blog.indahnesia.com - Discover Indonesia Online

    
You are currently in > Just a blog about Indonesia > Children from Mblali


Children from Mblali YOGYAKARTA - On a late afternoon late last week I was to receive a short text message. I get a lot of them here as it is a cheap way to communicate here during the day, but this one was more special, or more important however you want to call it. It was from a foundation that has done emergency response after the earthquake in Central Java - today two months ago - as well as to tsunami-stricken Pangandaran just a while ago. They are still active in the area of Mblali, a village where people from other villages have found shelter after the earthquake. As one of the few they have maintained their outpost on the local field there, while most other organizations have already wrapped up their 'on-the-spot' emergency efforts.

The next day was Hari Anak Nasional, National Children's Day, and they had picked up the idea to bring a bus load of children, fifty in total, would be brought to the nearby town of Gabusan, where a local event was to be organized for the children that have been victim of the earthquake in their region. Several hundred of children would show up and we were to go there as well. The short and simple question was if I would like to join for that one day.

Barely 12 hours later I woke up just before six in the morning, the timer of my hand phone set to exactly six o'clock was not needed anyway. As usual, I'm awake pretty fast, taking a shower, have some breakfast and then on the motorbike with a friend and a bag of photographers equipment. However I'm just an amateur photographer, I like to make pictures of what I see. I have done that since a long time already and I hope I can keep doing that in Indonesia as well.

We didn't go to the central meeting point near the place I live, it was kind of useless to meet there, park the motorbike there and go on with the others. We would be on the field in Mblali at about the same time as the others, because traffic was still pretty low this early morning hour. That's why we only met at the field at around eight o'clock, the trip is just about 50 minutes from here and yet it's a completely different world. Buildings destroyed, people living in tents, huge piles of rubble along the road or in big trucks. It is still a disaster area, only you can leave out the dead bodies.
A tent in the middle of the ruins of their house. These people in the nearby village of Plumutan have to spend their time living in this tent until there is a new house for them.
A tent in the middle of the ruins of their house. These people in the nearby village of Plumutan have to spend their time living in this tent until there is a new house for them.

On the field there was not much activity. Three tents were left of a complete emergency camp set up shortly after the earthquake, their spots marked by different shades of green and yellowish grass. A handful of youngsters were playing a game of soccer on the dry field, while the girls were watching them from beneath the shadow of a big tree on the edge of the field. In the middle a small party-tent where several motorbikes were parked. At the other edge a small river which had run dry because lack of rain in the area and two more tents, one from PKS (political party) and one from the foundation.

Some people were preparing breakfast for themselves as another was watching some television on a small TV with bad reception. Power was arranged from a temporary meter on a bamboo stick, one light bulb was still burning near what has to be named a kitchen too, a trench covered in plastic, a few pieces of wood, water supply and a bottle of liquid soap. I parked the motorbike in the shadow of the tent, knowing that it would be in full sun when I returned, unless it had become cloudy by that time, chances were slim, but I took it. I met everyone of the foundation and I was very happy they all got name tags not much later when the following car had reached the field as well. I'm not good at remembering names, especially when I meet many new people that all look alike to me.

Fifty children in one bus

Yes, it's possible to get fifty of those children in one bus; it just takes some time to get them in and settled somewhere. Of course we needed to know who was on it, so we had to write down all the names. They had to get out again to get their names registered, but in return they received a free had to wear. For them a nice surprise, for us a good way to recognize them as 'ours' and a way to ensure they would not get any health problems while traveling with us. However this trip wasn't supposed to take an entire day, you still have to be prepared pretty well for it.

From about nine o'clock in the morning, the program for the children started in Gabusan, on the premises of an art-market that is open almost daily. The main building across the street is damaged beyond the point of using it without repairs, so all the people have moved to the opposite area, which features a more open and friendly environment for the children too. Here no piles of rubble, trucks passing by. Just some roof panes fallen down and wiped together. Here the small world for them just looked a little brighter for a while.

While I got along with the volunteers mainly to keep a look at the children, when they settled down under the tent that was set up in front of the main stage, there was enough time for me to look around and make some pictures of this all. It's funny to see how a pretty small event like this, organized for children, attracts all kinds of people. You will need bus drivers and their handymen, some people that arrange traffic and deal with parking issues, many people selling their products on extended (motor)bikes, volunteers and most of all; many parents.

I soon noticed one of the habits that these Indonesian children inherited from their parents and friends. They tend to throw away anything that they can't use. From plastic bags that contained their snacks, drinks and ice, to candy papers, napkins and of course the leftovers of the fruit they bring. Every time I saw something flying through the air I just had to see where it came from. Easy to guess with so many children, but hey, it's just a reflex. But the children aren't entirely the blame as there were no trash cans as well. Most likely it's much cheaper to clean everything afterwards than to organize trash cans that are probably not going to be used anyway.
Most of the fifty children and some of the volunteers on a stairs of one of the small buildings on the premises of the Gabusan art-market, directly along the main road from Yogyakarta to Parangtritis, in the heart of the earthquake zone.
Most of the fifty children and some of the volunteers on a stairs of one of the small buildings on the premises of the Gabusan art-market, directly along the main road from Yogyakarta to Parangtritis, in the heart of the earthquake zone.

Slowing down on a hot day

After a while children get bored. However the show was nice and not too fast, there were more and more children walking off to get something to drink or to eat. We didn't stop them from doing that of course, but it's pretty hard to keep track of all of them. They would come back for sure after they had finished their snack, because the show wasn't finished yet, and we would get lunch and something to drink for free as well. I don't know that's the reason they stuck with us, but they did anyway, so we didn't have to look for them everywhere around.

Within two and a half hours of the start of the program, the program was split up. Children were free to play around on the premises as performances from other children here continued after a break. This was a good chance to bring the group to a more quiet location in the back of the area. There they could take a rest and play, because that's what they really wanted to do of course, even if it's hot and the sun shines bright. I noticed more people selling their products, burgers, Pop Es, bakso tusuk, iced tea and of course ice creams from Campina and other brands.

After a short game - we put the children at a place in the burning sun just a moment so we could check if they were still all accounted for - we checked in for some relaxing under a roof, away from the sun for a while. We asked the children to tell their names to all others, because the group present here today originated from several different villages in the area of Mblali, from four different schools. It was not to be noticed that they didn't all know each other, as friendly as they were playing with each other and other children that were present here.

The day was about to end for us. At around two o'clock the children were finished eating their box of boiled rice, chicken wing and some vegetables, so we could organize them to get back to the main road to wait for the bus, if it hadn't already arrived yet. Of course it didn't arrive yet, but the children did. They were looking for a place in the shadow to sit down, dangerously close to the main road. The man with the whistle near us blew all he could, but not a single person even made the impression to listen. Where have I seen that before here? Eventually the bus showed up and the children jumped in again for the short trip back to Mblali.

However this was my first time to do any volunteering of this kind, I enjoyed my hours out with these children, giving them a little more hope than they had before, and of course a nice day away from their daily misery as an earthquake victim which has to live without members of they family, some of their friends and so on. Today there was no room for sadness, just for pleasure. Although these children seem to laugh all the time, I'm sure deep inside they are just like many other earthquake victims, barely joy left. I hope I have contributed to bringing them some joy. The question from some of the children whether I would come back? Always a 'yes'!

Related photobook
For more pictures and some short notes about this day, I would like to refer to the photobook, which is also featured on this website. There are some new notes in there that haven't been mentioned in the story above.
Children of Mblali



Posted in General @ 27 July 2006 by Jeroen · 'Blog' RSS feed · permalink






There are no reactions on this blog entry yet. Be the first one to give a reaction here!


Log in to write a reaction

You are not logged in to the website. You have to be logged in to write a reaction on this blog entry.

· If you already have an account, please login.
· If you have lost your password, please retrieve it.
· If you don't have an account yet, you can create one.

    
 ABOUT THIS ENTRY
Add this blog entry to your email, your own blog, MySpace, Facebook, or whatsoever via AddThis:
Bookmark and Share

e-mail updates for this blog article

Login if you want to receive emails for reactions on this blog entry. You will receive an update as soon as a reaction on this blog entry is posted.

Your website for tickets in Indonesia!
Looking for e-tickets for flights in Indonesia? Here's your solution! Order your e-tickets at ticketindonesia.info.
 FOLLOW US ON TWITTER
 BLOG ARCHIVE
· 2015, 28 entries
· 2014, 591 entries
· 2013, 750 entries
· 2012, 1061 entries
· 2011, 792 entries
· 2010, 644 entries
· 2009, 916 entries
· 2008, 504 entries
· 2007, 725 entries
· 2006, 1014 entries
· 2005, 723 entries
· 2004, 558 entries
· 2003, 525 entries
· 2002, 375 entries
· 2001, 162 entries
 POPULAR TAGS
· gigolo
· jakarta
· blogger
Automatically generated every hour
 BLOG CATEGORIES
· General (1205 entries)
· Economy (643 entries)
· Politics (574 entries)
· Accidents (561 entries)
· Terrorism (541 entries)
· Earthquake (539 entries)
· Volcanoes (387 entries)
· Crime (357 entries)
· Corruption (349 entries)
· Flooding (278 entries)
· Elections (276 entries)
· Travel (268 entries)
· Bird Flu (254 entries)
· Religion (242 entries)
· Tourism (239 entries)
· Oddly enough ... (219 entries)
· Violence (198 entries)
· Drugs (196 entries)
· Health (192 entries)
· Aceh conflict (191 entries)
· Environment (185 entries)
· Weather (171 entries)
· Military (168 entries)
· Protests (157 entries)
· Culture (106 entries)
· Garuda Indonesia (91 entries)
· C. Sulawesi conflict (86 entries)
· Human rights (82 entries)
· Forest fires (78 entries)
· Sidoarjo mudflow (71 entries)
· Power supply (64 entries)
· Ramadan (63 entries)
· PT Freeport (55 entries)
· Picture guess (48 entries)
· Maluku conflict (47 entries)
· Dengue Fever (37 entries)
· History (37 entries)
· Infrastructure (36 entries)
· Polio (35 entries)
· Mexican flu (35 entries)
· Website (25 entries)
· Media (22 entries)
· Nuclear power (21 entries)
· Sports (20 entries)
· Sexy (16 entries)
· SARS (15 entries)
· Nightlife (10 entries)
· Others (5 entries)
· Lippo Cikarang (5 entries)
· Close smallest categories
 EXCHANGE RATES
EUR-IDR: 16,590 · 16,620  The Rupiah rate declined since yesterday
@ 17 May 2018 18:12 CET
JPY-IDR: 126.83 · 126.95  The Rupiah rate improved since yesterday
@ 17 May 2018 21:58 CET
MYR-IDR: 3,545 · 3,549  The Rupiah rate declined since yesterday
@ 15 May 2018 08:42 CET
SGD-IDR: 10,479 · 10,501  The Rupiah rate declined since yesterday
@ 07 May 2018 07:48 CET
THB-IDR: 439.14 · 439.41  The Rupiah rate declined since yesterday
@ 16 May 2018 09:18 CET
USD-IDR: 14,097 · 14,157  The Rupiah rate declined since yesterday
@ 17 May 2018 00:46 CET
Go to 'exchange rates' 
 MOST RECENT REACTIONS
·  At 20 September 2018 06:54 erik12 reacted on Fuel prices lowered, again
·  At 19 October 2015 17:17 imambudianto5 reacted on Bank Indonesia maintains benchmark interest rate at 7.75%
·  At 04 March 2015 19:18 merdekaSah reacted on Alleged terrorists shot dead three villagers in Poso
·  At 04 March 2015 13:11 Yogya-Bali reacted on Alleged terrorists shot dead three villagers in Poso
·  At 26 February 2015 13:02 Irena reacted on Sexy, a young woman with candy
·  At 08 May 2014 09:51 jstar reacted on No alcohol should be sold in warung
·  At 01 May 2014 10:07 jstar reacted on Indonesia to be among the top 10 peacekeeping contributors
·  At 27 March 2014 05:50 harlys reacted on PPP leader voices concern over Islamic parties' future
·  At 10 March 2014 06:11 Yogya-Bali reacted on Sriwijaya Air leaves behind 200 passengers at airport
·  At 09 March 2014 00:11 Yerun reacted on Sriwijaya Air leaves behind 200 passengers at airport
·  At 08 March 2014 20:33 nicknick reacted on Sriwijaya Air leaves behind 200 passengers at airport
·  At 18 February 2014 04:17 Yerun reacted on Ash from Mount Kelud eruption spreads over all of Java
·  At 16 February 2014 05:41 Amed East Bali reacted on Ash from Mount Kelud eruption spreads over all of Java
·  At 14 February 2014 22:27 Anne Mieke reacted on Asylum seekers in Medan wish to be sent to Australia
·  At 14 February 2014 22:22 beritaislam reacted on Asylum seekers in Medan wish to be sent to Australia
·  At 16 January 2014 15:37 Anne Mieke reacted on Landslides cut off Tomohon-Manado road
·  At 16 January 2014 15:21 Yerun reacted on Landslides cut off Tomohon-Manado road
·  At 16 January 2014 15:05 Anne Mieke reacted on Landslides cut off Tomohon-Manado road
·  At 16 January 2014 14:48 Yerun reacted on Landslides cut off Tomohon-Manado road
·  At 16 January 2014 14:41 Yerun reacted on Landslides cut off Tomohon-Manado road
Go to 'forum topics' 

Created by indahnesia.com · feedback & contact · © 2000-2019
Other websites by indahnesia.com: ticketindonesia.info · kamus-online.com · indonesiepagina.nl · suvono.nl

Valid HTML 4.01 Transitional 122,278,852 pageviews Discover Indonesia Online at indahnesia.com