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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