# DAY 131 OF PROJECT CINLOC

Ready to Jump!

And suddenly there they are: tears, perfectly round tears. It starts with just a few drops but quickly it feels like monsoon season. It’s February and we still didn’t start rebuilding our dream.

What do you do when you are ready to jump but someone holds you back? I know from the start that project CINLOC would have delays, every building project in the world does, but we are already two months behind schedule and I don’t have much patience left. The days are passing by and it just feels like nothing is happening. Of course this is not completely true, a lot of things are happening behind the scenes, we just didn’t start building yet.

Delays, delays, delays…

Drawings were late, calculations had to be redone, models went missing and we figured out along the way that the contractor that was supposed to build the new Villa Nangka could not be trusted and we decided to search for another contractor.

We went to Bali to and found a very experienced company specialized in bamboo. They will come and visit us today to discuss our plans and see the building site. Fingers crossed we can come to an agreement and we can finally start!

Where does time go?

I will be the first to admit that it’s hard to have patience in a world that moves so very quickly, where time passes in the blink of an eye. We live in a fast paced world. Everything is in constant motion, and everything is changing. On the one hand you can’t rush timing, and on the other hand, you see that time is slipping away from you and feel as though you can barely hold on. But where does it go?

It’s hard to process that time will not stop for us. It will not stand still for you, for me, or for anyone. It will never be on our terms. And so, it’s up to us to make the most of the time we have. We have to decide where we will choose to spend our energy, and what we will stop worrying about. We have to accept that we will never fully understand life’s timing, even though we are and will forever remain at its mercy. And still through all of this, somehow we must make way for patience. I can tell you, it’s not an easy job!

What it means to have patience

Patience means remembering that although time keeps ticking, the best things in life have always been, and are still, worth waiting for. And that good things really are coming to those who wait. I know that when we look back in a few years that it really doesn’t matter if we re-opened Villa Nangka in June or August but in this moment it feels like it will make all the difference! I’m done with looking at the rubble and the mess. I want to see builders walking around, I want to see the stones that will make the new walls, and I want to see the bamboo that will create new stunning roofs we designed.

But I’m slowly learning that things that didn’t work out will eventually work out. Nothing remains the same forever. I won’t always be stuck in a rut. I won’t always feel lost. I won’t always be lonely.My tears will dry.

I’m slowly learning that life is not supposed to be easy and it’s not always supposed to add up but somehow it works out. Somehow it pieces itself back together after falling apart. Somehow it makes sense after driving you completely insane.

Love Rose

Feel free to share 
RSS
Follow by Email
Facebook
Facebook
Instagram

# DAY 120 OF PROJECT CINLOC

Digital Love Letter

Ask me to define my love for you and I’ll say its captured in every beautiful memory of our past, detailed out in the vivid visions of our dreams and future plans, but most of all it’s right now, in the moment where everything I’ve ever wanted in my life is sitting right in front of me and smiling.

Love Rose

Feel free to share 
RSS
Follow by Email
Facebook
Facebook
Instagram

# DAY 118 OF PROJECT CINLOC

Indonesian birthday tradition

Today our lovely Jack is turning 25! Of course we had to celebrate this special event with some traditional birthday love and a birthday cake. When it’s your birthday in Indonesia the change is pretty big that your friends or your family will smash a raw egg on your head and immediately afterwards cover you in flower. It might seem like a bit of a harsh tradition, but after it happened to me for the first time and I was riding my bike home it all started to make sense; the fact that I was covered in flour brought joy to everyone in the village as they could all see that it was my birthday.

Complete strangers stopped me in the street and started to sing happy birthday to me. Which is super nice of course but I never really know what to do with myself when people sing happy birthday to me. Am I supposed to smile while everybody sings? Or do I modestly laugh? Do I make eye contact with people individually, or glance by all of them? Would it be corny if I did that little orchestra conductor thing? Is the singing over with yet? No, no it’s not. It’s only just beginning. If somebody out there can provide me with proper etiquette for handling oneself during the singing of Happy Birthday, I would really appreciate it.

I love Indonesian traditions !

And although it made feel a bit awkward and weird in the beginning, over the years I really started to love this Indonesian birthday tradition. And so do my boys!  The more eggs and the more flower the better. Somehow instead of only Jack, we all ended up completely covered in raw eggs and flower and we all had to take a long shower before we could go back to work.

 In English we say “Happy Birthday” but in Indonesia the greeting, “Selamat Ulang Tahun” translates to, “Happy Repeated Year!”. I never thought much about the difference in specificity between the two greetings – one emphasizing a single day, the other emphasizing the end, or beginning, of an entire year – until I discovered that many of my local friends don’t know their birthdays.

It’s just a number…

They told me that they are part of a generation whose parents were illiterate and thus could not record the date of their birth. They explained that in these cases, the Indonesian government just chooses the 31st of December or the 1st of January as the birthday for all official documents. I suppose that if a birthday is just the mark of another year, repeated, any date would do. After all, it’s really just a number,

Love Rose

.Feel free to share 
RSS
Follow by Email
Facebook
Facebook
Instagram

# DAY 110 OF PROJECT CINLOC

Our mission to protect the ocean

I just finished reading the technical report of the Gili Shark Conservation Project and I’m so incredible proud of the things we’ve archived in 2018. We spent on average 2 hours day underwater every day and collected an extensive volume of underwater data.

〰️ We dropped and viewed closed to 70 Baited Remote Underwater Videos (BRUV) to estimate and compare the relative abundance of sharks inside and outside marine protected areas.

〰️ We found two dead sharks and brought them back to Villa Nangka for further study (this was the first time in my life there was a dead shark lying on my kitchen table).

〰️ We did more than 250 survey dives to identify indicator species and to assess the health of the reefs around the Gilis.

〰️ We identified and named more than 170 turtles and 11 white tip sharks around the Gili Islands. Let’s make sure we coexist with them and respect their environment!

〰️ We wrote a report about the impact of the earthquake on the reef and published two scientific papers.

〰️ We removed more than 1239 pieces / 86 kg of rubbish from our adopted dive site Meno Slope.

〰️ We were invited to the Our Oceans Conference in Bali.

〰️ We collaborated with ZMT (Centre of Tropical Marine Research in Germany) on a social-ecological system analysis examining scuba dive tourism on the Gili Islands.

〰️ Inspired on the amazing documentary ‘Chasing Corals’ we started our own underwater time-lapse project.

〰️ And we did weekly conservation classes where we’ve taught the kids about plastics, marine life, and how to make a difference! Our Club Harapan at the local primary school has now 97 members!

Why I became a shark advocate

If you would have told me 10 years ago I would become a shark advocate and set up a conservation project on a tropical island I would have never ever believed you. When we started our project I didn’t had the knowledge neither did I have the experience. All we had was an intention, a lot of energy and the desire to be part of the solution. I didn’t want to stand on the sideline anymore and watch how other people try to solve a problem which we are all responsible for.

Think about it. We know more about the surface of our moon than we know about our oceans. In a world where everything is overshared, overexposed, and overused, the ocean is our last frontier, where fascinating new discoveries are happening every day.

Its my dream to take my children diving one day but I’m scared there will be nothing to see for them anymore.

According to a study by the World Economic Forum, there will be one ton of plastic for every three tons of fish by 2025, and if things go on business as usual, there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish by 2050.Plastic is ubiquitous in modern society and seemingly unavoidable. But is it worth risking the lives of marine species, the health of the oceans and our own future in the name of convenience? Did you ever try to picture yourself swimming between tons of plastic? Or imagined an ocean without any fish?
Its my dream to take my children diving one day but I’m scared there will be nothing to see for them anymore.

We are all in this together and – now more than ever – is the time to act and become part of the solution. Don’t know where to start? Start small and make the pledge to not use single use plastic for the whole of 2019.

Love Rose

Feel free to share 
RSS
Follow by Email
Facebook
Facebook
Instagram

DAY 107 OF PROJECT CINLOC

Day 107 of building a new boutique hotel on Gili Air

These days we are counting two things: the days of project CINLOC and the weeks of my pregnancy. If it would be a competition project CINLOC would be definitely on the winning hand. But the funny things is that both ‘projects’ have the same due date: 1 August 2019.

So far this is what I learned about being pregnant: You need to pee 5 times a night. Everything tastes like rotting seaweed. Your boobs inflate like Kim Kardashian lips. You can really, really smell things (who knew the world was so full of smells?) Your fatigue is sometimes overwhelming you can’t think anymore (turns out growing a tiny human being takes a lot of energy). The baby glow thing really exist. Nausea is the worst (whoever named it “morning sickness” was a real idiot because it lasts all day, every day and it is the most all-consuming, terrible feeling). Your boyfriend turns into a real gentleman. Every day you discover at least 10 new things you didn’t know about having a baby but for some weird reason everyone around you does.

And this is what I learned about building a new boutique hotel on a tropical island so far :

You need to let go of the old to design something new. Designing your own tiles is a lot of fun! Things take a lot longer than planned. You don’t have to agree on everything, agree to disagree works as well. Taking a building down takes almost the same time as building one. If you wait for things to be perfect to take a chance, then you’ll be waiting forever. Sometimes the beauty of trying is that, even if all the odds are against you, it can still turn into something beautiful. Finding a reliable and honest contractor in Indonesia is very difficult. Seeing your dream slowly come back to live is an amazing feeling.

I can’t wait to see the development of these two magical projects over the next months. Keep you posted!

Love Rose

Feel free to share 
RSS
Follow by Email
Facebook
Facebook
Instagram

# DAY 100 OF PROJECT CINLOC

Two girls and a kangaroo on Magnetic Island

I can’t believe today is day 100 of project CINLOC! So far it’s been a pretty crazy ride and we didn’t even start building yet. Turns out that designing a new boutique hotel takes a lot more time than we imagined. Bu as we (hopefully) get this opportunity only once we want to make sure that we design the perfect place for you to spend your well-deserved holidays. The good news is that the finish line of the designing process is in sight and soon we will share the final drawings with you very soon!

Because I haven’t been posting any updates for a while I started to receive several messages from people who were getting a bit worried.  I’m happy to tell you that there is nothing to worry about and that we are doing fine!

My favorite adventure

While Xmas was waiting for us around the corner, I suddenly got really aware of the fact that this was the first Holiday Season were we didn’t had to work. And this would be the last Xmas and New Years that it would be just the two of us. Maybe it was time to go on a little adventure….

I’ve always known that I’ve wanted to live a life of adventure. I want to swim with whales, and see the sunset from all corners of the world. I want to take in the fresh air and try food I can’t even pronounce. My bucket list is longer than my favorite playlist. But loving my Sunshine is my favorite adventure. (Thank you Andreas for showing me that love is the greatest adventure I could ever embark on. There’s no better way to have a fulfilled life than to have such a beautiful, strong, and funny person by my side. )

The Most Wonderful Time of The Year

We had a wonderful Xmas Eve with our staff. Although it never really feels like Xmas here as I’m still wearing a bikini and drinking out of a coconut, we always try to make something special out of it. We made a big Xmas diner in our improvised kitchen which once used to be our beautiful Pool Villa. It was pouring rain nonstop for hours and the roof was leaking but it all didn’t matter. We are all there; some Moslims, one Hindoe, two Atheists and a few Christians sitting together at one table, as one family, celebrating X-Mas.

And while they were unwrapping their presents I looked around the table and I felt so proud and so grateful. Although a lot has changed none of our staff decided to resign and look for another job. After all what happened in the last months, we were still here, we were still smiling and we were still sitting together. Of course we are all a bit traumatized from the earthquake and we still don’t like it when someone is tapping their feet under the table as it feels like the start of another earthquake, but we somehow managed to continue our lives.

Magical Magnetic Island

A week before Xmas we booked a last minute ticket to Australia and went to visit our dear friend Nadine. She is one of my special people and definitely one of a kind. She’s the friend that will laugh at you when you fall, but is also the first one to pick you up. She’s the friend that knows your deepest, darkest secrets but never judges you. We haven’t seen each other for more than 2 years but as soon as I see her it feels like yesterday.

We spend an amazing week on Magnetic Island and filled our days in great company. A big thank you to my bestie and her captain Robby, crazy sister Shereen and her husband Robert, her lovely cousin Alicia and boyfriend Jamie for all the amazing memories and adventures. It was the perfect end to a not so perfect year.

Love Rose

Feel free to share 
RSS
Follow by Email
Facebook
Facebook
Instagram

# DAY 81 OF PROJECT CINLOC

My first ultra sound in Indonesia

There it is. A heartbeat!  A very strong heartbeat that sounds a bit like a techno song. With tears in my eyes I look at the screen. I never knew I could love someone who I’ve never met, so much. My heart is overflowing with gratitude and I squeeze myself to check if this is really happening.

I can’t help it to think about the last time I was lying here, just three months ago. I remember how difficult and painful it was to look at an empty screen while the doctor was making sure my miscarriage was completed. And now I’m lying here again… but this time tears of happiness are leaving my eyes.

We all lose and we all gain

I look at my Sunshine. I feel so much love for this man. I think about all the ups and downs we’ve been through this year. 2018 is for sure a year we will not forget easily. We lost so much but maybe we gained even more. I learned the hard way that all we have is ourselves and how we react to situations, people, words, actions. Every single person is going through something or is about to go through something. That’s life. We all lose and we all gain.

I know that one day I will look back and see the earthquake not as the end, but as a starting point. As the pivot that turned everything around. As the thing that gave us the courage to try something new, something that would turn into something incredible beautiful.

Worst advice I ever got from a doctor

On the way home I’m staring quietly out of the window. My hands are folder around the picture the doctor gave to us. The proof that our little rainbow baby is on the way. I think back about all the things the doctor said and start smiling when I remember his last words before we left the room: “Because you had a miscarriage before…. maybe now…. instead of having sex four or five times a week…. maybe you could have only sex one time a week.”  No need to say that’s the worst advice I ever got from a doctor.

We leave the city and start driving through the hills of Lombok. My thoughts are drifting further and further away. My mind is driving past memories, moments and events of 2018. I start talking to 2018 like she is sitting next to me in the car;

My dear friend…

“I learned the lessons you were trying to teach me. I learned from the pain, from the heartbreak, from the betrayal, from the tears, from the mistakes and from my own shortcomings.

I forgive you for not being the year I expected. I forgive you for being too hard on me. I forgive you for taking good things away and breaking my heart a few times. I forgive you for the painful days and the lonely nights. I forgive you for all the tears you’ve caused and all the battles you’ve sent me.

I love you for all the blessings you gave me, for the times I spent smiling, for the all the times I laughed with the people that have a special place in my tiny heart. I love you for the moments when you made me feel invincible and for the moments you made me feel alive. I love you for all the unique moments we had together, you will always have a very special place in my heart.”

Love Rose

Feel free to share
RSS
Follow by Email
Facebook
Facebook
Instagram

# DAY 76 OF PROJECT CINLOC

Stunning sunset in Indonesia

I’ve got something really exciting to share with you: Wendy (a super cool Dutch Magazine) asked me if I would be interested to share our Project CINLOC adventures with their readers and…. of course I said yes!

When I started writing daily updates after the earthquake I could have never imagined that it would turn into a (little) job. It’s the first time in my life I share my life so publicly. My feelings, my thoughts, my dreams, my tears, my world.

Thank you for encouraging me to dream BIG!

A big thank you to all the people who encouraged me to keep on writing and to dream big. I remember the first message I received saying “I love reading your posts, you inspire me and I’m sure you will inspire many others. You should consider publishing them”.  I thought it was an incredible sweet thing to say and it made feel warm inside and I didn’t believe a single word of it. But many similar messages followed. After receiving all these words of encouragement the little girl inside me got curious and asked herself; “Would all this people maybe be right? Beside my friends and family, would there be anyone else interested in reading my story?”  

The power of visualizing

I started dreaming and visualizing. In my dreams I saw my story on the cover of a magazine, I saw myself having a coffee with a journalist of a newspaper and one day I even saw my book cover. And while I was busy daydreaming I started to hear this little voice in my head” What are you doing? Do you really think you are a writer? Why would people be interested in reading your story?”

When you think of a big goal or dream that you want to achieve, it’s natural to think of all of the obstacles that will come your way. The problem is far too often we allow these obstacles to become so big in our minds that it inhibits us from moving forward. Luckily I managed to switch off all the voices in my head and to keep on dreaming. And it worked! In the last month…

I did an interview with The Salt Sirens, we got featured in the Jakarta Post, Project Aware wrote an article about us and the cherry on the cake: I become a blogger for Wendy!

Go and chase your dreams!

The older I get, the more I start to enjoy this “dream big thing”. I archived things in life that I never thought would be possible. Every time one of my dreams comes true, it encourages me to dream even bigger the next time. So here I am, dreaming big: Wendy is only the beginning, in a few years you will find my book in the little bookstore around the corner of your house.

So here is my message to you: go and chase your dreams! No matter how big they are, you deserve them. They are made for you. Go and chase your dreams because I love to witness you prove that nothing is impossible.

Love Rose

Feel free to share 
RSS
Follow by Email
Facebook
Facebook
Instagram

# DAY 70 OF PROJECT CINLOC

A Very Good Reason To Visit Wonderful Gili Air

My skin is tanned and my smile is bright. But my chest is heavy and it feels like a whale is sitting on top of my heart. Even in the sunshine my mind is sometimes still full of thunder. They say silent people tend to have the loudest minds.

This week was a week full of emotions. I did an interview with a Dutch magazine and one of their questions was: “last summer there was a big earthquake close to the Gili Islands, could you tell me a little more about this?”. As soon as I heard the question I got a lump in my throat and I could feel the tears in my eyes. My emotions caught me by surprise. I wasn’t expecting them at all! Where was this coming from? I haven’t even been thinking of the earthquake lately.

The day after the interview there was another event that brought back several emotions; a 5.7 earthquake close to Gili Meno. At first I didn’t want to share this with you. The Gili Islands are slowly getting back on their feet and the last thing we need is that people stop visiting our little paradise islands because they are scared. After long consideration I decided to write about it. 

I would like to take this opportunity to tell you the following:

I’ve been living in Indonesia for almost six years. In these six years I’ve experienced more earthquakes than I can count on my fingers. It’s something that is part of living on this side of the world and I’ve never been scared or worried about them and I’m still not! Yes it does bring back a lot of emotions in me when I get reminded of the 5th of august but I still think Gili Air is the most beautiful place in the world.

Before the 5th of August we always laughed when an earthquake happened and saw it as funny little interruption of our daily lives. Now when an earthquake happens I still laugh most of the time and I guess you will do the same when you would be here.Don’t get me wrong, of course there have been earthquakes after the 5th of August that made me cry but please understand that my tears had absolutely nothing to do with the strength of the earthquake and all with the state of my mind and the experience I carry inside me. I’ve been crying after a 3.1 earthquake and slept through a 5.8.

Earthquakes will keep happening in all countries that are situated in the Ring of Fire. The good thing is that the changes are quite small another big one will hit us. And if it does we know exactly what to do ; -) So please don’t be scared or spread scary rumors and come visit Wonderful Gili Air.

Trust me when I say you can really make the difference!

I’m not saying this for me as it will make no difference for me and my Sunshine. Our business will continue to be closed for a long long time. I’m saying this for all my local and western friends that have a business on the Gili Islands and are trying really really hard to keep their head above the water.

Trust me when I say: your visit can make the difference if someone can pay the salaries to their staff or the rent of their shop at the end of this month. The best Xmas gift you can give to the victims of the earthquake is to eat the delicious food in their restaurants, sleep in their beautiful accommodations or book some fun activities like diving or snorkeling. That sounds like a pretty good deal to me. Please SHARE if you agree…

Love Rose

Feel free to share 
RSS
Follow by Email
Facebook
Facebook
Instagram

# DAY 65 OF PROJECT CINLOC

Soil test Gili Islands - Indonesia

I learned another thing today; before you start building a house you need to hire a special company. This special company will send over some nice guys with some very special equipment to dig a very expensive hole.They will take a few samples, hang around a bit, have a coffee and send you the results a week later. I also learned that some people call this a soil test.

Next step: decide on the final roof structure of the new kitchen and make plans for the interior design. Keep you posted.

Love Rose

Feel free to share 
RSS
Follow by Email
Facebook
Facebook
Instagram