INDONESIA, JULY 2006

Date: 
13/07/2006
Country: 
INDONESIA

13 July 2006
I am on board KL to travel to Jakarta from Amsterdam. Unfortunately I had to wait for 7 hours in Amsterdam, fortunately you can use e-mail here. I should perhaps say also that in Yogyakarta two months ago there was a big earthquake in the Bantul area and about 5000 people lost their lives. Mount Merapi also erupted, so I will perhaps see some of that and bring some children’s clothes there. I hope the trip to Yogya will be good. I am travelling on a free ticket this time, but in Jakarta I will go by Lion Air to Yogya. Bu Kustantinah has booked a ticket for me. I would like to see as many of our Rotary projects as possible in Yogya. I would like to see the beginning of our bridge in Wonolagi, see the earthquake area, and give about 30 kg of children’s clothes and work on the Delphe programme, an Asia LINK programme as much as possible. I like Yogya very much. We are now going to land in Kuala Lumpur.

I have just read about my visit last year, exactly a year ago I stopped in Kuala Lumpur and was met by Zainal and his wife and did a PhD examination of Devika from Mauritius.

15 July 2006
I am now in the Quality Hotel, Yogya. I arrived safely last night. I thought the arrival was Terminal one, but it was Terminal two and I had to go to Terminal one which caused a bit of a problem. The Quality Hotel has been closed for about a week due to earthquake damage, but now everything is OK. This afternoon we are going to Wonolagi see the beginning of the bridge being built.

16 July 2006
I went to Wonolagi, what a show. There were about 20-30 small farmers digging the foundations of the bridge in Wonolagi. Stone and water gravel, buckets were used at different steps. Four meters deep, six by four meters wide. Stones, gravel and water separated. Damage from the earthquake can be seen in many places, but it’s not too bad in Wonolagi except that the old schoolhouse which was not used any more was completely flattened and some big stones had fallen on the road so it is very difficult to travel on the road to Wonolagi.

17 July 2006
I have now gone to Bantul in the middle of the earthquake area with Nannung. I took all the children’s clothes with me. I have never seen such devastation before. Nearly all the houses were completely destroyed and if not completely destroyed, they were badly shaken. Large buildings were just hanging over. The children liked all the clothes but it was not an easy distribution because so many people were standing in a long queue to get it. I spoke to a small farmer who is trying to rebuild a house. Just tonight we have been informed of another earthquake in west Java but the population there is less dense and apparently 48 people have died but it has not been confirmed yet. Today, Monday, we had a meeting of staff who were retiring. Unfortunately it was all in Bahasa Indonesia. Time goes to fast when I am here, I should stay longer. There is so much to do and the conditions for doing it are very nice.

24 July 2006
A week has gone by and I am home again. I should have written before, but anyway I landed yesterday. I really had a busy time in Yogya. On Monday I met people who were retiring then worked on the Delphe programme. Made Nitic from Bali arrived and we had dinner with him at the Gallery. Made Nitic is suffering from Alzheimer’s and is a bit weak. On Tuesday we had a meeting of Marginal land which was where I was speaking and Made Nitic was also speaking. He is going back to Bali tonight. In fact I was invited also to go to Bali for a Saturday meeting but it was simply going to be too rushed. We had discussions about Asia LINK and also about the next big meeting in November. It was a very busy day. On Saturday morning after the meeting we went to see Merapi, where there was a scary sight of lava and a dry river valley filled up with ash. It was quite different from the earthquake areas, but many houses were virtually covered. I took many photographs of it. It has been a busy trip but I felt we did achieve something important and I had a look at the earthquake damage so I can relate to it better and indeed also to the Merapi damage although Merapi was not nearly on the scale of the earthquake.