Essay about A Photo From The Patana School
*At the request of the main profile subject, only the first name will be used (Zach)*
As the nation of Australia slumped onto their couches to view the traditional Boxing Day Test match, another family some 5,000 kilometers away slumped onto their couch for a completely different reason.
“My dad got a call from his secretary. She was in a panic and was like you need to turn on the news right now, go to BBC, CNN and just watch.”
The footage that nine-year-old Zach saw would be ones repeated across screens the world over. Wave after wave hitting the once sandy shores of Khao Lak and washing away all the memories he had made only three days ago.
“I could see the room we were staying in (in the footage) and then you can see the waves coming in and the destruction of the room and a few stories above it. After my family saw that and we digested it, we all sat there thinking; that could have been us.”
Had it not been for a spur-the-moment decision to head back to Bangkok for Christmas, there is every chance Zach and his family would be among the thousands of people who were swept away and disappeared in the clear-blue ocean. But for every story of survival, there is an inverse story of loss. And for the expatriate (expat) community in Asia, the Boxing Day Tsunami was the equivalent of an encyclopedia of loss.
“His name was Lennet. We had been in the same class since day…