DEC. 26, 2005 | Candice C. Cusic for Chicago TribuneVALLIAMMAI WATCHES AS THE GOLD WEDDING NECKLACE is tied around her daughter's neck, as the silver rings are slipped on her toes. She cries because her husband is not there.
She wears a pink sari with rose trim, one of the only saris she rescued from the tsunami. A fake gold necklace has left a bumpy rash on her neck. It is all she could afford, a poor replacement for her own wedding necklace, which she pawned for $12 to buy food. "I don't have anybody," Valliammai says on this day in March. "There is nobody to help me. I'm all alone." read more
DEC. 27, 2005 | Candice C. Cusic for Chicago TribuneVALLIAMMAI SITS CROSS-LEGGED ON THE HOSPITAL FLOOR,her forehead wrinkled in worry. Her pregnant daughter is curled up on a nearby bed, but that is not what bothers Valliammai.
She worries whether anything is going wrong back home. Because at the tsunami shelter, another daughter is ready to give birth, swollen and uncomfortable. Heavy November rains continue to fall. And children and grandchildren need to be fed. "I have to get back," says Valliammai, who uses one name like many in South India. "I don't know if they can manage." read more