SURVIVOR: Aaron le BoutillierAaron le Boutillier is a tsunami survivor. He was on the Thai island of Koh Phi Phi where had been working for many years. He has published a book about his experiences on the morning of December 26. “And Then One Morning” is his account of the day that changed the lives of many around the world.
For anyone caught up in the tsunami, however, it was all over in a matter of minutes. They were either alive or dead. Over a quarter of a million people lost their lives while millions who survived had to deal with the tragedy in countless ways.
And Then One Morning encapsulates the expat life on a small tropical island and introduces the reader to the main characters who either survived or perished in the tsunami. Chief amongst these is the Oswald family. Heinz Oswald spent eighteen years developing a successful dive business on Phi Phi. Aaron visited Phi Phi that Christmas to help Heinz and his family move to Phuket on the afternoon of December 26. That move never happened.Hours after the tsunami, Aaron found Heinz’s wife and four year old son alive. There is relief and surprise as other characters are found alive. But for the next two weeks there is the trauma of the search for Heinz and his two daughters.
And Then One Morning captures Aaron’s growth from a care-free twenty-two year old into a successful business owner in Singapore by the time of the tsunami. Following the tsunami he took responsibility to help the survivors of the Oswald family as well as other friends from the island.
Four years on there are still people suffering from the tsunami in a multitude of ways. Aaron has decided that the author royalties from the sale of his book should go to helping some of those still traumatised by the disaster. For each book sold, Aaron gets 12% of the sale price, and turns around and donates it back to charities in Thailand to continue to help.
The first donation of monies from Big Wave Publications was on the 24th October 2008 where with the help of all that attended and the Phuket Lions club we raised 30,000 Baht for the Sadtree Orphanage. The second donation will also be for 30,000 Baht to the Nilubon school in December. The monies will be generated from the Singapore book launch which has kindly been sponsored by the Grand Hyatt Singapore and their F.O.R.C.E program.
Learn more about Aaron here:
I encourage you to purchase the book. To give you a taste of the writing – you can read the chapters of his story here on the survivors site:
Chapter 16 - A Washing Machine Springs a Leak (what happened in those initial minutes when the first wave hit).
Chapter 17 - Rumbles down below (in a brief second – how do you process what is happening to you?)
Chapter 18 - Hey Ma, I’m on top of the World (Saving people!)
Chapter 19 – On the Edge of the Ring of Fire (How could this happen?)
Read more survivor stories at: TSUNAMI SURVIVOR SITE