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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