# DAY 23 AFTER THE EARTHQUAKE

How to recover from trauma

Thank you so much to everyone who took the time to share their knowledge and experience about trauma with me. It’s been very helpful and enlightened me in many ways. I’m very proud & excited to share with you that we will host our first trauma healing class for the kids this Saturday!

I’ve learned a lot about trauma over the last 3 weeks and I would like to share some of my findings. I hope that they will help my Gili family (and maybe even others) with dealing with their memories.

Recovering from trauma doesn’t mean forgetting your experience or not feeling any emotional pain when reminded of the event. Recovery means becoming less distressed and having more confidence in your ability to cope as time goes on. To help yourself recover, try some of the ideas below. Even if you don’t feel like doing these things, they might help you to come to terms with the trauma and reduce some of the distress associated with it.

How to recover from trauma

  • Recognize that you have been through an extremely stressful event and it is normal to have an emotional reaction to it. Give yourself permission to feel rotten, but also remember your strengths. Even though it’s tough, you can deal with it.
  • Avoid making major life decisions such as moving house or changing jobs in the days and weeks after the traumatic event. On the other hand, make as many smaller, daily decisions as possible, such as what you want to eat or what film you’d like to see. This can help you to feel more in control of your life.
  • Look after yourself by getting plenty of rest (even if you can’t sleep) and regular exercise. Eat regular, well-balanced meals. Physical and mental health are closely linked, so taking care of one will help the other.
  • Plan your days and try to schedule at least one enjoyable or meaningful activity each day. Try making a timetable for each day, including some exercise, some work, and some relaxation.
  • Cut back on tea, coffee, chocolate, soft drink, and cigarettes. Your body is already ‘hyped up’ enough and these substances will only add to this.
  • Make time for relaxation, whether it’s listening to music or having a hot shower – whatever works for you. It might be helpful to learn a relaxation technique like meditation, yoga, progressive muscle relaxation, or breathing exercises.
  • Get back to your normal routine as soon as possible, but take it easy. Don’t throw yourself into activities or work in an attempt to avoid painful thoughts or memories of the trauma. Tackle the things that need to be done a little bit at a time, and count each success.
  • Try not to bottle up your feelings or block them out. Recurring thoughts, dreams and flashbacks are unpleasant, but they are normal, and will decrease with time.
  • Spend time with people you care about, even if you don’t want to talk about your experience. Sometimes you will want to be alone, and that’s OK too, but try not to become too isolated.
  • Talk about your feelings to someone who will understand, if you feel able to do so. Talking things through is part of the natural healing process and will help you to accept what has happened. As you start to feel better, you may even wish to provide support to others who have been through similar situations.
  • Write about your feelings if you feel unable to talk about them.

I think there is a big scary truth about trauma; there is not such a thing as getting over it. There is no “going back to the old me”. I am different now, full stop. But I believe this is not a wholly negative thing. Healing from trauma can also mean finding new strength and joy. The goal of healing is not papering over or present things as normal. It is to acknowledge and wear your new life with warts, wisdom and all, with courage.

Sending everyone who is dealing with trauma strength, love and more love!

Love Rose

p.s. Please keep sending love & support. The best way to start the day is with messages full of love and encouragement. It gives us the strength to get out of bed every morning and to make the best out of each day with a smile on our face (and sometimes a few tears).

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# DAY 22 AFTER THE EARTHQUAKE

Guy kisses girl on her forehead

No earthquake, no tsunami and the world didn’t end ; – ). The craziest rumors went around Lombok and the Gili Island the last days. Many people got incredible scared and flee into the hills. I’m so happy and grateful that Sunday the 26th of August passed by as an ordinary Sunday.

Hopefully this will give people the courage to come back to the island and slowly start rebuilding their life. Although I love to have the whole beach for myself, it would be nice to see my friends again and enjoy our beautiful Paradise together.

We slept inside! 

Our traditional bungalow has severe damage but might be our only building that we can repair. Today we started cleaning it and creating a home for whenever we are ready to sleep inside again. It felt so good to make a start with moving all the rubble and to clean all the dust. We put fresh sheets on the bed, fresh flowers on the table and sprinkled some love around. If you would squint your eyes, ignore all the cracks and the broken glass, it’s almost like nothing happened.

We decided to try to have a little nap inside and…. it worked! I slept like a Rose for almost 2 hours. I never thought there would come a moment in my life where I would get so excited about a nap but here it is; I’m singing and dancing and can’t stop smiling. I slept inside and I wasn’t even scared!

I am so happy, I feel like I could fly

Villa Nangka is located next to H20 Yoga Center. John (the owner) just dropped by and told me with me a big smile on his face: we are back! First yoga class is Thursday at 9 AM and is for free for whoever wants to join. And last but definite not least: my good friend Pascal arrived on the island today. I am so happy, I feel like I could fly!

Love Rose

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# DAY 21 AFTER THE EARTHQUAKE

Trash collection on the Gili Islands

I can’t believe I just typed that sentence. How is it possible that already 3 weeks passed by since that devastating evening? If there is one thing I learned in the last 3 weeks it’s that when you can’t find sunshine you only have one option and that is to be the sunshine. We survived more than 300 earthquakes, we are still here and we are still able to smile and to love. Whatever the future will bring, I am sure we will be able to handle it.

Expectation feeds frustration

As most people haven’t returned to the island, the trash situation is getting a bit out of hand. No one is collecting the trash at the moment and you find trash bags on every corner of the street. A lot of people (especially business owners) came back after the first earthquake to clean out their fridges and burn their trash. Some people came back to clean their fridges, put their trash on the side of the road and left again (did they expect that the trash would still get collected although almost everyone left the island?!?), and some people left after the first earthquake and haven’t returned yet.

We got together yesterday to start collecting the trash and bringing it to the dump where people have been burning trash since the start of this tragedy. You can imagine how bad the smell gets when trash has been standing in the sun for 2 or 3 weeks. One of the trash bags that I picked up immediately fell apart and my hands were literally covered in shit from a diaper.

I don’t want to be angry or frustrated and tell myself; everyone has the right to deal with this situation in their own way. It was our choice to stay and other people made the decision to leave. There is no right or wrong. I just wish the earth would stop shaking, people would return home and we could start rebuilding our Paradise. Together.

Any other day but not today

The first 7.0 earthquake happened on a Sunday, the second 7.0 earthquake happened on a Sunday and today its Sunday again. Many people believe today another big earthquake will happen and left Gili Air. The island looks deserted again.

I don’t mind if there will be another earthquake but from the bottom of my heart I hope it doesn’t happen today. Any other day this week is fine, one more or less doesn’t really make a difference to me anymore, but just not today. Let’s keep our fingers crossed. 

Love Rose

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# DAY 20 AFTER THE EARTHQUAKE

Testing the water on the Gili Islands after the earthquake

Since the first earthquake we’ve been talking about how the research team of our beloved Gili Shark Conservation Project can help the community of Gili Air to rebuild their paradise. We decided to focus on the three following points:

1. Healing the trauma of the children

Every Saturday we visit the local school on Gili Air to host our Club Harapan, which freely translated means Club of Hope & Dreams. The school of Gili Air is luckily still standing after all the earthquakes we had in the last 3 weeks but it needs fixing. We want to ask the engineer team that will visit Villa Nangka next week to also visit the school and estimate the costs of the repair work. We will donate some of the money that we received through our crowd funding to the school so they can hopefully open their doors again in the very near future.

We want the school to be a place where the children can freely ask questions, talk about their feelings and feel safe. In one of my previous post I reached out to everyone who has experience in helping children to deal with trauma. I’m happy to share with you that I’ve got great response; I received lesson plans, outlines for games and activities and a yoga teacher that is specialized in traumas will visit us in October. But more always helps more. So if you have an idea or experience how we can help the wonderful kids of Gili Air with healing their trauma, don’t hesitate to send me a message.

2. Educating the community about natural disasters

The one thing that’s worse than feeling all these earthquakes is the fear mongering that is going on, causing panic while most of the time this is completely unnecessary. An earthquake doesn’t kill people, buildings and how people react do. Studies shown that most injuries occur the hours after an earthquake.

To be completely honest, I was also one of these people that didn’t know much about earthquakes, (Why would I? I grew up in the Netherlands!) but I think I can say by now I’m quite an expert.

I was having dinner with my good friend Renee while the first big earthquake happened. Shortly after I jumped on my bike to drive to Villa Nangka to ensure our guests were safe and to check on my Sunshine. On the way home I saw many people sitting in trees and I remember wondering: “Why do people start climbing threes right after an earthquake?” It didn’t seem logic. The word tsunami never crossed my mind and I heard it for the first time just before I arrived at Villa Nangka. 
The tsunami warning was withdrawn in less than an hour but for most people the fear for a tsunami stayed all night. Based on what I have witnessed with my own eyes, I can give you the advice: Climbing threes out of the fear of tsunami while the world is still shaking isn’t the best idea

The earthquake was scary but what I found far scarier is to witness how panic arises in a large crowd. The first big earthquake was on a Sunday, the second big earthquake was last Sunday and tomorrow its Sunday again. The rumor started to go around in Lombok that another earthquake will hit tomorrow and people are leaving their camps and fleeing to the mountains because they are scared. You can’t blame them, if you don’t have the knowledge how would you know that you can’t predict earthquakes?
An official statement from the Government has been sent out basically saying this rumor is complete bullshit and people should remain calm. Its working and most people returned to their camps. But the fear is not complete gone, our boys Marco and Iling from Lombok decided to stay with their family till at least Monday.

Our research team is working hard every day to explain the community (online and face to face): what is an earthquake, what to do when an earthquake occurs and what causes a tsunami. Today we invited everyone to bring us a sample of their well water to test salinity, suspended particles

3. Assisting our staff and neighbors with rebuilding their homes.

We have six volunteers arriving in September and four of our friends will come to help us. Together with our boys and the staff of our research team we will be around 20 people. When this storm will pass and the earth becomes quiet again we will help our staff and neighbors to rebuild their homes. For our boys from Lombok that lost their house we will order military tents from Java. These will be flown over in the next few days to provide our boys with proper shelter, especially now rainy season is around the corner. Although not a long-term solution, these tents will ensure that our boys and their families have space and protection to finally rest.

Last but definitely least I would like to share something with you that a close friend of mine send to me the other day:

8 things to remember when you are going through a though time

  1. Everything can – and will – change.
  2. Don’t forget you overcome challenges before.
  3. It’s a learning experience
  4. Not getting what you want can be a blessing (I guess it’s too early to realize this but I hope we can say this one day in the future)
  5. Allow yourself to have some fun.
  6. Being kind to yourself is the best medicine
  7. Other people’s negativity isn’t worth worrying about.
  8. Ad there is always, always, always something to be thankful for.

Love Rose

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# DAY 18 AFTER THE EARTHQUAKE

Happy Couple in Love

I’m on the toilet when my phone starts beeping. I quickly have a look and see a notification: “Dear Rose, you reached the target of your crowd funding campaign”. I’m confused and almost fall down in the toilet (for your information I’m on a traditional Indonesian toilet, which basically means your squatting above a hole). How was this possible? When I checked this afternoon we still needed around 3500 EUR to reach our target. I walk outside and log into our GoFundMe page. One of our lovely guests that stayed with us last year (and was planning to visit us again this year) made a very generous donation to make sure we reached our target.

I’m completely speechless and wish there was a bigger word than thank you. It feels like every donation, every like, every share and every message is a wish for our happiness. And to see and feel that so many people would like us to be happy is overwhelming. I guess success in life comes when you simply refuse to give up with goals so strong that obstacles failure, and loss only acts as motivation.

The money of our crowd funding campaign will help us and our boys to survive the first 6 months where will not have an income but the world keeps on turning. To know that we don’t have to worry about our debts, salaries and other business obligations is priceless. Because of all of you we have the opportunity to completely focus on rebuilding our little paradise, support our boys and help the wonderful community of Gili Air wherever we can.

Food & friends are the best medicine

One of my favorite things to do is having dinner with friends and talk, laugh and share. Last night our good friends Jill & Jimmy came over and we had such a lovely evening together. We played Cards Against Humanity (thanks for the gift @renee) and we were laughing all night. It’s been a few days now that we didn’t felt an earthquake and every day we start to feel more relaxed. And sometimes when my mind starts wondering, the devil whispers in my ear; remember what happened the last time when you thought it was over? Fortunately these moments of anxiety are only for a quick second. We take a positive step forward every day, even our very bad days gives us the strength we need to make tomorrow a better day.

Love Rose

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# DAY 17 AFTER THE EARTHQUAKE

Earthquake lombok and the Gili Islands august 2018

Those days when you just don’t know how you feel. When your thoughts are left and right. Those days where you don’t feel sad but you are also not singing along when you hear your favorite song. Those days where you wake up in good spirit and full of energy but after doing a few simple tasks you feel completely drained. Those days where you start writing but the words are stuck somewhere between your heart and the paper. Today is one of those days. Will catch up with all of you tomorrow.

Love Rose

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# DAY 16 AFTER THE EARTHQUAKE

Camp on Gili Air build after the earthquake

I’m starring at the header of my story; ‘Day 16 after the earthquake. Technically speaking this is not entirely correct. The big earthquake that we felt 2 days ago is been classified by BMKG as a new activity, separated from the M.70 earthquake on the 5th of August. According to the report that I received yesterday from the Dutch ambassador (which who I am in contact with on a regular basis) more buildings collapsed in the north of Lombok and as a result of the shaking, people started panicking again.

Some people had severe reactions because they felt that the noise generated by the earthquake was louder than before. People heard a roar that probably came from the landslides in nearby hills and Mount Rinjani. Over more than 500 earthquakes in 2 weeks. I guess you could say today is day 1, day 2 and day 16 after the earthquake.

Flowers bring happiness

Taking into account we had 15 earthquakes during the night, we woke up kind of fresh and rested yesterday. We started the day together with banana pancakes and some strong coffee. What would we do today?

One of the things I loved the most about our little paradise is our huge tropical garden with more than 100 different plants and flowers. For a girl who always lived in big cities owning 2000m2 of land on a tropical island was in the beginning quite scary and unreal. I had no knowledge or experience with gardening but soon I learned there are no gardening mistakes, just experiments.

I loved the fact that I didn’t had to go to the market to buy flowers but that I could just handpick them from my own garden. My boys noticed quickly how happy it makes me to see fresh flowers and I would find flowers everywhere; in my house, in the office of the Gili Shark Conservation Project and in all the villas of the guests. At one point I even had to ask them to take it down a nudge otherwise there wouldn’t be any flowers left in my garden.

These days Villa Nangka looks like a deserted ghost paradise. The only thing that remained after the earthquakes is our beautiful garden. Yesterday we started to move the plants away from the buildings so when the demolishing team comes, we can maybe save a bit of our little paradise. And although it’s causing me blood, sweat and tears, moving our garden in this bloody heat works ‘cathartic’.

It’s hard to be sad when you are eating a cookie

Although we are sleeping in a field somehow it still feels like home. We often joke that people can still check in into Villa Nangka. When I asked one of my boys the other day how much we should charge per night he said “I think for your bed we should charge 2 million per night boss because it has sunrise view.” I couldn’t stop laughing. Yesterday 3 more people moved in to our camp and it felt good to welcome them into our new ‘home’ and to put fresh flowers next to their beds.

My beautiful friend Renee came around yesterday afternoon and started baking cookies in the middle of the field. Surrounded by my Gili Air family and the smell of cookies I rested my head and finally fell asleep.

I’m done with being patience

Being patience has never been my strongest asset and now more than ever it gets tested on a daily basis. In the morning we received the news that the team of engineers that would arrive on Tuesday cancelled their flight because of the recent earthquakes. I break down into tears. We’ve been counting the days for this team to arrive. We would finally get help. We would finally get answers to the 1000 questions that been wondering in our minds. We would finally start to make a plan. Now we need to wait another 10 days and I got another opportunity to practice my patience.

In these moments that I break down I often re-read the messages that friends and complete strangers have been sending me. I have no energy yet to reply to them one by one but please know that they are helping me in the moments where the world feels dark and cold. They say that when you wake up crying real tears it’s because you have finally touched upon some buried grief through a dream. You may have released all the grief, or there may be more to come. Either way, when you wake up crying, it is good and healing. So I guess I just keep taking naps…

Love Rose

P.s We would love to offer everyone that supports our campaign a free night in our new rebuild little paradise. To all the awesome people that have donated so far: vouchers are on the way. Keep sharing & sending love and good vibes.

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# DAY 15 AFTER THE EARTHQUAKE

Dutch girl sees her indonesian friends again for the first time after the earthquake

No update yesterday. No energy, no words, nothing to tell. I always loved writing but haven’t been telling stories for a long time. I guess I was too caught up in paradise life. The day after the earthquake I was drawn to my notebook. It was the perfect way to let all the chaos out and to keep my loved ones updated about our situation here.

I can recommend everyone to write. Pick a word and see where it takes you. Because I’m convinced that you store everything in your body; the gorgeous, the ugly, the painful, the ecstatic. It’s all there locked away in your cells where memory, tension, and confusion remain day after day, waiting to be set free. You don’t have to show it to anyone, not even yourself again, if you don’t want to. But when it’s written down as a list, as a paragraph or poem or story, you can go to bed with a greater understanding of yourself, of the world or even both; yourself in this crazy beautiful world. And it all begins with just one word.

Trial & Error

Yesterday morning I woke up completely exhausted after another night with hardly any sleep. Staying strong and positive in this situation is not the easiest but staying strong and positive when you are so tired is a completely different story. On most days I wake up when the mosque starts the call for prayer at 4.30 AM. Having a nap during the day is almost impossible as there is no safe place where you can find some shade.

I know I need to rest so I can stay strong for myself, my sunshine and my boys. Our dear friends Andrea & Marge offered us we could stay in their house on Gili Air whenever we want for as long as we want. This morning seemed a good morning to take them upon their offer. It was the first time in two weeks we laid down inside a house. It felt weird, not sure if it was weird in a good way or a bad way, it just felt weird. One hour passes by and I slowly feel that my body start to relax.

Suddenly I start to feel anxious again and I feel that every muscle in my body becomes tighter. It starts again. Would it be possible that by now, after more than 500 earthquakes in 2 weeks, we developed a sixth sense and we can feel it coming? After 2 days of silence, the world starts rumbling. Again!

The saddest kind of sad is when your tears can’t even drop and you feel nothing. It’s like the world just ended. You don’t cry. You don’t hear. You don’t see. We wait till it stops and decided to go ‘home’ again. We are definitely not ready to be inside a building.

Magical sunsets

Our favorite place on the island – Mowies – is opening for the first time tonight. Everyone is excited. The sunsets on Gili Air are pure magic and watching the sunset is a big part of our daily life here. When I arrive at Mowies in the late afternoon the girls are already standing outside and they give me the biggest hug ever. They tell me their stories and I keep telling them how brave they are. It feels great to sit on the beach together and I’m so grateful for this little moments of happiness.

It never stops

We are all asleep when it starts again. I immediately know it’s a big one and I wonder: is it ever going to stop? We check online and see that it was a 7.0 (!!), same as the very first one 2 weeks ago. It seems there is no break from these awful destructive earthquakes at the moment. Just last night we had more than 15 earthquakes.

When I started my day this morning I was so frustrated with this feeling of extreme fatigue, now I’m grateful for it. Because even when we just had another massive earthquake we are all so tired that quiet quickly we all fall asleep again like nothing ever happened.

It can’t get worse than this

All our buildings got so extremely damaged during the first earthquake that we don’t even worry about them anymore. I even got to the point that I actually can’t wait for a team of engineers to come in and demolish our little paradise. I don’t want to see it anymore. I want to leave this chapter behind and move on. I want to world to stop shaking.

Today is day 15. I have no idea what this day will bring. But if I learned anything from life, it’s that sometimes the darkest times can bring us to the brightest places. We have to keep going. Even when we are scared and strength seems gone, we have to keep picking ourselves back up and moving forward. Because whatever we’re battling in this moment, it will pass and we will make it through. We’ve made it this far. We can make it to whatever comes next.

Love Rose

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# DAY 13 AFTER THE EARTHQUAKE

two girls on a bench having fun

I wake up most days feeling confused and lost. Every morning it takes me a few seconds to realize that it wasn’t all a bad dream and that we really got hit by a massive earthquake. On some days I want to scream to the Universe: “I showed you I can do it! I survived an earthquake and lost everything. I kept my head up high every day and kept filling my heart with love and my mind with hope. Can we pretty please go back to normal now?” I miss daily life; talking to our guests, having lunch with our boys, seeing the sunset with friends, sleeping in my own bed.

Everyone is different, everyone is special

Some people survive and talk about it, some people survive and go silent. Some people survive and create. Everyone deals with pain and grief in their own way, and everyone is entitled to that, without judgment. Remember how vast the oceans boundaries are? Whilst somewhere the water is calm, in another place in the very same ocean, there is a colossal storm.

I have the feeling that the people (locals and expats) that left to Lombok after the earthquake are way more traumatized than the people that stayed on Gili Air. We haven’t seen complete villages disappear, we haven’t seen any dead bodies and we didn’t spend any time in a camp without food and water. Although I wasn’t sure at the time, I’m incredible grateful that my Sunshine made the choice for the both of us, to stay on Gili Air and not evacuate to Lombok.

Island sisters

Zara become part of our family almost 3 years ago. I’m pretty sure we’ve met in a past life. From the first moment we met, it felt like coming home. I’ve never had a sister in my life but by knowing Zara I can imagine how it would feel like to have someone that is cut out of the same wood like you, feels the same things as you & sees the world through the same eyes as you. The Gili Shark Conservation Project wouldn’t be where it is today if it wouldn’t be for her countless efforts and endless energy. She is my side kick and I wouldn’t know what to do without her.

Zara never thought of leaving her ‘family’ or her island. Having my island sister next to my side during this whole time is been priceless. I’m pretty sure she will hate me for writing about her as she is one of those hero’s that hates standing in the spotlight. I hope you can forgive me sister, I just think that the world should know what a true star you have been during these crazy days!

Word of the Day

On the night of the Earthquake I was having dinner with my beautiful friend Renee. She came back to the island yesterday and it was amazing to see her again. She also thought me a new word: ‘cathartic which means providing psychological relief through the open expression of strong emotions; causing catharsis’. Dear Renee, although I’m pretty occupied these days, I will try to use it in a sentence today; -)

Little by little, a little becomes a lot

Today was the first time the dive boat of Oceans 5 headed out again to visit the magical underwaterworld around the Gili Islands. Also my island brother Fadli did his first snorkeling trip since the earthquake. A few more restaurants opened their doors and the streets seem busier every day. If you would like to know which businesses are operating at the moment, visit https://gilistrong.org/. If you have a business on the Gili Islands make sure you register your business on this website, it only takes 1 minute.

I’m so grateful that all of you help me to SHARE my story and please keep doing so. We need the help of our friends and strangers to get back on our feet. The target of or crowd funding campaign is not enough to build a new house but it will helps us to keep our staff and get through the first 6 months. Trust me when I say that every little bit helps.

Love Rose

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# DAY 12 AFTER HE EARTHQUAKE

Daily blog about the earthquake in Lombok

If I would ask you: “what does the word ‘home’ mean?” what would you answer? Is it the place where you have your house? Or is it the place where you grew your roots? I’m lucky enough that I can call more than one place in this crazy beautiful word, home.

Now my ‘home’ on Gili Air is completely destroyed I’m longing to my other ‘home’; my family in the Netherlands. Living abroad, far away from your family, is never easy. But being away from your loved ones in these crazy times makes it extra difficult. I miss them, not the “I haven’t seen you in a while” kind of miss you but the “I wish you were here at this very moment” kind of miss you.

I want my mum to brush my hair and make pasta di mama for me. I want my dad to give me one of those long hugs where you kind of forget whatever else is happening around you. I want to hear the stupid jokes of my two big brothers; the only people that would pick on me for their own entertainment but will beat the shit out of anyone else who tries to do the same. I want to be ‘home’.

Luckily I also have a family here. A very special family. My Gili Air family. Yesterday another one of my boys came home. We were all so happy to see him! We prepared a huge curry feast for lunch and it was wonderful to see that there was one less empty chair. Hopefully by next week all chairs will be taken again.

Back to the beginning

We signed the papers to buy Villa Nangka on the 15th of December 2015. It felt so unreal. I remember thinking when we walked out of the notary office: “Did we really just bought the place where we fell in love and that we both call ‘home’ “?

The big adventure started. For more than 2 years we renovated our little paradise and every time we thought we are almost done, something broke down that had to be fixed and another project started. As we only had just enough money to buy Villa Nangka we had to be very creative with the interior design of the villas. Almost every piece of furniture in Villa Nangka I sandpapered by hand and I spent hours and hours whitewashing. At one point my friends didn’t even look surprised anymore when I would rock up at their place still covered in paint.

Two months ago I cleaned my whole closet and put all my “working clothes” in a bag for charity. The time of whitewashing was finally over. . I ordered some beautiful dresses and got them delivered to Germany as Andreas was planning to fly to Germany on the 8th of August. My Sunshine never went to Germany and I never got my dresses.

Learning new words

English is not my mother language but after living abroad for many years it became my first language; I even dream in English. Over the last 12 days I learned many new words. One of these words is ‘demolishing’ (for all you people that also never heard of this word before, it means pull or knock down a building ; – ). After the earthquake not a day passed by where I don’t hear this word. Yesterday a contractor visited our little paradise and told us what we maybe deep down inside already knew; all our buildings, except the bungalow, need to get ‘demolished’.

After this news I sat down with my anger long enough until she told me her real name was grief. Grief I learned is really just love. It’s all the love you want to give but it can’t go anywhere. All of that unspent love gathers up in the corners of your eyes, the lump in your throat, and in that hallow part of your chest. Grief is maybe just love with no place to go.

Keep sending love & good vibes

Today I woke up feeling strong again. We will get through this and we will open the doors of our little paradise again someday in the future. I can’t tell you enough grateful I am for all the powerful messages we receive. If you read at least 50 times a day that things will be okay, you actually start believing it. So please keep sending love and good vibes & SHARE our story. We are getting closer to the target of our crowdfunding campaign every day. Believe me when I say: every little bit helps.

Love Rose

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