‘Come home immediately’, one e-mail said. Maybe jokingly, but friendly. I have seen the volcano far away. I have seen the dramatic newspaper headlines, and they don’t match. Yes, people are stranded because the airport is closed. But is it chaos? No. The disaster headlines in the online news are made to gather ‘clicks’. It makes it very hard for us to know what to believe, and what to spend our precious time reading.
On that note our students from the silent retreat haven’t made it home yet. I’m sad for them and our travel agency who is working hard to get them home. But they are maybe the most mentally prepared tourists. They are stuck as the airport is closed with over 70 000 more people. Others are stuck in their countries having their vacation ‘ruined’ by the volcano. It’s a reminder of the power of nature. It is what it is and there’s nothing we can do to change it. The western world and culture likes control, and it’s called ‘chaos’ when its disrupted. When you can’t go home to your job that is waiting for you, shouldn’t there be a better understanding? Bali is maybe one of the best places in the world to be ‘stuck’. It’s a thousand times worse for the local population nearby the volcano who might loose their homes and livelihood in the lahars, floods of debris. It’s worse for nature that will be covered in ashes and take a long time to recover. With that comparison t’s not that hard for tourists being ‘stranded’ on Bali.
I’m not leaving until later in december, but my boyfriend is flying in from a nearby island this week for our last days on the island. I’m really hoping he makes it over to Bali and I know he’ll find a way around the closed airport if he have to.