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!