Sunday, January 09, 2005

They are not Singaporeans; they just happened to be there

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Straits Times (Jan 9, 2005): Tourist couple gives up holiday plans to help at the YMCA



THESE holidaymakers never made it to their next destination.

Instead of beach-hopping their way up to Thailand, Americans Lindsay and Andy Wood have been holed up here, helping with the YMCA's tsunami relief efforts.

'We decided that it was ridiculous to sit by and pretend it's not happening. Our plan to travel through South-east Asia for four more months didn't seem as important an option now,' Mrs Wood, 28, told The Sunday Times at the YMCA cafe on Wednesday.

The couple, who were on their third visit to Singapore, had planned to leave last Monday but decided to stay and help.

They contacted the YMCA in Singapore after reading a Dec 30 article in The Straits Times about how the organisation was looking to send more volunteers to Sri Lanka. They called the number listed and were invited to a meeting that very afternoon.

Two days later, they checked themselves into the YMCA hostel. Since then, the couple, who have been married for two years, have been working from 9am to about 9pm nearly everyday, making phone calls to the Sri Lanka YMCA, liasing with the YMCA team currently deployed there, and writing daily updates.

The Woods will be part of a team heading up to Sri Lanka on Jan 17.

For more information, call 6430-2333 or visit www.ymca.org.sg/relief

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