Tsunami Revisited: Evelyn Rodriguez

Getting to know Evelyn Rodriguez, who translated suriving last year’s tsunami into something personal for those of us light years away, was one of the best parts of BlogHer for me; even better was the late afternoon we spent in Palo Alto a couple of days later. I’ve been incredibly remiss in not mentioning her anniversary trip back to Thailand, where she came so close to losing her life. This time, Evelyn’s  journalistic mission is no accident. — she’s on the scene as a solo journalist, also as a participatory journalist and a citizen journalist as long as we’re tossing terms around.. (Yes, I still shudder at the cj description but I’ll honor others’ choices.)

Evelyn explains: “I’m collecting stories of resiliency, growth, faith, and grassroots action – and whatever unfolds once actually there. I’ll offer (and hopefully via in-kind donations leave behind equipment) to teach locals to tell their own first-person stories in their own words on their own blogs long after I’m gone. … I’ll delve into how people are rebuilding emotionally, psychologically, spiritually. I believe their stories can teach all of us and shed light for anyone confronting with loss in their own lives. And now with Katrina and worldwide disasters in Guatemala, Mexico and Pakistan/India, it seems all the more relevant to learn from those thriving post-tsunami.”

You can follow her journey through her blog Crossroad Dispatches. And you can give yourself a (insert holiday of your choice) present by supporting Evelyn’s efforts via the tipjar or Paypal (less admijnistrative cost for her), as I have.


  1. Evelyn Rodriguez

    Thanks Stacy so much for your donation and more importantly knowing you care. What I’m really finding is that post-disaster story was easy to tell. Fairly black-and-white, but there is much more nuances, layers and complexity now a year later. A wide variety of responses and reactions individually as well as community and nationwide aid and recovery efforts that run the gamut.
    Being a participative journalist is much harder than I imagined. And much richer too. I feel like I’m spending too much of my time today in the press center. And alternatively, I was feeling guilty that I was spending too much of my time rest of the week experiencing, conversing and gathering material. And not writing. How to do both well?
    Much of the media on the morning of the Dec 26th ceremony swoops in for a half-hour soundbite and files their dispatch and off they go. I’m not sure how you really capture what’s happened to this island and its people in the past year that way. I’ve spent five days on this island – not to mention last year and my first time 14 years ago – and I feel I’ve only scratched the surface.
    Well, it’s a rewarding challenge anyway. Thanks!

  2. Staci Kramer

    Thanks for taking the time to write, Evelyn. Knowing when to stop reporting and when to start writing can be hard enough without having to factor in the emotional connection. As much as I want to read about your experiences, the most important thing is that you are having them. I hope that makes sense to you.

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