# DAY 11 AFTER THE EARTHQUAKE

daily blog about the earthquake in Lombok

After a while you learn the subtle difference between holding a hand and chaining a soul. And you learn that love doesn’t mean leaning and company doesn’t always mean security.

And you begin to learn that kisses aren’t contracts and presents aren’t promises. And you begin to accept your defeats with your head up and your eyes ahead. With the grace of a woman. Not the grief of a child.
And you learn to build your roads on today. Because tomorrows ground is too uncertain for plans. And futures have a way of falling down in a midflight.

After a while you learn that even sunshine burns if you get to much. So you plant your own garden and decorate your own soul. Instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers.

And you learn that you can really endure. That you are really strong. And you learn and you learn. With every day that passes by you learn.

Love Rose

P.s. Four days before the earthquake we took our boys for diner and made this picture. Andre, Herman and Iling are missing as they had a day off. I can’t wait for the day I can hold all of them in my arms again.

Feel free to share 
RSS
Follow by Email
Facebook
Facebook
Instagram


# DAY 10 AFTER THE EARTHQUAKE

Day 10 after the earthquake in Lombok August 2018

I wake up and look next to me: my Sunshine is still sleeping. I swear I couldn’t love him more than I do right now, and yet I know I will tomorrow. I’ve never shouted from the rooftops that my boyfriend comes from Germany. In the end, it sounds far more exotic when you say: “my boyfriend comes from Brazil or from Italy than my boyfriend is born in Germany.

These days I don’t care anymore what sounds more exotic or cool, I wholeheartedly recommend everyone a German boyfriend. A boyfriend that even after 400 earthquakes remains quiet and holds you tight and keeps saying that everything will work out. A boyfriend with perfect German engineering skills that builds you a new house in the middle of a field including a fully equipped kitchen, laundry room and master bedroom. A boyfriend that makes you smile while all you want to do is cry.

Another small step

From today one there will be a fast boat in the morning between Bali and Lombok. Hopefully it will bring more and more of our friends back home. Since 2 days there are also daily boats at 9AM and 4PM between the Gili Islands and Lombok which makes it a lot easier to bring supplies to our island brothers and sisters. A good friend of mine was supposed to come in 10 days for a holiday and confirmed yesterday he is still coming! And he is not the only one; a lot of the guests of the hotels that are not completely damaged didn’t cancel their bookings and are still looking forward to visit us in paradise.

Each of us can make a difference, together we make change

Every Saturday we visit the local school on Gili Air to host our Club Harapan, which freely translated means Club of Hope & Dreams. Club Harapan is a program that focuses on educating children in conservation efforts. It’s one of the achievements in my life that I’m the most proud of. Education is our greatest opportunity to give an irrevocable gift to the next generation and I can’t wait to see the smiling faces of the kids again.

I would like to reach out to anyone with experience in helping children to deal with trauma. We want our classroom to be a place where the children can freely ask questions, talk about their feelings and feel safe. There is no set recipe or algorithm to get a child through a difficult time like this. It is a judgment of each child’s needs and what can be done to meet those needs in the most effective way. If you are someone who has experience in helping children through a crisis please send me a message.

When things are a bit back to normal we would also like to do organize a meeting in the Mosque after the Friday prayer where we would like to explain the local community exactly what happens when an earthquakes occur, what causes a tsunami and how people can protect their families. Agus Hery Purnomo and Andre Saputra, as this is your field of expertise, would you be willing to help me with this?

Believe in magic

It feels good to make plans for the future and focus on how we can make a difference.We are so close to getting to our target of our crowd funding campaign and I’m sure that with your support we will make it. Show us the power of social media and let us feel that we are not alone. Talk to you soon!

Love Rose

Feel free to share 
RSS
Follow by Email
Facebook
Facebook
Instagram

# DAY 8 AFTER THE EARTHQUAKE

blog about the earthquake in Lombok

I’m sitting at the beach, open my phone and scroll through my messages. It feels like someone covers me with a blanket of love. As sand slips through cracks and openings to fill those spaces, leaving room for movement, shifting and change, this is how your love fills the gaps around me. Thank you so much for bringing me the sun during the past days when I was standing in the rain. Your words give me the strength to get up every morning and make the best out of each day.

Heaven can’t wait

Most of you know my story; I was backpacking around Indonesia, ended up on Gili Air, fell in love with this paradise island and never left. A few years ago the incredible talented Marella made a documentary called ‘Heaven can’ wait’ about my life on Gili Air. You can find the trailer of the documentary here. Unfortunate, for now, you can only watch the trailer on a laptop / pc.  I recommend you to watch the trailer and you will see and understand why we call Gili Air the most magical place on earth and why I decided never to leave. Not even after a 7.0 earthquake ; -)

Little things make big days

If you ever wonder what do to for a friend or stranger in need, this are just some of the things that people did for me in the last week that made my day:

  • Putting pulsa (phone credit) on my phone and the phones of my staff so we can stay connected to the outside world.
  • Telling me (message after message) that we will get through this.
  • Helping me to set up our GoFund Campaign as our internet connection didn’t work.
  • Sending me poems.
  • Putting fresh flowers next to my bed.
  • Giving me the advice to keep singing as this is proven to release trauma
  • Sending me music
  • Telling me I should have sex to release the tension and offering me their house so my Sunshine and I can have some privacy.
  • Organizing fundraisings
  • Telling me random stories which make me forget about everything for a second
  • And much more!

Life is for most of us a continuous process of getting used to things we hadn’t expect

When I saw our house and our villas for the first time the destruction was too big to comprehend, too big to take in. Now we are almost numb to it. The images of strewn bricks, concrete and twisted metal have become the new norm. They’ve lost their shock value. I guess in the end you just get used to it. One of our boys named Andre went back to Java. He has a big network and is helping us from there to get things organized. Hopefully soon a team of engineers will arrive on the island to inspect our buildings.

My family reunited

Yesterday Pudja (one of our boys) arrived home and if everything goes well Ivan and Iling will arrive tomorrow. Slowly slowly my family is getting back together. One of my boys Herman is in a camp in Lombok together with 53 other people. They are constantly running out of food and water. We will keep trying to bring supplies to him and his village for as long as they need.
I would love to share more stories with you but I need to start organizing the supplies for Herman. I wish it was over but it’s only just begun. Please give what you can spare and keep SHARING my story.

Love Rose

Feel free to share 
RSS
Follow by Email
Facebook
Facebook
Instagram

# DAY 7 AFTER THE EARTHQUAKE

Helping the victims of the earthquake in lombok

The weird thing about devastating loss is that life actually goes on. When you’re faced with a traumatic experience and you have no clue how you will life through it, somehow the world keeps turning and the clock keeps ticking. The sun is still rising every morning and the stars are still showing off how pretty they are at night. I can’t believe today is day number 7. Last Sunday seems so far away and at the same time it feels like it was yesterday. I still don’t want to be close to any buildings and with every unusual sound I jump up and start running. Even when our house would still be standing I would still prefer to sleep under the starts outside in the field.

Keeping ourselves busy

I realized quickly that keeping myself busy turns out to best method of moving on. We try to life as normal as possible in this abnormal situation. Yesterday I was scrapping the leaves in our beautiful tropical garden while of course this doesn’t make any sense. Why would a person that is already exhausted waste energy on scrapping leaves?

It’s not that we have any guests checking in today…. But it helps me to keep my mind from wondering in unwanted directions.

Helping ourselves by helping others

We have daily contact with our boys. Pudja, Dan, Iling, Marco and Herman are looking after their families in Lombok. Hendra & Ivan are in a camp in Mataram, Andre and Obed are back in Java and Jack is still with us. Yesterday when I called Herman he told me that his camp (53 people!) are without food and water. My heart broke in tiny little pieces.

I know there where many people and organizations in Lombok trying to help out where they can to bring supplies to all the camps in Lombok. But how could I make it happen that supplies would get send to Herman his camp? After a few phone calls I realized it wasn’t that easy and I decided it would be the easiest when I would bring it myself.

We started filling our empty gallons with water and as much food as we can. With 2 wheel barriers full of supplies we drove to the harbor, stopped on the way to buy more food and paid one of the local captains to bring us to Lombok. On my way over I couldn’t stop thinking: “how would it be possible that this beautiful island that I am looking at right now is completely destroyed? From here it still looks as beautiful as always”. 

I couldn’t wait to see Herman, we haven’t seen each other since the earthquake and as soon as I see his friendly face with his beautiful smile I can feel the tears coming again. We hug and hold each other and keep standing like this for a while. Sometimes no words are needed.

The island is coming back to life

Slowly slowly the island is coming back to life. As the power is back on the island it isn’t pitch-black anymore during the evenings and the nights and somehow it makes me feel safer. Every day I see more of my local friends coming back to the island and yesterday the supermarket even opened for a few hours! Another moment of happiness and hope. As soon as I saw the lady that owns the shop I got of my bike to give her a big, big hug. She knows how much I love avocados and she immediately handed me a few and didn’t even accept any money for it.

Don’t forget

Today it is one week ago and I can see and feel that people that don’t have a direct connection with the Gili Islands and Lombok slowly start continue living their daily life. Where the first few days I got more than a 100 messages a day, now my phone gets more and more quiet. Every day less and less people are sharing our story. And no more journalist are calling me.
I know this is normal, everyday the newspapers are full of war, nature disasters and other horrors. But I want to ask you; please KEEP SHARING our story and show the world we still need help!

With the money of our crowd funding campaign we will not be able to build a new house or start rebuilding our hotel. But it will help us and our staff to get through the first 6 months. Worrying about money is one of the things in life that can takes the most energy out of you. We all know that a day of worry is more exhausting than a week of work. We need all our energy to stay strong and to focus on our future, and the future of our boys and our island brothers and sisters.

I want to ask all of you to take a moment at 7PM tonight (this is the time that the earthquake happened) and surround us with your love and support. Terima Kasih banjak!

Love Rose

Feel free to share 
RSS
Follow by Email
Facebook
Facebook
Instagram


# DAY 6 AFTER THE EARTHQUAKE

blog about the earthquake in lombok

I write my daily updates in the early mornings and post them during the day whenever we had a good internet connection. Today is day 6 after the earthquake. I can’t believe it’s almost 1 week ago. My whole body is in pain and I feel extremely tired

Breaking down

Although we didn’t had an earthquake all day yesterday it was the most difficult day so far. I slowly start to realize what happened and wonder when can I let my nerves rest? When can I grieve? I lost my house and all our villas are extremely damaged. We will not welcoming any guest more in our little boutique hotel.

When you feel the ferocity of Mother Earth trying to bring you to your knees and having to run out of your house and away from trees fearing that your house is about to fall on you, there are so many, too many emotions to feel. Where do you run when the earth is what you are running from? One minute is all it took to change everything that we worked so incredible hard for in the last 3 years.

Together we stand, divided we fall

I can’t leave, I won’t leave because despite all this, Gili Air is still my home and my happy place. I want to stay strong and focus on the future. Hearts are broken and nerves are shattered like the buildings around us, but the feeling of love and connection from all around the world is stronger. In the end, that’s all that matters. Nothing else is as important as telling loved ones how you feel, leaving nothing unsaid. Letting go of grudges because they are a waste of precious time.

Don’t put off till tomorrow what you can do today, and love each other, without asking anything in return. Because when the earthquake happened, I didn’t want my phone, my laptop, my clothes, all I wanted was to be around people who love me. To tell them I was alright and let them hold me and tell me I was alright. I don’t know when this ends but I’m grateful for the lessons, the blessings and the love.


It’s the little things

It’s the little things, like hearing the mosque again for the first time, that make me feel that life will go back to normal again. Only 5 days after a massive disaster they managed to bring back the power. Was definitely not expecting that to happen so quickly.

We try to keep ourselves busy and helping our friends in Lombok where we can. We are waiting till the government declares the islands safe again and we can get a team of engineers in to assess the buildings and help us to make a plan.

What feels like the end is often the beginning

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 our 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. We both still have huge debts behind our names and with no income it will be a struggle to keep paying our monthly reimbursements. Trust me when I say that every little bit helps.

Love Rose

Feel free to share 
RSS
Follow by Email
Facebook
Facebook
Instagram

# DAY 5 AFTER THE EARTHQUAKE

blog-earthquake-lombok-indonesia

For me staying positive doesn’t mean you have to be happy all the time. It means that even on the hard days you know that better days are coming. It’s 7 AM in the morning and we are about to start day number 5.

Your mind makes your world

Yesterday I woke up feeling quite rested. It was the first night where we didn’t had an earthquake and I slept more than 4 hours straight. We started to make plans for the day; out of the 10.000 things that needed to be done, where would we start?

Almost 3 years ago we started our beloved Gili Shark Conservation Project. Our mission is to promote shark conservation efforts through education and research. We collect abundance data from around the three Gili Islands to build a case strong enough to propose to the government to make the Gili Matra Marine Reserve the first recognized shark nursery ground in Indonesia

Besides spending a lot of time in the magical underwater world, we also love to be in the field and give back to the wonderful community of Gili Air by running a Plastic Free Paradise campaign to create awareness and reduce the use of single-use-plastic.

We decide that our focus will be (besides our crowdfunding campaign) the re-opening of the Gili Shark Conservation Project. For the first time since the earthquake I opened my email and to my great surprise I didn’t find one cancellation for our program. Instead I found the opposite; my email is full of people that want to help. I feel so overwhelmed and cry out of happiness.

Life is the most difficult exam

The feeling of not being alone and having a network of people that want to help you and support you is exactly what you need in a surreal situation like this. Together with my island sister Zara we started brainstorming; when could we be up and running again? Where could the volunteers of the project stay now Villa Nangka is destroyed? And what would be the best way for us to help our lovely community of our paradise island to get back on their feet?

Our good friend James from Begadang doesn’t have any damage from the earthquake and offered that our volunteers can stay in his beautiful place. A perfect solution! We checked in with our partner dive center Oceans5 and they hope to be up and running again by the start of September the latest.

The sound of home

And while we are sitting in the field trying to get at least one of our dreams back on her feet I hear: “one, two, test, one, two test followed by a prayer.” I can’t believe it, It’s the mosque! I’ve never been so happy in my life to hear the mosque.

When you live on a tiny Muslim island the sound of the mosque is a big part of your everyday life. Although I had to get used to in the beginning (as it be can quite loud) I started to love hearing the call for prayers. To hear the mosque for the first time in 4 days was for me a sign that we are on our way back to normal.

Another earthquake

We are in a good mood feeling strong and positive till it starts again. After around 300 earthquakes (big and small) in 4 days we got pretty good in recognizing one. We know immediately that this is a big one and run as fast as we can. Zara and me make instantly the same decision to jump in the pool as it’s the furthest away from our buildings. The earthquake is intense but very short. We look at each other and start laughing. Here we are, in the pool with our clothes on hiding form an earthquake and we ask ourselves again: “is this all really happening?”

Stay close to the people that feel like sunshine

We didn’t had a big earthquake in 24 hours and I thought the worst was over. To feel another big earthquake was difficult for me to deal with. Would it ever stop? How much longer do we need to stay strong? I’m so incredible grateful that I have a man next to my side who is strong for the both of us one the moments that I break down. And that we are surrounded by our like-minded island brothers and sister. We got all together, opened a bottle of wine (a big luxury for us) and slowly slowly happiness came around the corner and pushed fear away.

Love Rose

Feel free to share 
RSS
Follow by Email
Facebook
Facebook
Instagram

DAY 4 AFTER THE EARTHQUAKE

blog about the earthquake in Lombok

Was it all a bad dream? Did an earthquake of 7.0 hit us and destroyed everything? I wake up and slowly open my eyes and look around me. I’m lying on a mattress in the field next to Villa Nangka. It’s 5.45 AM, the sun is rising and at the same time I can still see the moon watching over me.

I can feel I’m about to cry and for the first time I decide to let a few of the tears out that I’ve been carrying inside me for the last days. From the moment the first earthquake hit us we’ve been looking after our guests, our volunteers, our staff and more than 100 complete strangers. So far we didn’t had much time to process what happened as we are in survival mode.

This is our home, our island

Almost everyone left the island by now. Although many people recommended us to leave we decided to stay here. Where would we go? Our home is here. The camps in Lombok are completely full and some of them already start to run out of food and drinks.

We have enough water, food and benzine to run the generator. We are camping in the field next to Villa as we had more than a 100 earthquakes in the last 3 days and none of us want to sleep inside a building at the moment. The last earthquake happened yesterday at 11 AM.

At the moment there is no power on the island but because we have a generator we can charge our phones and torches and have a still a connection to the outside world. This connection is incredible important for me. The number of messages I received is overwhelming. I don’t have the time to reply to all of them but know it’s really, really appreciated. I feel surrounded with love and support and it helps me to stay strong. So please keep sending good vibes!

Fear is a liar

Please don’t believe all the stories you read in the newspaper. I’m one of the few people that is still here and I can tell you from first hand that, besides the traumatic experience, we are doing good! Two nights ago, there was a rumor going around that people were coming to the island to start looting which made me incredible scared but in the end it was just a rumor.
There is no looting or violence here and there is a strong community of local and western people that are meeting daily, staying connected and helping each other out where they can. Supplies and medicine were shuttled yesterday morning via helicopters from Bali and there are some dive shops working to set up a supply line from the mainland in Lombok. Electricy workers arrived on the island yesterday and as it looks like now the power will be back soon.

We will be back! 

The best thing you can do for us (besides supporting and sharing our crowdfunding campaign) is not to lose faith in us. Don’t get me wrong, some places got hit really hard by the earthquake (like Villa Nangka) but we are in the minority. There are many places that have hardly any damage. Unfortunate we had to cancel all our bookings but I still recommend all my guests that made a bookings from September onwards, to come and visit our paradise island. 

What happened was a tragic anomaly and we will rebuild and come back better and stronger than ever. Soon, very soon, when things will normalize, it will be the best time to visit the Gili Islands. It’s still beautiful here and you will have the amazing opportunity to enjoy the island without the high season crowd. If any of you have contacts with Dutch journalist, please let me know. I’m happy to share my story. Gili Air will need the help of tourist to get back on her feet.

Little by Little, a little becomes a lot 

Thank you so much to everyone who has been sharing and donating our crowdfunding campaign. To see and to feel that so many people are willing to help us, gives me the strength and the energy to get through the day. 

We would like to invite everyone that donated to our campaign to come and visit us when we rebuild our little paradise and receive a special discounted rate. Please SHARE and let the world know we will be back!

 Love Rose

Feel free to share 
RSS
Follow by Email
Facebook
Facebook
Instagram