Amazing for me to see how people in the direst circumstances welcomed an American carrying cameras

On May 28, 2006, I found myself and 150 other passengers enduring a white knuckle landing in what could only be described as the worst thunderstorm I had ever flown into.  The pilot of the Garuda plane, a Boeing 737,  could not have seen much before landing as I was in the last seat on the plane looking out the window, seeing nothing but rain and hearing nothing but "Allah Akbar" from the terrified Muslim passengers.
As a wire service photographer in southeast Asia, I was often required to fly into areas that had been struck such things as earthquakes or riots or just about any other calamity.  Dodgy airplane rides and landings were just part of the job.
This earthquake near Yoke Jakarta, Indonesia was bad but for the moment all I could do was listen to the screaming.
Suddenly we were down, the jet's engines reversing and the landing G-forces taking over.
Thirty minutes later I was standing inside an old airport building, looking for my luggage and watching the rain pouring down.  How that pilot managed to land that plane still mystifies me.
Now came the fun part, finding my way to a city call Yoke Jakarta and a hotel workroom where two other wire service shooters were already hard at work.
It came as a pleasant surprise that the city had not been destroyed.  The bulk of the damage was outside of town in small villages scattered among the rice fields.
I met up with Ed Wray an American and Ibrahim, a Jakarta shooter, who used only one name.   They had done a great job of finding the hotel which had good phone service that still worked.  We were all about five years into the digital photography scene and the need for darkrooms was unnecessary.  This place had excellent phone service that still worked so there was no need for a portable satellite dish I had lugged in from Bangkok.   As the editor and on-scene management type, I looked over their work and then got around to making a plan.
My plan was usually the same, everyone was to photograph the event, come back, work their own images, file their own images to the distribution point in Tokyo and do it again the next day.
The only rule I mentioned to everyone was not to shoot over each other's shoulders.  Back in Gulf War 1, AP photographer Scott Applewhite had impressed on me and others to shoot rather over the shoulders of our competitors.  
During my work their I was constantly amazed at the spirit and doggedness of the Indonesian people.  In the midst of all the rubble, I found smiles when I asked if I could take their picture.  No one turned me down.  These people had lost just about everything, their homes, some, family members but in all of this, they still made time for me.
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