been thrown by tsunami and then put on a side to remember what has happened, we understand that, if time required to return to normalality will be very long: it will be impossible to forget.