435 – Merapi 2010 experience
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.
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.
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.
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.