A lot of things have been said and done for the Mentawais, but they are for the short term, lets not forget that it will take a while for full recover. And everybody is forgetting the best way to help them!!! Not to be afraid to go back there, have a look on those pics and tell me that you would never go there - Mentawais Always Mentawais.
I like the topic you started and i know what your trying to say or mean.
But i dont really agree with you....surf aid... has been the main(non govermental) oerganization doing aid efforts out there, getting food/water, building kits etc since the tsunumi, and there phase 2 of there program to help is a nine month recovery program (check out there website)
And it's been great that the boats have helped out, mostly Aussie boat's...but at the end of day, there out there to make $, and it's now off season, lots of boats go up to Thailand to get ready/serviced etc for next season.
And in a normal year from the boats sweet F all of your $ from a boat trip goes to Mentawai people, boats get most of there fuel,food,staff,do repairs, plus pay any taxes to where they start and finish there trip on the mainland in Padang.
And if you stay at a surf camp/resort, its a bit better fuel is gotten localy from msajor ports(still tiny places), majority of food from Padang,staff (mostly padang/jakarta) but some local,tax (both)but must add, some resorts like macaronis do help the local villages (maccas resort had a medical clinic for aid groups to come use run out off at times)
If you do the feral thing, then okay the $ aren't as big but it all goes to the locals.
But Surf aid...even in the off season or when there's no diaster they are running programs helping the local people with clean water, toilets, education etc
I guess you could make a point that the surf industry that runs around the mentawai's helps surf aid run, but it would be great if every boat/resort gave a small % of profit to them and thats not to mention the surf mags, big surf company etc that thrive on the hype of the mentawai's perfect waves, but return very little.
Dont mean to sound negative, just wanted to point the fact out that returning to the mentawai's isn't really as good for the locals as some may think, and i do know, because ive actually worked at macaronis resort as a surf guide a few years back and been to most of the villages affected and know people and locals that were there, even had a mate washed into the jungle (but all are ok) i also spend a month or two every year there staying with locals.
Anyway thats just my view :)
I agree with you, but if we don`t make people to go back there all this work will be in vain, getting people there it`s the most sustainable way to help those people, specially in a long term, and i see your point when the tourist go there and stay inside the resort or in the boats and i`m pretty sure there is no % from the profits for the locals. I think if the trip to there would be more democratic(cheaper) could be more helpful for the locals( stay at their places, buying their fish etc...) i know some people will hate me for that!!!!!
Thanks for the post!!!!
Yeah I don't think we have to worry though, doesn't matter what happens in Indo, Bombs, earthquakes, Tsunumi's, surfers keep returning in numbers, i remember an Ibu in Nias telling me, even after the Tsunumi there, surfers came back the next week...everyone often thinks there will be less crowds or no other surfers, but the crazy thing is surfers think the same way.