Tuesday, June 20, 2006

may-27th-on-mail

Dear All,

First of all, I d like to thank you for your emails asking about how the thing was going on here in jogja. I am sorry that I was just able to check my email yesterday, june 18th. I spent my last 2 weeks at home due to what happened on May 27th.

You might have heard the news from Fajar, but once again I d like to tell you that you don’t need to worry about me here. I was injured on May 27th, but now I am almost one hundred percent recovered. I am just waiting for the wound on my legs to be fully healed. I am still changing the bandage regularly and also drink the antibiotics too, but other than that I am perfectly ok.

When the quake happened on 27th morning (about 5.50 am), I was in my homestay room in a village located in the southern part of jogjakarta. I was standing near my bed, holding my cell phone when suddenly the house was shaking madly. All happened very fast. Me and my friend trying to catch the door. But some parts of the wall have already fallen on our body. Thanks god both of us could reach the door few seconds later. Outside we just realized what happened. People running and screaming. Confused, shocked, panicked, and may be injured. They were calling for god’s name. We could not think about anything but the volcano’s eruption, since for these last three months the volcano in the northern part of jogja was extraordinarily active. I was so worried about my family, since my hometown is only about 16 kilo meters from the top of the volcano. A moment later I realized that my head was bleeding quite badly. My friend cried soon after I asked her to check on my head. Hehehe. I was not crying though.
In the midst of that catastrophe, me and 3 of friends of mine (2 of them got serious injury on their legs) were taken with the house owner’s car to get medical treatment. We left all of our possession buried in the ruins. All of us departed with bare feet. We could see that the quake has caused a very serious devastation along the street in the location. Houses were mostly ruined. Here and there we could see people bleeding, or crying, or taking a carpet or mattress rolled with dead body inside it. The nearest hospitals were cramped with people injured and parents crying due to their children’s death. I and 2 friends of mine got off in the local public hospital. The situation was horrible. Traffic jam caused by cars carrying casualties happened in front of the hospital. The three of us supported each other, walking through injured bodies outside the hospital. Inside the condition was no better. Injured people were lying here and there on the floor. Blood has made the floor so dirty and for me, frightening…they were lack of paramedics. People demanded that they or their relatives to be handled first. But the medicines were also very limited. The situation was worst when another quake happened at 8.15 and all inside the hospital ran outside for their life.

We decided to stay in the parking lot since. And after more than 2 hours received nothing but bandage and suggestion to press our wound hard, we decided to found a way to the central part of jogja. Thanks god that we found the car that brought us there. Since the driver was also confused, he brought us back to the village. There we receive first aid. The woman who helped us told me that I don’t need to worry about my head. Instead I have to get my foot stitched in 2 hours or the tissues will ‘died’. Hehehe. I bet you can imagine how panic I was. So, three of us were taken (again), this time to the hospital in the city of jogja. it took about an hour. In the hospital, we still have to queue to receive the treatment. They had built some tents outside the hospitals due the emergency. Finally, I got my turn at around 11.30 am. First the stitched my foot, and then they said that I also need the stitches for my head, and in 2 different places, without anesthetic equipment. Hehehe. You can guess whether I cried or not…at around 1 my family (I was so grateful that it was not a volcanic quake and they were ok) picked me up.

So, since then I stayed home and visit the doctor regularly.
You know, this disaster was so shocking and unpredictable. People were much more anxious about the volcano eruption. The southern area of jogja was considered as safer place before, and refugee’s camp were built in north jogja…and as far as people could remember, they was no such a devastating earthquakes in the history of jogja. But now, we know that the province is situated in a very quake-vulnerable location. Moreover, the structure of the ground also makes the impact of the quake more devastating for the buildings. And don’t imagine that we got quake-resistant building like those of japan…

As some of you might already knew, I was doing a kind of 2-months community service to complete my degree. So, we stayed there, socializing with the people, organizing some programs to help them developing their home industries (as the theme of the program was “small and medium enterprise empowerment”). Life was very enjoyable with the local hospitalities and great natural scenery…the people there are very kind…it’s so sad to see them living in the tents, have limited access to electricity and water…but they are hard workers. Now they are trying to have a normal life I guess, although small quakes are still occurring. They go to the fields (most of them are peasants), their children study in the tents (as their temporary school building), some of them even watch the germany world cup 2006 in their refugee’s tents.

Those people received assistances and donation from various parts of the countries and the world, probably from your country too. I could also see an amazing solidarity from people in jogja (including people in my neighborhood who practically receive no serious impact from the quake) and the some places around. They voluntarily help the casualties with food, money, tents etc. those who cannot afford them also try to help by cleaning the ruins of the houses…such solidarity is now commonly seen as a positive part of the disaster, because many people thought that now Indonesians start losing such solidarity, which once was their pride.

It needs maybe more then 5 years to recover, and they still need support from everyone…particularly because our government has so many weaknesses in dealing with such a disaster…so, I hope you don’t hesitate to help if you’ve got access to do it. ^_^

Well, that’s all I can tell you now. I hope it’s not too long. Hehehe. I do appreciate your concern. Wish us luck for the rebuilding and recovery of jogjakarta. And also for the volcano…we’re hoping that there wont be another natural disaster…(currently im having a quite bad sore eyes due to the continuous ash rain caused by the volcano’s activity). Big Thanks.


Missing you very much,


wie