On February 25 at 7pm, The CAMP in Costa Mesa, Calif. and The Collectiv, Inc. hosted the “TURN the TIDE,” an arts & culture event that documented the untold stories of the first Westerners to provide assistance in Banda Aceh. Cinema Social will present a documentary short film which captures the experiences of the three California natives who arrived in the heart of the Tsunami devastation days before other Westerners were permitted to enter. Cinema Social will present a documentary short film which captures the experiences of the three California natives who arrived in the heart of the Tsunamidevastation days before other Westerners were permitted to enter. Despite threats from local rebels which eventually prompted an early morning escape from Banda Aceh, the men found themselves in an Indonesian hospital, performing amputations as pseudo-doctors, bagging bodies, and administering antibiotics to patients. For the very first time, the three men share their stories through professional photography and journals which capture the emotions surrounding total devastation.
Ira Lippke, an accomplished photographer, was volunteering for a few weeks at a Bali orphanage in the city of Kuta with his brother, Samuel Lippke, and their friend Scott McAlvany when the tsunami struck on Dec. 26. They had planned to spend their month-long trip helping the Bali Street Kids Orphanage in Kuta, Bali, and use some vacation time surfing and exploring Bali. After hearing about the disaster just two islands away, they gathered supplies and boarded an Indonesian government plane to the most devastated area, Banda Aceh. “We just looked at each other and said, ‘We need to go,” said Ira Lippke in an ABCNews broadcast with Peter Jennings. “We put all of our money together and we bought about $500 worth of medicine and filled up two big duffel bags full of medicine, and bought plane tickets.”