Back at Sarvodaya HQ and things are getting both more busy/organized and more diffuse. I definitely recommend that folks look at the TsunamiHelp blog for info on what's going on. We here are trying to get stuff up on the web for so many sources--possible donors, other aid agencies, people in the field, those who want to volunteer--that it's like herding cats to even figure out what to do next. People come in and out of the office with things they want us to do; half the time we've done it already and half the time we absolutely can't because some crucial bit of info is missing.
The level of organization here is laudable given the general disarray of affairs in the country. Driving around in Colombo there is surprisingly little 'buzz' going on. I would feel better if there were lots of trucks being loaded everywhere. I am trying to stay in contact with various individuals and contacts of mine; to get them help on a small scale and to see if there is any info we have that they need. The big problem of course is that information flows are all off; there's no central place to give feedback from the field. We don't have a way of finding out who needs food or medicine or which convoy went where. The different aid groups are running more or less separately and people aren't being efficient about who is in charge of what.
There are containers, airplane-loads of stuff, in warehouses out at Katunayake, that haven't been sorted or moved through customs. One friend is organizing teams of people to go catalog the supplies. Another is coordinating a GIS mapping project for the destroyed infrastructure. It has been really great to hear from folks back in the states, and I apologize because I haven't had time to reply to emails yet. (mostly--have written to the people contacting me as 'content editor' for the Sarvodaya blog!)
Dad and Kathleen, here is your big chance to work in developing world engineering and city planning. There are a lot of roads and bus stations awaiting your attention!