Tonganoxie native’s family on scene when tsunami struck
It's an understatement to say that Carol and Ed Slawson were relieved that their daughter and family decided to go rock climbing rather than scuba diving on the morning of Dec. 26 -- the day the tsunami hit.
"I thought that (rock climbing) was dangerous, but I'm glad that they were doing it that day instead of snorkeling," said Carol Slawson.
Pam and Tom Geyer and their children, Ryko and Stan, who live in Bangledesh, spent the Christmas holidays in southern Thailand. They were staying on Ao Nang Beach in Krabi Province, when the tsunami, which killed an estimated 130,000 people along coastlines of the Indian Ocean, struck.
Fortunately for the Slawsons, who live in Tonganoxie, that morning, they hadn't turned on their television and were unaware of the tsunami until a couple hours after it was reported. And when they did learn about it, within an hour they received an e-mail from Pam, saying she and her family were safe.
"We were quite worried for a little bit," Carol said.
Pam and Tom are teachers who work for an international school system. Since August, they've lived in Bangledesh where Pam teaches English and drama and Tom teaches science in a K-12 English speaking school. Prior to that, they taught four years in Morocco. They've also lived and taught in Ethiopia, Alaska and Japan, Carol said.
Pam and Tom were fortunate, Carol said, that when the tsunami struck, not only were they in a high location, but also, that their two sons were with them.
The family had traveled to southern Thailand to spend Christmas vacation with friends from Ethiopia.