I suppose we are refugees. Technically speaking, of course.
Still no eruption but plenty of earthquakes and some gas escaping.
We are fine now. We’re 20km+ from the caldera and in the safe zone. But for some reason Tom Petty keeps running through my head!
I’ll admit it was a bit scary, a bit stressful, a bit freaky to leave our home in a hurry. Even though we were prepared mentally because of the warnings and had taken precautions to have bags packed ready to go it was still a bit surreal to actually hop on the motorbike that night and leave it all behind.
We love East Bali. We’ve lived here for almost four years and have become part of the community. My daughter goes to a local school. We have friends and neighbors nearby.
Karangasem is a quiet, peaceful place dotted with rice fields, black sand beaches and spectacular views of Mt. Agung.
Amlapura, where we live, is a very local small town with just enough energy and busyness to keep you happy but not too much that’ll stress you out.
Now we aren’t sure when or if we will return.
So we carry on and try to get on with daily normal life.
For us it’s a disruption. We’re the lucky ones. We have friends willing to help. We have an education. We have access to accurate information.
We have options. Not everyone does.
Imagine you’re a farmer and your whole village was loaded on a truck and then plunked at a relief camp far from your home. Your collective memory is of the 1963 eruption that killed 1000+ people.
Even though the information is out there you don’t really know where to look or how to find it.
You are worried about your cows, pigs and chickens that are left on the mountain. Who will feed them?
You’re worried about your village and home.
All you know is that the government showed up in big trucks and buses and told you that you have to leave right away.
That’s where we are now so we’re prepping for a long term wait for the eruption if and when it comes.
On September 24th, I visited the Disaster Relief Command Post as well as some of the relief camps with members of the Bali chapter of the Association of Experiential Learning Indonesia (AELI) https://www.aeli.or.id/
I didn’t know it at the time but it turns out the AELI folks are the perfect group for a situation like this!
They are all professional outdoor educators. Well versed experiential learning and adventure trip leaders trained in First Aid, CPR and Basic Life Support.
They’re all experienced in logistics and organizing large groups and know how to play games for team building and fun!
Their response was immediate, thoughtful, well planned and professional.
Combine that with a camp full of people and lots of kids and you got it.
This is what we do!
So now we have a plan.
Starting October 2nd we’ll be making weekly visits to different camps to provide the following:
- Provide and cook nutritional food (i.e. vegetables & fruits because now there is an overstock of instant noodles!)
- Work with kids and adults for education, play games, have some fun & entertainment (because it’s hot & boring at the camps!)
- Ash fall education using resources from the sites below. (A HUGE THANKS to Dr. Janine Krippner for up to date, accurate, scientific information!)
- Collecting donations to buy supplies and hopefully source masks!
How you can help:
- Source masks and send them to us (contact me for details & address)
- Donate money so we can buy supplies (i.e. vegetables, toiletries, bedding etc.)- contact me for details
- Spread the word & share this blog!
Stay tuned for more updates!