On December 26, Thais and foreigners came together at various towns across the island of Phuket to honor the 250,000 lives that were lost in the 2004 tsunami. I have met many locals in Kamala who lost family and friends in this tragedy, an event that bonds their lives in the most intimate way.

Thailand is a Buddhist country and unfortunately as Kamala is a Muslim fishing village, the differences and friction between the two groups of people here are apparent. It makes me appreciate the importance of building community wherever you may live.

My next entry will be from India, as I fly tonight into Tamil Nadu’s capital, Chennai.