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Tale of Thai Grace and Compassion

The Tsunami, a disaster that everyone was afraid of. A disaster that everyone didn't want to happen. Nobody wanted to face it, but we did, we have known this time and we have learned from it.

Tale of Thai Grace and Compassion

When I talk about the Tsunami, I think that everybody already knows what it is. The Tsunami is three or more big waves, the waves of destruction that comes with the devil, waves that can take away everything from us.

For only one word, it means so many things for so many people. Though it's just a wave that comes from the beautiful sea it is not just a tiny little wave but a powerful one that can smash and attack everything with nothing left, even a beautiful city.

I think that for many of us, who didn't face it by ourselves, still want to know what it looks and feels like. Still, I believe nobody wants it to happen again.

I still remember the day in December, people were playing, people working, and I guess people were sleeping. But on this day the sea was not sleeping. Some people just like the sea because it's beautiful, some use it for holiday relaxation, and some use it to build sandcastles on the shore.

But most of them swim with joy and happiness in the sea. But on this day no one knew that it would carry with it such great terror. Just in one minute, everything was falling down, even the half of me, the side that never tasted the sea before.

Everything happened so fast, the earthquake begun and made my body feel separated. Something's around me where being broken or already broken. The water from the beautiful sea then begun to slip away. The water that was everywhere was making people around me very frightened.

All of them were interested in what was happening. But before they could get used to it the sea rose again and the sea came crashing back in with a bigger wave. The wave was so high that it attacked me and all other things around there. I wished everything to be back where it was.

My body was not separated from the attack of the wave which smashed into people, buildings and everything around me. Buildings, cars, boats, they all floated their separate ways.

The joy was ended. Everyone was so frightened and tried to run away for their lives. Some walked around screaming, and some were already taken away by the sea. Tears, so much that I've never seen, were falling down from their faces.

In a short time, everything was taken away-lives and happiness. From this disaster, people who just wanted to go to work or have some fun were now in hell.

Some people had no where to live, they could not find their families or friends, their businesses were shut, they were being rushed to hospital or they were thinking about what just happened.

This entire event became a deep scare in their life that they won't be forgotten. In a short time, what was happiness became loss, sorrow and a hardness which I never seen before.

This disaster which happened to me in Patong Phuket in December 2004 now makes me understand things better than when I did before, but it still makes me. Even people who were not caught by these waves have had bad things happen to them. They miss family members, miss live and worry about another Tsunami.

But of all things that may have been valuable was for me to see the compassion of the Thai people. I saw kindness, sympathy and love from Thais and people from all over the world.

When Thai people helped somebody, they smiled, this is the grace of Thai people. Everyone gives help, and everybody who saw this event helped other people. People from far away donated things or somebody came to help.

I saw faces of these people, and even though they looked tired they were willing to help. A lot of helping makes a lot of difference, and I have the feeling that if there are many people, they can be large and strong and support each other.

Nowadays, after the terrible event has passed, the results of everybody helping each other have resulted in a new Patong, and some say a better Patong and indeed a better Thailand.

We have new buildings, better beaches, a Tsunami warning system, better roads and a better understanding of Tsunamis.

I have also learnt a lot from this time. I have learnt about my people more, of the grace and compassion of the Thai people, the way we helped each other and tourists as well.

I hope you're not too sad from this story of mine, but it's true as I was there. I wanted this to be a happy story, about hole and the love of people. The times I shared in my mind. I love my people and I am proud of the way we acted after the Tsunami nearly two years ago.

To me, this is Thai grace and compassion.


Waranya Nawaluck

Age: 17

Kathuwittaya School Mathayom 6


note: Tale of Thai Grace and Compassion is Thailand winning essay for the 2006 Junior IMPAC Literary Award.

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