435 – Merapi 2010 experience

Neatly distributed into four lines, by village, this is how they spend their nights. The long exposure enabled the capture of enough light to make bright, otherwise it is very dim as lights are turned off at 21:00. (Canon EOD 7D, Canon EF 24-105 f/4.0L IS @ 28mm, f/ 5.6, 10sec, ISO 800)

That’s right: 435 lifes, 153 families, 6 villages, six times moving from one refugee camp to another. And one hell of a welcome at STIE YKPN Yogyakarta. I feel very fortunate to be stationed here. The Institute gave an auditorium as their living quarter, and a basement turned kitchen. Toilets were plentiful, with unlimited good pressure clean water to be used. A few big fans were positioned strategically along one side of the hall.

Each family received a Red-Cross box containing a pail, 20 sachets of shampoo, 5 bar soap, 1kg of detergent, 3 toothpaste, 5 toothbursh, 2 towels, 50pcs of sanitary napkins, and 5 rolls of toilet paper. (Canon EOS 7D, Canon EF 24-105 f/4.0L IS @65mm, f/4.5, 1/13sec, ISO 1600))

Yes, we had a few theft cases (even underwear on drying lines were stolen). Which was why I didn’t wash any of my clothes myself (lucky me again, very reasonably priced laundry service is just 5 minutes walk from the campus and opened until nine in the evening – well I made contact with the girls over there so I could submit my laundry later than that. Sooo convenient.). But overall (and I kept on repeating this to the volunteer students) this may be the best refugee camp for Merapi to date.

Two big gas stoves at the basement (and another smaller one if I recall it right). (Canon EOS 7D, Canon EF 24-105 f/4L IS @24mm, f/5.6, 1/50sec, ISO 800)

Cleanliness is pretty much maintained by both the refugees and the students. There will always someone from the refugees who quietly go into the toilets and start brushing. I guess this is part of their ways to kill time and be active.

(Canon EOS 7D, Canon EF 24-105 f/4L IS @105mm, f/4.5, 1/200sec, ISO 100)

(Canon EOD 7D, Canon EF 70-200 f/4.0L IS @ 144mm, f/4.5, 1/40sec, ISO 6400)

Because of the comfort, people still smile, kids are still playing, and while we all waited for Merapi to calm down, activities were flowing in by organizations.

Smile still lingers after performance by famous Indonesian artist, Didi Nini Thowok. (Canon EOS 7D, Canon EF 70-200 f/4L IS @127mm, f/4.0, 1/100sec, ISO 3200)

Different activities are organised almost on a daily basis.

Handphones proved to be the best toy for old and young, refugees and volunteers. (Canon EOS 7D, Canon EF 24-105 f/4L IS @105mm, f/4.5, 1/85sec, ISO 1600)


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