Reporters on the Job
• An Aid Flight in Aceh: It took a bit of persistence for correspondent Eric Unmacht to hop a ride on a US helicopter delivering aid in the Aceh province of Indonesia (page 1). "You show up at the airport and there are dozens of journalists jostling for a ride," says Eric. He went back twice before getting on board. Understandably, aid deliveries take priority. David Edgarton, a press liaison for the US military operation, told Eric: "I'll tell you right now that if food or medicine or something needs to go on board, you're going to get bumped. That being said, I know how important it is to get this story out."
Eric flew south about 25 miles from the city of Banda Aceh to the village of Lamno. "We were met by smiling, waving kids. The US soldiers handed out food to Indonesian soldiers and police on the ground, who loaded it into a pickup truck. I jumped out and tried to talk to some of the villagers, who led me to the the person in charge - another Indonesian soldier."
• Tribes Survive Tsunami: One of the world's last remaining Stone Age hunter-gatherer tribes survived the Asian tsunami, but the damage caused to their habitat may eventually wipe them out, experts told Reuters.
The 100 remaining members of the Onge tribe on India's Andaman and Nicobar Islands could run out of food, as their inland estuaries have been flooded by sea water and coastal mangroves destroyed. "While a majority of the tribes are physically safe, a tribe like the Onge is in grave danger as their habitat may have been badly affected," said Samir Acharya, secretary of the Society for Andaman and Nicobar Ecology.
As reported in the Monitor on Jan. 4, the islands are home to several small tribes, who are often hostile to outsiders. The BBC reported Wednesday that an Indian helicopter dropping food on one of the islands was attacked by tribesmen with bows and arrows.
David Clark Scott