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…
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.