Proyek Kampung Loco

  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size
October-November 2008 Joep and Marijke
Travel report of Joep and Marijke October - November 2008

Saturday 18-10-2008


Yesterday we managed to get everything ready in time, and we even had some time to relax and look forward to the trip. We got out of bed at 07.00.
Plenty of time, the flight is at 14.00. Our friend Nick (who was in Lombok with us last year) will come to pick us up and drop us at the airport. What a delicious luxury!
We are at Schiphol on time and, thanks to on-line check-in, we quickly get rid of our luggage.
Still enough time for a cup of coffee with Nick, then we say Goodbeye.
Pitiful for Nick, leaving him here. We just know he and his dear friend Elise rather would go with us. But also they are counting off the days to go to Lombok, they will go there next July.
Time flies, and after buying a good book, we can board the plane.
Cathay Pacific has a good price-quality proportion.
Only this time I am a bit disappointed. On the menu there is chicken. We are one of the first people on the plane to choose menu, but the chicken is already “sold-out”.
In the chair in front of us, there is a little screen where you can watch a movie or for instance follow the flight conditions. But whatever button I push, nothing happens.  
When I order a glass of wine (makes you so sleepy) they forget me.
This is complaint number 3, and that is enough for me, I decide to approach the manager. I don’t know if this person is called a manager, but the lady in the sophisticated coat and shirt sure looks like a manager.  
Joep ducked away in his chair. I can see him think; “That’s Marijke again! She can’t leave it.”
But I think I handle it in a polite way. I tell the manager that usually I am very satisfied with Cathay Pacific, but that today I am a little disappointed.
Concerning the food, I get lots of apologies, the wine will be brought immediately.
She tries to bring the screen back to life, but after a while she can only conclude that it doesn’t work.
Then the result, at breakfast we are being asked what we want to eat at first, and we get our choice before everyone else. 
Almost half an hour later, the other people get their breakfast. 
All the people are watching us being treated as VIP’s, and of course it makes us burst into laugh.
After almost 11 hours (of course I sometimes had a little moment of sleep, but this sounds more tragic) watching the same movie “The love guru” again and again (4 times) and without sound, to my surprise the manager offers me a cheque and I can choose something from the tax-free shopping on board of the plane at the worth of, yes really, $  50.
On the way back (and I am going to think about this for one month) for the first time in my life, I am going to buy an expensive perfume or something like that. Yes, to be truth, I would never buy anything those things, but when you get $ 50…  Joep is asking me if I don’t have any more complaints…



Sunday 19-10-2008

Like in former years, we spend almost the whole flight from HongKong to Denpasar asleep.
On the airport there are long queues at the visa and customs department.
Today it takes us one and a half hour. Luckily  there we had a nice chat with another couple, so time went by rather quick.  
Our luggage is already waiting for us, we get some money from the ATM and go outside.
Then the warm blanket of Indonesia covers us. Yes, we are home!
We stroll towards Domestic Airport and at IAT (Indonesian Air Transport) we book our flight to Lombok for Tuesday morning.
An early flight, we will fly on Tuesday at 08.00.
Now we take a taxi to Adus Beach Inn and we discover that the driver takes a different route. Later we hear that there are traditional dancing demonstrations at the beach this week, and there it is so busy, no car can pass by. Only at half past five in the afternoon, we are in our room, and we are quite exhausted.
We have a cooling shower and go for a walk.
Joep has the great idea to walk all LegianStreet. And the insiders amongst you will know this is quite a distance. Tired from the flight and grumbling I follow Joep.
We take the road next to the beach back to the hotel. Joep admits that it was a long walk for the first night. But thanks to this walk, we are exhausted and  sleep like a log.

Monday 20-10-2008


We get out of bed on time, have a shower and go for breakfast.
Fresh fruit is waiting for us and we enjoy our breakfast.
After breakfast I jump into the swimming pool. Joep will come in a minute… he says. An hour later, I go looking for him, he is in the room, lies on the bed, and sleeps.
We send an sms to Dewa. Dewa is an Balinese boy working as a tourist guide. He speaks Dutch fluently, and is a good friend of family Geurts. Using e-mail he has helped Marianne Geurts and me  frequently with problems we had with our lessons Bahasa Indonesia. I consider him a bit as our guru, but have never met him.
We plan to meet each other in the evening and have diner together at Kopipot, a nice restaurant in Kuta.
After that, we leave the hotel, with a big bag.
We know exactly where we have to be, we are going to do some shopping for our little company. In the shop it is very hot and we sweat terribly.
It always takes some time to get used to the tropical temperature.
After we placed an order in the shop, we stroll on. We realize we have seen it all, some shops disappear, make place for other shops, but we don’t see any new things.
Then we stop, sit down and have a drink. No bad idea! The waiter is acting very popular, “Hy mate”. This is an “Australian” bar.
As we have a chat with the waiter, he appears to come from Lombok, he starts acting less “popular” and we have a nice conversation.
Just like our neighbor Adi, he married a Balinese wife. One difference, he stayed in Bali, Adi took his wife Mariam  to Lombok.
The waiter visits Lombok once a year, after Ramadan, but he likes living on Bali. That is mainly because of the good bond he has with his father in law.  Familybonds in Indonesia are very close and very important.

We walk back to our hotel and take a little nap before we go to have diner with Dewa.
We jalan kaki (walk) to Kopipot.
Everyone welcomes us as if we are old friends. Madé, one of the waiters we have known for years allready, is not in yet, but they promise we will meet him later in the evening.
Dewa comes in a few minutes later. We are stunned by this knowledge of the Dutch language. He speaks Dutch fluently, and he knows a lot about our little country. Even more than we do…
We have a nice evening, and he gives us some good tips concerning buying a bemo.
Then Madé walks in, and we talk with him about the past year.
A very nice evening, but we can’t wait until tomorrow, then we are going home…


Tuesday 21-10-2008

This morning we get out of bed very early, but that is no problem, we are going home!
On the airport in the smoking-room (still allowed in Indonesia) we have a chat with some Indo’s from Holland. They are going to Ambon. Busy talking we almost miss our flight. This time no delay. Merpati is known as airline with a lot of delays (just ask  family Geurts or Nick and Elise).  But not today.
Then, just after we fly off, we go down and land at the airport in Mataram.
Our luggage is quick, and we are off. Soon we see the familiar faces of Eful and Adi.
In the car is Efuls brother, and I can’t wait to get home. It’s not far to the kampung.
As we arrive there, we see Sareah, Boungs wife. I jump out of the car and give her a big hug. And there is June, Cuks wife. Another hug. Then we walk, pass the watertank, one of the best things the village ever got, to our home.
Before we arrive there, we meet Sane, with her beautiful little daughter. Zara is still to young, she is not really afraid of me, and gives me a big smile. 
Most little children are scared to death for the strange white lady with the blue eyes, something they usually don’t see in the kampung.
At our home Mariam is already waiting for us. Our house looks beautiful, and everything is very clean. The garden looks nice.
We also meet Mariams mother. She came from Bal to visit her daughter in Lombok.
Mariam bought us a bottle of cool water. Sweet and kind.
In the house we talk a bit. Then Andrea drops by.
Everyone who read our last newsletter knows who Andrea is.
We are so happy to finally meet him, and we talk for hours.
In the meantime, Mariam brings us some coffee, as we don’t yet have any ourselves.
Andrea has a heart of gold, and his feelings for the kampung are much like ours. We always joke; Kampung Loco is like in the song Hotel California, “You check in, but you never check out!”
At 16.00 we say goodbeye and agree on having diner tomorrow in the evening, together wit Andrea and the parents of Pascalle, a friend of Andrea from Holland.
We are not yet used to the heat, and “mandi”, take a shower.
After that we both fall asleep.  That’s no problem, it is raining outside, more like a heavy shower! Monsoon already started!
After getting up, we visit Kartini, Efuls wife, and have a talk.
Then we go to Sareah, where we meet her children Nur, Ani and Ana.
Daan en Nurul also come to welcome us.
They are changing into real ladies!
Then we go to June, and  wait till Cuk gets home. In the meantime we talk and say Hello to everyone who passes by.
The clock is ticking (this is holiday!), we still have to eat and do some shopping. First we go to Tenda Cak Poer, a really great restaurant in Senggigi. Insiders know this is “the place to be” for a delicious diner at a ridiculously low price.  
But you cannot compare it with a real restaurant. You are sitting almost on the street, with a blue canvas above your head (the Tenda).
Smoke from the pans and grill sometimes blows right into your face, but it is authentic and pure.
After dinner we do some shopping, and it feels like I am in the Dutch supermarket. But when you have a house in Lombok, you will have to do your weekly shopping. The strange thing is, that here it is big fun, in Holland it is very boring.
We visit the neighbors of the supermarket, an internet cafe, we know Mohni has a small office in there. Mohni has a diving company, and is a friend of family Geurts.  
We also haven’t met him before. He is not in the office, but after a phonecall he rushes in. While we watch our website together with Mohni, we see Marianne trying to make contact to Mohni on Yahoo. He starts laughing and asks us to answer in Dutch. But Marianne is not stupid, and knows I must be the writer of the message!
Funny, when we first meet Mohni, in some way, Marianne is also present.
We have a really nice conversation, talking to Mohni, chatting with Marianne.
But the butter and cheese we just bought are melting, so we say goodbye.
Rush to our house, and on Adi’s terrace we have a quiet talk with Adi and Mariam.
These are the best moments of the day. At the beginning and at the end of the day we always have very nice and personal conversations with Adi. He is very good at explaining things in a clear and quiet way.
For instance when we ask if it will be good to talk to the father of Paiza (a girl from the kampong who died last year) about her. Adi explains that it will be better not to. Because it may be to painful to him, people usually don’t like to talk about those things.
Even in Holland it always is difficult how to handle such things, but here, with different customs and a different culture, we even have to be more careful to do things right.
All in all………we are home again!

Wednesday 22-10-2008

We had a pleasant sleep. Strange, for we have no air co, but probably it’s because we have the feeling to be home again.
First we have breakfast, like real Dutchmen, roti dengan keju (bread and cheese), after that we start working. Type the travel report. We know a lot of people are waiting for our first stories, so let’s work!
While we are busy, Eful and Cuk drop in. A few minutes later followed by Boung. Although we haven’t had the first official project meeting, we talk about the project constantly.
After 11 months we all feel the need to talk about the project.
I will collect all the information, and after the first meeting, Friday night, I will report it to you on Saturday.
We also invited Andrea for this meeting.
He has done a lot for our project, and is constantly thinking with us about ways to help Kampung Loco. Also we think it is very important to have one of the sponsors joining the meeting. 
Boung ask us if we will come to his house, sit down on the bruka (covered place outside, made of bamboo, where you can sit, eat, drink and relax).   Andrea will be there as well.
We want to, but first we have to finish the travel report.
Spending time is very different in Lombok, it takes us hours to talk with everyone!
After we finish working, we go to Boung. On the bruka pisang goreng (fried banana) is already waiting for us.
We talk a bit, and I cuddle little Ana, the youngest daughter of Boung and Sareah, she really is my favorite. 
Then it is time to put our stories on the internet. We drive to Millennium, the internet café we usually visit.  
Joep reads the notes from Tom (our webmaster), and tells me what to do. Yes, Tom gave us some instructions about how to put the stories directly on the website. We think we succeeded, but not completely… We hope Tom can put everything right, so you can see our stories. 
We also want to check our e-mail, but the connection is very slow, so we quit and hop over to another internet-café. Luckily the connection in this one is faster. We can also use Mohni’s office, but we want to try to do it ourselves.
Then we drive around a bit, (of course we have a motorbike (color purple!) at our disposal)
It is still very hot, and driving the motorbike, we feel a bit of a cool wind blowing… Typical Dutch, always complaining about the weather.
We decide to visit Graha Hotel, Hannie Nijzingh, a dear friend from Holland, asked us to send her regards to the staff.  We also know most of the staff for years, and it is nice to see them all again.
While we chat with Juliana, a boy in security costume walks towards us.
It is Herman (or Suherman). Let’s explain.
Last year when we were here, we had four friends with us, 2 of them were Maan and Monique.
While we were taking pictures of all the sponsored children, a boy came to Monique and asked her to become his sponsor. So Monique asked us to take Herman in the project. There was one problem, Herman was 20 years old.  Usually to old for Junior Highschool, but he would try to be admitted in Junior Highschool.
So we made a deal, if he would be admitted to Junior Highschool, Maan and Monique would sponsor him.
Some time later, we got a sms from Eful, Herman was not admitted to Junior Highschool, he was too old.
A few weeks later Eful sent another sms, Herman could take a course in Security, and try to find a job. So, would Maan and Monique be willing to sponsor that course? They agreed and Herman could take the course. Before we left for Lombok, Monique asked me to check on Herman. Well, Monique, Maan and other sponsors, you can imagine how very happy we are to see Herman working as security guard at Graha Hotel.   It feels like the first success-story of our project, because, main goal of the project, is to give children a proper education, so they can find a job and take care of themselves and their families. We are very very pleased with this success!
It appears, last summer family Geurts also met Herman. Marianne already asked me if the Security Guard at the hotel could be the boy sponsored by Maan and Monique. I couldn’t believe he would have found a job so quickly, so I told it was not possible. But it was possible, as we now find out.
With this great news in our mind, we go home. Tonight we have an appointment with family Antonijs. They visit Indonesia every year and their daughter, Pascalle, works for Google in Ireland and is a friend of Andrea.
That’s how we meet new people. Mr. and Mrs. Antonijs are born in Indonesia and Mrs. Antonijs even lived on Lombok until she was 6. They also brought one of their relatives who still lives in Lombok. Together with Andrea we are a mixed group!   We try to have the conversation in English as much as possible, so Andrea and the relative from Indonesia can understand our stories. But it is hard, sometimes we almost automatically go back to Dutch.
While we are talking, I realize every Indonesian in Holland has its own story and history. Family Antonijs also has a shocking story.
They now found out their family on Lombok has an orphanage for 20 years already, and they try to give 80 children a home. They had never told the Dutch part of the family about this, they wouldn’t give them the feeling they were begging for money…
Mrs. Antonijs was very sorry  she didn’t know about the orphanage. Recently they gave Proyek Kampung Loco a great donation, while their own family also had a beautiful project.
We really felt with them. The orphanage still needs a lot of help, and we promised to try to bring them in contact with LombokCare. A foundation in Holland of a group of wonderful people supporting a lot of different projects in Lombok.  
We will do everything to help them. These things make you think!
There are always people who are in greater need than the people in Kampung Loco, in our project. Andrea told us about a friend. When Andrea was collecting Money for Kampung Loco, the friend said: “You ask 25 Euros for one child. For only 5 Euros I can help a child in Africa.”    
Andreas answer was: “Well, do it, help 5 people over there, in Africa!”
It always is a matter of searching for a balance. Everywhere in the world people are in need of help, but we lost our hearts here, in this Kampung. And we feel this project is good, and is really helping the people.
Especially every morning, when we see all the happy children go to school in their perfect school uniforms. 
This is our choice to help, and we go for it, with all our heart!
After family Antonijs went back to Mataram, we have a chat with Andrea. He really is a man after our own heart. We really are on a par with him. He is bubbling over with ideas (Google experience!) and he wants to help us in every possible way.  This will be continued.
But also about traveling we can talk for hours. Andrea is traveling for nine months now, and his stories are very recognizable to us.
He tells how he grew in life while he was traveling, and with all the things he has been gone through.
Our conversation is so intense, we didn’t notice all tables around us are empty. But when the waiter asks us to pay, and Hamad’s father, Security Guard, walks by, we know it is quite late. Yes, 02.00 in the night. So we decide it is enough for today. More days will follow, we’ll have plenty of time to talk!

Thursday 23-10-2008

Yesterday evening was too late for us. We are not young people anymore…
So we get out of bed late. We plan to relax at the Graha swimming pool, but when we go outside, we see dark clouds, so we think it will start raining soon.
We change our plans and start working at the travel reports. Towards the end of the afternoon, we walk to the beach, Marijke holding hands with Ana.
A lot of boys from the kampong join us. Because almost every day before sunset they play soccer at the beach.
When we arrive at the beach, there are not so many soccer players present, so we wait, enjoying a nice breeze from the see. As soon as a boy arrives with a ball, the play can begin.
As we are sitting there, talking to local people, some tourists from Holland join us. We have a nice conversation with the couple from Aalsmeer (we think their names are Henk and Tiny). Of course we tell them about the proyek, and give them a “business card” of the proyek.
Busy talking, we didn’t realize the soccer players already left. It is dark, the beach is empty.
We walk back home, pick up our motor and go for dinner.
As we just finished eating, we meet Andrea, have a drink together and greet a lot of people who walk by. We enjoy watching a little girl, about 3 years old, acting like a real waitress in the restaurant. She is hard working, all napkins are being collected, put on a different table and so on.
At 23.00 we decide to visit the internet café, to check our mail and the guestbook on the website.
We get a warm feeling from all the messages in the guestbook. Meanwhile we have a chat with Marianne. It is almost as if she can smell us sitting at the internet café…

Friday 24-10-2008

Then at last it is going to happen…
After a great breakfast at Graha Hotel, we visit the swimming pool over there.
The bath-superintendent, Odjong, who also lives in the kampong, was still working as a cook last year. He already welcomed us when we had breakfast. Last year we delivered Graha some guests when we visited the kampong, what gave us the freedom to use the Graha swimming pool for free.
Now we are “alone” in Lombok, don’t have guests that stay in Graha, so we have to pay the normal fee when we visit the swimming pool.
After paying at the reception desk, we meet Graha’s sales-manager. He asks us if there is anything he can do for us. After thinking for a while, we say it would be nice to get special rates for Kampung Loco sponsors who visit Lombok and are going to stay in the hotel.
As we approach the swimming pool, we find a nice place set for us, deckchairs with towels, a parasol and even fresh flowers on the table, especially for us.
Odjong is waiting for us with a big smile. What a warm welcome, will this be because his child is in our Proyek? If Nick and Elise, who visited Lombok with us last year, would see this, they would burst out laughing!
Yes, I think we deserve this special treatment!
The water is very good, and Joep enjoys a massage from Ibu Iba.
It really cheers you up!
Straight after lunch we go to Cuk. We start checking the cash books. We wanted to do this quietly and before the official meeting, because it always takes a lot of time. All 4 project members from Loco are already waiting for us. The books are accurate. There are 4 cash books, the first is for the students, the second for medicine, the third for donations in favour off the whole kampung, like for instance the watertank, and the fourth cashbook is for interest. This can be used for emergencies, like other medical costs than medicine or contributions to a funeral.
Together with every cash book, Cuk has a map containing all receipts and invoices.
We check everything. The only confusing part is the fact that money they got in Lombok for the bemo, is put in the cash books.
So we have to check this very good, convert amounts from Euro’s to Ind. Rupiah.
As we now have enough money to buy a bemo, we also calculate the new amounts for sponsoring students. Because now transport will be free.
The boys tell us the amount of € 25  for elementary school is a bit tight.
We are not happy about this, but we have to raise this amount to € 30.
This amount contains things like school uniforms and study materials, no transport costs, the children walk to school in Senggigi.
The amount for Junior High school will decrease from € 120 to € 75. High school will decrease from € 210 to € 125. All these amounts are per year.
This gives us the hope we will find more sponsors (Junior) High school.
Finding sponsors for elementary school usually is no  problem.
At 17.00 we stop the meeting and go home. A bit later we collect again, and together with Andrea we go to Tenda Cak Poer for dinner. This has become traditional, having diner together at Cak Poer, and we (not the Proyek) pay the bill. 
Sad enough Adi is not present. He is looking for Miriam’s younger brother. He left with some boys from the Kampung, without telling where they would go.
As the boy comes from Bali, is visiting his family (Adi and Mariam) in Lombok, he should let Mariam or his mother know where he goes… 
As we arrive at Cak Poer (a small eating house they build up on the sidewalk every evening) it is busy as usual. We are a group of 6, they only use one wok-pan, so it takes some time… As we all finished our meals, it appears they forgot Boung. He hasn’t got his meal yet. He ordered a nasi goreng special, and we joke that his nasi goreng must be really special if it takes so long…
But they simply forgot him.  Then the always happy Boung gets mad. He was starving. But he cancels his order and we go back home. At our house we see Adi has returned, we find some food for Boung and go on with our meeting.
We donate the Euros we brought from Holland and chuck registers everything in the cash books. 
A few children quit school. There are 2 families in the kampong who don’t show any interest in their children’s education. From one family with 2 boys and one girl, only the girl still goes to school. The parents don’t want their children to go to school, but the girl insist on going. As long as she really goes, the proyek will pay for it, but Eful already warned the parents. The boys, who quit school, are already taken out of the proyek. We don’t want sponsors to pay for children who don’t go to school. We really hope the girl will be strong enough to keep going to school…
It is sad these cases take so much attention, it is only a small part of all the children. Most off the children are really happy to go to school, the parents are happy their children get the chance to have education.
To avoid problems in future, Eful wants to make some kind of a contract with the parents. For instance children who go to (more expensive) (Junior) High school. If they quit after a few months, they have to pay back the money they got from the proyek. Also if they have to repeat a class due to bad study or skipping school. If a child has to repeat a class, but really did it’s best, of course the Proyek will pay for this.
The proyek members will make a contract for parents and child. It is very earnest, but we think it is a good idea. We don’t want to give the money for education without any obligation.
We also have to make pictures of all the children that follow education. So we have an overview of the children who are not being sponsored yet (at the moment this are only (Junior) High school students).
If we find new sponsors, they can “choose” a child themselves.
As also Andrea mentions, the main problem we have, is communication Holland – Lombok in times we are not in Lombok. Every year when we are in Lombok, we try to discuss and arrange everything in one month. But sometimes that is not enough.
Andrea will try to put the administration on our website, in consultation with Tom, our webmaster. Then, when we are in Holland, we can check everything for instance every week, and, if required, talk things through using Skype.
Andrea will think of the best way to arrange this for us, because also the boys in Lombok are no stars in computering. 
It’s good to have Andrea with this meeting. He is more experienced in these things, but also because of his contribution to the proyek last year.
For Andrea it is also good to see how we work, which problems we encounter. Let’s be honest, we are no professionals, we are just some people trying to help a kampung. We also learn new things every day…
It was a long, enervating but very useful, successful day.
We decide to go shopping for a bemo tomorrow.
So, early out of bed, but it feels good to have a job in Lombok again.

Saturday 25-10-2008

Yesterday we asked Andrea to join us today for bemo-shopping. We want to leave at 09.00 and we know, for Andrea, this is like leaving in the middle of the night. He told to leave without him if he wouldn’t be present at 09.00 (in that case it would have been too hard to get out of bed…).
But just in time we see him walking up the path towards the kampung. He gets a spontaneous applause. We are waiting for Eful and Cuk, they will arrange transport. A few minutes later they arrive by bemo. Great, we will do bemo-shopping with a bemo…
Our first destination is an office where we can get information about the licences you need for a bemo.  When you buy a bemo, you can of course use it for transporting students, but, if you want to earn money with it, use it for public transport, you need a special license.
And the number of licences is limited, to avoid getting too many bemos on the road, and the bemo-drivers have not enough clients anymore.
A licence has a validity of 5 years. If someone has a license, but doesn’t have a bemo anymore, you can buy the “second-hand”-license.
LLAJR (Lalu Lintas Angkutan Jalan Raya), register the licenses.
We were told so by Dewa from Bali, last week. Now we want to check this story. When we arrive at the office, we see it has moved. Someone gives us the new address. At the new address we find an office, but only for bemos from Mataram. We need to visit another office. So we take the bemo to the 3rd address. And this is not our lucky day, usually the office is opened until 12.30. Only today the person we need left earlier, for some ceremony.
And there is no one else in the office that can help us.
Tomorrow it is Sunday, then they are closed. We can come back on Monday. So, 3 offices and 2 hours later, we’re back where we started.
But also this is Indonesia. Tidak apa apa, it doesn’t matter.
We decide to find some dealers, at least we can get some information about prices of the bemo. The only problem is, that without a license, we cannot earn any money with a bemo, and we need money to keep the bemo on the road. It needs fuel, service, maintenance etc.
This we want to earn by using the bemo for public transport in the hours it is not needed for the students.
We go to a big Suzuki-dealer. A seller takes Marijke to a big expensive car.  
So we have to explain him that we are looking for a bemo. There is a pick-up next to the big car. That is what we need. These pick–ups can be converted into a bemo. The pick-up has a heavy motor, we don’t need it, so we ask for the simple, cheaper model. The dealer can sell that type, but when we hear the price we are not happy…
Of course we knew the price would be higher than last year, that’s what we calculated when we started the bemo-sponsoring.
We also found a pricelist on the internet, a day before we left, but it appears to be a pricelist of 2005. So we have to negotiate…
After a discussion about cash back (discount in case you pay cash), the seller starts laughing. That usual in Bali, this is Lombok!
As we tell him that we can also buy the bemo in Bali, he explains to us why we cannot. All bemos have to be checked every 6 months, for security.
And when we buy the bemo in Bali, we have to go back to Bali every 6 months.
We explain the seller why we need a bemo, tell him about the proyek, about the way we collected the money. This helps a bit, we get 1 million rupia discount. Joep and Andrea walk outside, and both act like they are talking to someone (a boss) using their mobile phones. They look very serious, and keep talking to a silent phone. It works, the seller is impressed, and he raises the discount to 3 million.
But that is not enough, still € 500 too expensive.
We tell him we need time to think about it. This price is set until October 31.
Then we visit another dealer. There we start with the discount price from dealer 1. Well, the seller is clear. No way we can buy a bemo with him at that price. Also the delivery time with dealer 2 is much longer. The delivery time at dealer 1 is 2,5 weeks. 
There is one more Suzuki dealer on Lombok, but it is in east-Lombok, it is a small one, and is sure not willing to give us more discount.
We want to think it over, next Monday we first have to visit the license office. Then maybe we can make a decision.
On our way back we stop at Mataram Mall, just to have a drink.
We are surprised, Mataram Mall doubled it’s surface-area.
There even is a parking-lot with an elevator. As we say this must be the first elevator in Lombok, the boys tell us we are wrong. Mataram Hospital also has an elevator…
After a nice refreshment, and a Mataram Mall tour for Andrea (it is the first time he visits Mataram Mall), we go home. 
The sky is turning dark again, and in Senggigi it has rained a lot already.
We go home, have a rest. Then Sareah comes, asks if we want to join them to the center of Senggigi, to see a wedding ceremony on the street.
Of course we want to. We take the motor and rush to the center. But there is nothing, quiet. No wedding. Then we see Kartini and Sareah. Maaf, sorry, the ceremony is in one hour. Then we decide to go to the internet café, to check e-mail. When we are almost finished, Sareah found us again, the ceremony is coming, we have to hurry. We drive to Graha Hotel, where the ceremony starts. Young boys in beautiful traditional outfits are waiting. Then there is music, a lot of bridesmaids and of course a very serious bride and groom with lots of family.
The boys start to dance, beautiful! Andrea (who stays at Graha Hotel) and we enjoy the ceremony. When it is over, we have a cup of coffee with Andrea. Then there still some work to do.
Type the reports of Thursday and Friday.
After work, we have diner and go to the internet café, to put the stories on the internet. As soon as we are online, Marianne finds us for a chat, and of course to read our stories before anyone else.
Then at once, we are chatting with 4 friends. Nice, but confusing…
We close the connection walk home, and as Joep gets some Money from the ATM, I see Mohni is in the office. Mohni is also chatting…with Marianne. Marijke tells her (by chat) she is everywhere in Senggigi…
Mohni is laughing about it. We have a talk with Mohni about the possibility to use his internet-connection. We suggest we can share the costs, so Eful can use the connection to contact us more often, for instance using Skype. 
He is a bit overwhelmed, so we say, “Just think about it.”
We hope he will agree, because it would be very useful to have more contact with Eful, to discuss the proyek and keep the information up-to-date.
It’s already late, we drive home. It is Saturday-evening, very busy, and we meet Boung at the path to Loco. He tells us Cuk has “Security-duty”. Together with 25 other people from villages in the neighborhood they check the area from Batu Bulayar until the other end of Senggigi. If something happens (vandalism, fighting), they try to solve it. They don’t need police, they try to handle it themselves. Luckily up till now, they never needed to interfere. The fact that there is a “citizen-security” usually is enough for the youngsters to keep quiet…  According to Boung it is “good control”.
For us it is time to go to bed, tomorrow is our day off!!!!

Sunday 26-10-2008

Unbelievable, we have a day off.
So we can get out of bed whenever we want, and have a quiet time at our house. A bit cleaning, washing, yes, even on Sunday, and sit outside.
Mariam’s mother and brother come to say Goodbye. Adi told us a “secret”; he is happy they go home, not because of his mother in law, but for Mariam’s brother. He is 16 years old, and not a quiet boy… And Adi likes quietness.
Together with his brother Ossie, Adi takes mother and brother to Lembar Harbour, where they take the ferry to Bali. Together with a lot of presents for the family in Bali they leave.
We take a few quiet moments to write the travel report of yesterday. Reading stories of previous days, we always realize we forget a lot of nice details. But it is not easy to describe the Lombok life to people who never visited Lombok.     
Example: Every morning you can see chicken messing around, we see Sane with her cow, tying the cow with a rope to one of the coconut-trees, where there still is some fresh grass for the animal.
Calfs run around loose, they won’t leave their mothers.
The children go to school in their nice uniforms (not today. Now it is Sunday). With clean faces, hairs still wet. 
Women of the kampung walk on and on with cans of water to get enough water for the day.  While filling the cans at the watertank, they can talk to the other women.
Younger children run around, or are being carried close to their mothers in a slendang.
Men who have a job leave the kampung on their motors or walk to Senggigi to take a bemo on the main road.
Some women also go to the mainroad, carrying big  cane baskets on their heads.
They take a bemo to Ampenan, to visit the market.
And all of this at 6 or 7 in the morning. Outside it still is nice and cool.
Neighbor Mariam starts sweeping our yard with an old-fashioned (but not in Lombok) broom made of little branches. 
Then they start washing, a lot of women together, usually near a well. In the meantime they have time to share some stories or the village-news of the day.
The children play with marbles underneath the coconut trees, play hide and seek and so on. Cats and dogs run around. No one is troubling another.
Everyone who passes our house gently says Hello, and the youngest children get scared when they see me, orang putih dengan mata biru; human with white skin and blue eyes. They explained to me the children are frightened of the blue eyes, and as I see only dark eyes in Lombok, I can imagine that.
Adi and Ossie already got back from Lembar. We planned to go for a walk, but we end up at our neighbor’s for a nice cup of kopi tubruk (traditional coffee, very good). Again we have enough things to talk about!
Adi is curious about family-relations in Holland. If children are/feel responsible for their parents. We tell him about old peoples homes in Holland. He doesn’t understand it, and for us it is not easy to explain…
In the meantime I visit June’s shop, for roti dan air (bread and water). On the way to the shop I can practice Bahasa Indonesia, Indonesian language. The past year I practiced a lot in Holland, now I’m improving, but I realize I still have a lot to learn.
So this was another afternoon, and it is time for main bola (playing soccer). We walk to the beach with Adi and Mariam. At 5 there usual are a lot of people playing soccer at the beach, barefooted, and really fanatical.
This time we really watch the soccer. And it surprises us everyone is so serious. But nevertheless it is big fun, they really enjoy themselves, sometimes they have to dive into the sea to get the ball.
The game automatically stops when it is too dark to play on, and everyone returns to their home. Adi has a stomach ache, he just had dinner before playing soccer…
When we are home, we take the motor and drive to Senggigi for dinner.
Tonight we want to try Angel, we got this address from family Geurts. And it is Sunday, Cak Poer is closed today. Angel is a nice restaurant, with the same atmosphere Mata Hari used to have before. Once Mata Hari  was our favorite place, but not anymore. We don’t like the waiter, he is rude, acts overdone. We don’t like it anymore. 
At Angel’s we have a great diner, and it appears in the kitchen works the little nice sweet girl, that used to cook at Mata Hari’s. She welcomes us and promises to make us a good old Iced Coffee tomorrow. So we will have to come back…clever girl!
Proud, because we are so far with our travel reports, we visit the internet café. Our usual place is closed today, so we visit Millennium. That was not a good idea! Our USB-stick needs to be formatted according to the system. Nothing works anymore.
Now all our fans and readers have to wait one more day.
We drive back home and see a huge crowd near Cuk’s house. The house is full, at the open door some men are watching inside, and a few boys made something like a stage they are sitting on. They are all watching Grand Prix for motors on Cuk’s television.
We drive our own Grand Prix, with our motor on the steep path to our house.
There we try to find out what’s wrong with the USB-stick. It’s not good, it really needs to be formatted.
We put the stories on the stick again, and also type the report for today.
That’s fast!
Tomorrow we go bemo-licence-shopping again, this is the end of our “holiday-day”.

Monday 27-10-2008

Indonesia is Indonesia, and here everything works different than you would expect. We are getting used to that. Read this story and try to understand it…
We are on our way to the license-office. When we get there, Joep and Eful go inside. After 5 minutes they come out. The story is as follows:
No new licenses are sold, but we can buy the license from someone who doesn’t have a bemo anymore. In that case we have to take the bemo to the office. There the car will be registered. After that the car needs a technical check. Also if it is a new one.
Then the office will give you new license-plates with the license..
On Lombok the usual license-plates are black, with white characters. Bemos have a yellow plate with black characters.
Well, this is clear, so we can visit the dealer to order a new bemo.
When we come there, the man we spoke to last time, the boss is not present. A young lady, who works here as a seller, comes to help us. She tells Eful a long story, and we don’t understand anything of it.
Eful gets up, walks outside and starts talking to Cuk and the bemo-driver.
I don’t feel very relaxed. Something is wrong.
Then Eful comes back and starts as usual; “Okay, it is like this”. The lady told him it is not easy to get a license transferred to another bemo, and it takes at least 3 months. She knows from someone else, he’s waiting almost 3 months now for the license.    
And the license also costs 11 million rupiah, about € 900.
This way the bemo is getting more and more expensive.
We talk and talk, it’s not easy. We want to use the money we collected from sponsors as good as possible, but this starts to become a never ending story.
We all think the best thing to do is try to find a good second-hand bemo with a license.
For that we have enough money also to fix up the bemo, and we will have some money left. The license is no problem, it already belongs to that bemo.
Then the dealer- boss comes, he calls us back and tries to sell us the bemo. The girl explains to him about the extra time and costs if we buy a bemo without a license. The boss acts angry: I don’t know about that, I only sell cars. As we walk outside we can see how the nice lady gets a reprimand from her boss.
Her honesty is the cause we don’t buy the bemo. It’s strange, sometimes I don’t trust things people say, but there are also cases like this, where people are really honest.
The bemo-driver who is joining us, already asked Eful if he can become the driver of the new bemo. We like the idea, up till now he has been a great help to us. He has given us some good advices.
In case he will work for the proyek, we want to do it in this way:
He is responsible for getting the children on school and home in time, and for free. In between, he can do public transport between Senggigi and Ampenan.
The money he earns with this, will be used for fuel. From the rest, 50% is for him, 50% for the proyek.
We can save that money for maintenance of the bemo. The driver is responsible for keeping the bemo clean and tidy.
All other costs for service and maintenance are to the proyek.
As we drive back, Joep and I talk about the change of plans. We both realize we start to understand Indonesia a little bit better. We are getting more flexible. Eful asks us if we want to go home or some other place. I would like to go home, to bed. I don’t feel very well, have a cold. Strange, it is 30 degrees!    
But we decide to take the “bamboo street”. A street with a lot of little companies where they make bamboo furniture.
We are looking for a little table and some chairs to put on our terrace. 
The furniture is all made of bamboo, but that makes it quite big, and it appears we are not looking for bamboo, but for cane or rattan.
In the middle of the bamboo companies, we find a rattan company. We find a nice set, but it is too expensive. So we decide to go home. Between Ampenan and Senggigi we find another rattan company.
And they have a set just the way we want it. Joep can negotiate a bit about the price, so after a while we can put ourselves and the little table and 2 chairs into the bemo.
When we get home, I jump into bed immediately. Joep reads a book and enjoys the quietness.
At 4.00 I get out of bed and see Cuk, who feels as bad as I do, got some medicine for himself and for me. I take some and relax. This afternoon we have several electricity failures. You get used to it on Lombok. As we sit on our terrace on the new chairs, talking to Adi, Boung comes to get us. The first bemo-for-sale is waiting for us.
Joep and Adi are going to see the bemo very thoroughly. It is from 2005, 40.000 kilometers. Joep checks the tires, motor, creeps under the car, drives  a short distance, and the car really looks good. We already decided in case we are serious about a car, we will go to a service station to have the car completely checked up. We want to know what we are buying. We also will visit the police and license office, to be sure the seller is legally owner of the car, and to be sure the bemo-license is officially. We realize we are spending money donated by other people, and we don’t want to make mistakes.
The owner of the car promises to come back tomorrow, to let us know the price of the bemo.  So we’ll have to wait until tomorrow.
We are going to have diner at Angel’s, after that visit the internet café to put the stories on the internet at last. But again it doesn’t work, the story on the stick changed into strange characters, unreadable. As we try to e-mail to family Geurts there won’t be a new story today, we have another electricity failure.    
So we just have to wait until electricity comes back again…
Then we send the e-mail, do some shopping and go home.
On Boung’s bruka there is Boung with some friends. They ask us to join them, have a drink. It is nice, but after one drink we go back home, I still don’t feel very well, so I go to bed early.  

Tuesday 28-10-2008

In the morning we have breakfast at our terrace. The sun is shining, what makes us remind that we wanted to buy a kind of sunscreen-roller-blind made of rattan, to keep the sun away from the terrace and out of our house.
During breakfast the virus scanner is busy cleaning our laptop.
We had some problems to send the stories using our memory stick.
But we have another stick, maybe this one will be better.
We haven’t seen Andrea for 3 days. Maybe he’s wandering through Lombok.
Early in the afternoon we send the travel stories and afterwards drive to Pasar Sini. It’s a small square in Senggigi with little kiosks, where they sell all kinds of souvenirs. As we park the motor, people come to welcome us. They ask us if we already met Made. Made is a cousin of Kartini. He sells clothes, and every year he sells something to Marijke.
While people in Europe probably sit behind their desk, next to the heating, we drive with the motor, trying to catch a breeze, and looking for a place to have a drink.
But then we get another phone call from Cuk. There is another bemo for sale, we can have a look at it. We drive back to the Kampung and see it is the bemo we used for 2 days. The chauffeur told his boss we were looking for a bemo, the boss wanted to sell the bemo.
At first sight, the bemo looks worse than the one we saw yesterday.
This one needs 3 new tires. They are completely worn out. The steering is not working fine, the engine starts badly, it’s older and has driven much more kilometres than the other one.
According to the license plate it needs official check-up in 2 months. We ask the price and tell the chauffeur we will let him know what we decide.
We have to wait for more bemos to be offered, we think some more will come, news gets around quickly in Lombok.
Already several times we have seen Berry, from Berry’s Café, but always when we were rushing to some place. So now we are going to visit him.
After 5 minutes the playing cards appear. A few years ago we taught him the Dutch card-game “Pesten”. He now has an Italian or Spanish variant of this game.
Some years ago we spent hours in his place to play cards with him and his staff. But then we started the Proyek, and usually were to busy…
But now it is pouring with rain, and we can enjoy the card-game.
At 05.00 it is dry outside, we walk to Berry’s neighbours. There’s a new shop, opened 24 hours a day. We meet the owner, and Marijke starts talking to her in Bahasa Indonesia. Joep is just standing there, wondering what they are talking about, Joep doesn’t speak Bahasa Indonesia very well yet.
Marijkes lessons in Bahasa Indonesia start to bear fruit.
After that we have diner, and early in the evening we are home, where we watch a DVD on the laptop we brought from Holland.
A relaxed evening… 

Wednesday 29-10-2008

We intended to get up early today to see the kids going to school, but at 06.00 we turn around in our beds, and have 2 more hours of sleep.
In the morning we watch pictures of our stay of last year, together with Adi and Mariam. Revive old memories of Nick and Elise, Maan and Monique, Wim and Joyce, Roy and Adrie, who all stayed in Lombok in the same period in 2007. We especially think of Joyce. We got an e-mail from Wim, Joyce has had a surgery on her knee. That didn’t work out the way is was supposed to be, now her knee aches a lot, and recovery will take quite a while.
Joyce, from Lombok, also on behalf of your sponsor-child Yunus, we wish you a soon recovery, and we hope, next May or June, you will be able to visit Lombok again!
Today we plan to go for a walk. At the moment we want to leave, Boung comes to get us. Andrea is sitting at Boung’s house on the bruka, and we must have a cup of coffee together.
Okay, we haven’t seen Andrea during the last 3 days, so time for some talking.
Well, the talking takes 5 hours. After a while hujan, rain starts. And not a bit of rain. Even if we would run the 20 meters to our house, we would be soaking wet.
All children come from school, wet…
On the bruka with Eful, Andrea, Boung and Sareah, we talk about the problems in the world, and in these few hours we can solve them all!
Cuk also joins us.
Boung checks the river next to his house. A few minutes later he is in the water up to his knees, making sure branches and rubbish floats away with the water. Another half an hour later he changed clothes and is ready to go to his work at Mandalika Homestay.
As the rain gets less, we cross the little rivers that now are streaming on the paths and walk home.
Strange, in Lombok no one is complaining about the weather. You can’t change the weather, so why bother about it?  
Because of the heavy rains, these days we have at least 2 electricity failures a day. Also something no one is complaining about. A good lesson for us, Dutch people…
As we want to leave to have diner, Adi is sitting outside wearing a coat. It’s cold, he says. We just like this temperature, not so hot anymore. 
On our way to Senggigi, we meet Samsul, sponsor-child of Jan Knapen.
Very polite, in Bahasa Indonesia, he invites us to meet his father.
Marijke answers him, in Bahasa Indonesia, we would like to meet him.
He thinks we will follow him now to his parents, who sell food at the beach.
Marijke meant we will visit them sometime this week…
But Samsul is already rushing ahead of us, on his old little bike. As we finally catch up with him, we explain we will visit them, but not now. At last he understands, and with a big smile he says goodbye.
All children here are so cute!
We are going to Angel again. At the table next to us, there is a blond lady, owner of the gallery next to Angel.
We have a nice conversation. She lives in Lombok for 9 years already, and knows the ins and outs of this place.
She tells us it is not so difficult to get a visa for a longer stay, a social permit.
This might be interesting for us in future.
Then there is another electricity failure, we have another drink, no use going to the internet café now.
As at last electricity is on again, we leave. Our usual internet-café already closed the doors. So we try another one. We only check mail, we don’t want to risk another virus on our USB-stick.
We have a talk with Run, one of the watch-sellers, and afterwards go back home. Even early in the evening, our village is quiet, everyone is inside and probably asleep. That doesn’t matter, we enjoy the quiet nights in our own home, we have enough talk during the day. 

Thursday 30-10-2008

Today we manage, get up at 6 in the morning. 15 Minutes later we join June on her terrace to watch the children go to school…..but not really. We have chosen the wrong day, today the children don’t have to go to school. There is an election for a high placed person in Lombok Barat (East Lombok).
At Bumi Aditya, the guesthouse in the Kampung, everything is being prepared for the elections. Joep walks home, I stay a while with June. It is so nice to sit here in the morning. Another June, Bagman’s wife, is washing the dishes outside, in a tub. After the dishes, her youngest child has a bath in the same tub. A few minutes later she carries the child in a slendang, and she gives him some rice-porridge. It looks so comfortable, the baby on her hip, both hands free for other things.
When I walk back to Joep, I meet Radna, a very nice woman. I haven’t seen her for a long time. She is holding a little girl, but not her own, it’s her granddaughter. Time flies, also in Lombok.
After breakfast we decide to go for the walk we planned days ago.
We walk over the beach, towards Senggigi Beach Hotel. Talk to the sellers on the beach. On the beach, in front of the hotel, there are big breakwaters. On two places they are damaged during a storm. That must have been an enormous power from the sea…
Then we reach the little selling place for food and drinks, owned by a family from Loco. Their 4 children, Siti, Yunus, Samsul and Aprilia, are all in the Proyek. We stop for a cup of coffee.
Father tells us he is very happy all his kids can go to school now. Then you realize the things we do here are really useful.
We also talk about a family who just took 2 sons away from school. Most people in the village think it’s not good. But they also realize everyone has to make it’s own decisions. This father says he tries to keep his own children away from the boys who quit school. He’s afraid his own children will get influenced by them, and he really thinks it is important for his children to go to school.
He tells us his son Yunus now goes to a special Junior High School, he stays there all week, doesn’t come home every day. But tomorrow Yunus is coming home. Joep and I already mentioned we hadn’t seen Yunus yet. So tomorrow we have to make a photo of Yunus, for the registration of all children. More and more people decide to send children to special schools. They are more severe. These children usually are better prepared on going to Highschool.     
These Junior Highschools lay a good foundation for Highschool, children can work independent.
We walk on and through the small street next to Senggigi Beach Hotel we walk back home. At Graha Hotel we have a lemon ice tea, at home we take a shower and rest for a while. (get up at 6 in the morning is really early…)
After 5 minutes of sleep, we get a phone call from Cuk.
There is a bemo for sale, we can have a look at it now. So we will, it is not a bad one, but the first bemo we saw looked better.
The owner from the first bemo is also present. He wants to know at the latest tomorrow if we are going to buy his bemo. So we have to make a decision soon.
Before we do that, we want to know if the bemo from Yessey Café is for sale, that one is really nice. So we go to Yessey Café for a drink. Eful walks to the kitchen to ask if the boss is present. He won’t be back before this evening, so we have to wait.
We go back home, still have to make photos from the children.
Eful starts collecting all the children that are in the kampung. Cuk has a map containing overviews from all children; name, parents names, brothers, sisters etc.
I want to use this information for the sponsors of the children.
But it takes some time to copy the information. Andrea is coming to help us. Together with Adi he types the names of the children. 
I help to check the lists of children and new children. We go on making photos until it is too dark.
Then we clean up, shower, do some shopping, go to the internet.
At the supermarket we meet Eful and Cuk, who just came from Yessey Café. Their bemo is not for sale. Tidak apa apa, it doesn’t matter. Eful wants to discuss what we are going to do with the bemo. So we go to Sunshine. We can have diner and discuss our plans.
We all agree, the first bemo we saw was the best, but also the most expensive, 70 million rupiah. So Cuk calls the owner and asks for the price. He will lower the price with 3 million. Cuk tells him we will discuss it now, let him know later in the evening. We want to try to buy it for 65 million rupiah, the same price as the other bemos (they were older, looked worse, but it’s worth a try….) After waiting half an hour, Cuk calls back and gives his mobile phone to Eful. Oh, it’s so thrilling when you don’t understand what he is saying.  Eful ends the conversation and says with a big smile WE HAVE THE BEMO!! That’s great! It feels good, after a year of tension, a lot of generous sponsors, support from everyone, we made it!
Tomorrow the owner will come to bring us the bemo. We all have a drink, we’ve got something to celebrate…
We talk until midnight. We hear there will be a special ceremony for the bemo. We will pray and have diner together to make sure the bemo will be safe. Beautiful, we want to join them.
In Lombok this is a special ritual for instance for new companies, opening of a shop, a restaurant etc.
In those cases all orphans from the village will be invited to eat and pray together. Andrea likes this idea, better than in Europe, where only VIP’s will be invited… I agree with that completely.
In Kampung Loco Hindu and Muslim people are united, they live in the same village, and they all have their own rituals, their own customs. We see a lot of things that are new to us, that’s interesting, and it would be good if more people had an opportunity to see how people from another religion solve problems and do things.
For us this was a very long but great day.  

Friday 31-10-2008


After breakfast, Boung is coming to get us. The bemo has arrived!
And yes, there is our “new” bemo. We check it quickly, and agree the owner gets 10 million rupiah. And a receipt written by Eful, saying we will go to the service station, police and license office to have the bemo checked. If something is wrong, we will get 10 million back. If everything is fine, the owner will get the rest of the money tomorrow.
The owner leaves, and Joep, Cuk and Eful take the bemo for a ride.
I walk back home and start working on the travel stories. We have to keep up with this,so many things are happening!

We go to the office to have the bemo’s documents checked. We could have done it ourselves as well…they compare the car’s chassis, motor and license number with the numbers on the documents. Everything is okay.
In the second office the car will be officially transferred to us. For this we also need the former owners identity-card. We can arrange that next week.
Then we visit the service station. They think the bemo is okay.
The owner of the service station is an acquaintance of Cuk, and I think he will give an honest judgement. When I ask when the oil needs to be changed, he tells me it is the best to do every 3000 kilometers, because that is what is written on the bottles of oil. I tell him in Holland we watch the instructions manual of the car, he looks as if I’m a bit strange. Even more when I tell him we usually change oil only twice a year.
Good sales-policy of the oil-companies!  It’s a good thing the oil in Lombok is less expensive than in Holland.
Later, at home, when we stopped writing travel reports, it’s time for a nap.
A short one, 10 minutes later Eful comes to get us, he collected another group of children for the famous photos. 
So Marijke and me are going back to work while Eful and Cuk are going to the former owner of the bemo, to pay the rest of the amount. The rest of the afternoon, we are busy with the photos. Andrea, our Italian friend, and Adi are helping us. When Ismail, a happy boy, comes  with a group of friends, we have lots of fun.
When we finished the photo-shoot, Cuk and Eful come back. Proudly they give Marijke a map with the official documents from the bemo. They also give Marijke some money; on their way to Ampenan and back to Loco, they had some customers in the bemo, so this is the first earned Kampung Loco bemo money!   
For next Sunday we are making plans to have a nice trip with the families of our project-staff. We think they deserved it! Andrea, our advisor during these weeks, will also join us.
Next Monday all the children from Junior Highschool and Highschool will go to school by Kampung Loco Bemo, YES!!!!
When we want to go to a restaurant for dinner, it starts to rain. So we have a chat with Adi and Mariam, waiting until it will be dry.
After dinner we go to the internet café. The owner was already closing the café, but he starts up the computer and waits for us.
Quite early in the evening we drive back to Loco. It’s quiet. We are used to meet some people in front of June’s and Cuk’s shop , but the shop is closed already. Since Judy, their son, goes to a kind of boarding school, June often is alone at night. She is a bit scared then, and closes the door early.
At Boung’s bruka it is also quiet, so we go back to our own house, it has been a long and busy day…


Saturday 01-11-2008

The sun is already shining when we walk to Graha Hotel for breakfast.
After breakfast we want to have a relaxed morning at the swimming pool.
Yesterday Andrea told us at the terrace near the sea it is impossible to read a book, because there are so many sellers at the beach.
And that is right, about 12 sellers are standing in front of the terrace with their merchandise. 
A group of Javanese tourists are busy buying things and talking to the sellers. Most tourists don’t like the sellers, sometimes it’s hard to get rid of them. The best way to deal with the sellers is to be clear. If you’re not interested, just say no!
We find a quiet table, have breakfast, and enjoy watching the see and the sellers and tourists.
At the swimming pool we cool down, and when Marijke still is in the swimming pool, I decide to do some work. I want to transfer the pictures of the children from the camera to the laptop. I found a power-point, and Odjong gives me an extension cord. I need it, because the batteries of the laptop are quite old.    
Because of the sun it is not easy to watch the screen. Especially when I have to type all the names with the photos.
A few minutes later Andrea joins me, he woke up early. A big touring car was waiting with tick-over running motor almost in his room.
Marijke is enjoying a massage from Ibu Iba. Then it starts to rain and thunder and I take all our things to a bruka. Andrea goes back to his room.
Aftrer the massage Marijke tells me Ibu Iba is very tired. Her daughter has been ill since the end of Ramadan. She is talking about “not looking”.
We think she means something like evil spirits. Already 27 “healers” have seen the daughter. And of course they all need to be paid, with rice or other things.
We are surprised to see how much these things still influence the daily life of people. Also with Adi and other people from the Kampung we hear a lot of those things. A lot of healers walk around.
Marijke advises Iba to give her daughter and herself some time and rest, see what happens. 
In Lombok people are very eager on taking medicine when something is wrong. Adi told us, when he comes home having a headache, he takes medicine and takes a nap. After that his headache has gone.
We advised him, next time, to take a nap without having medicine, because propably his headache will be gone then as well.
It is interesting, every year we learn more about the way people live in Lombok, but sometimes it is a bit strange how people handle certain things.
When the rain stops, we walk to the restaurant for a cup of coffee. We show the staff some photos that are on the laptop. We start a nice conversation with someone from The Netherlands. Of course we also talk about the Proyek, and hand over a Proyek business card.
We are almost the same like the sellers in Lombok! Start with a usual conversation, end with promotion of the Proyek.
After the coffee we walk back home, where we spend all afternoon with the photos and names on the laptop.
It is not easy. Sometimes, for instance when a child has a lot of diseases, the parents change the child’s name.  This, they hope, will give the child a new identity without diseases.   
We also have to register the schools children go to. Next June a lot of children will move from Elementary school to Junior Highschool.
We also hope to find some new children that  will go to Elementary school.
If not, we must disappoint some sponsors.
We want to do everything in the right way, but sometimes it is not so easy.
When we finished our work, we drive to Senggigi for our almost daily visit to the internet café and for dinner.
After that, we spend hours on our terrace with Adi and Mariam and have an enjoyable evening.   

Sunday 02-11-2008

Already in the morning the clouds are very dark, rain will come.
Tidak apa apa, it doesn’t mind. We stay at home.
There’s a big map with information of the children, parents etc. waiting for us. We already completed half of it, so let’s start with the other half.
Outside it is getting darker, rain starts to fall.
I have difficulties with reading the written names of the children. I also need a dictionary to find the occupation of the parents.
But I think now I have the names complete. Joep is reading a book. The temperature is fine, we people from Belanda often think it is too warm.
Around noon Cuk and Eful come to inform us the ceremony for the bemo will take place this evening. It needs to be done soon, because tomorrow in the morning we will start using the bemo for the children. 
We think it’s fine. Now Cuk, Eful and their wives will take the bemo to go to the market, buy food for this evening.
When they  get back, they immediately start preparing the food. We walk to Boung and Sareah, have a nice time on their bruka. We see 2 children we haven’t taken a photo of yet. So we do it now. Boung is watching the photos with us, and picks up another child we miss. 
We think we almost have all the children now.
Soon Boung starts to do funny, like he uses to. Everyone is laughing.
Cuk joins us, and starts sorting out the photos. He puts them in 2 maps. He uses these maps also to show visitors of Proyek Kampung Loco. 
Andrea also joined us. Joep, Cuk and Andrea decide to make a testride with the bemo. I think it’s just an excuse for a nice ride, but okay…
They leave and I join June and some other women from the kampung  in front of June’s shop to practice my Bahasa Indonesia, Indonesian language.
I’m doing fine, sometimes using my hands and feet to make something clear to the women.  These moments are the moments I enjoy most. Simply chatting a bit, quiet and relaxed, while the children are playing, the smallest children sitting with their mothers, watching the strange white woman, with the scary blue eyes. But, very slowly, they are getting used to me. Little Zara, Sane’s daughter, is too young to be scared of me, and gives me a big smile.
These moments sometimes it’s hard, it makes me think of my own  granddaughter Lara. I hope she doesn’t change too much in the months we don’t see her… Son Chico has been so nice to send us 2 photo’s by e-mail, and after hours of downloading, we have been able to see them!
A moment later the men return. The bemo is doing fine!
Of course, that’s why we bought it!
Andrea walks back to Graha, we walk home. At 8 we go to Eful’s house, followed by about 20 men, including the imam and Kepala Kampung (something like a mayor).
When everyone is inside, the imam starts praying. The others also start to pray. It sounds nice, almost like singing. After a few moments, we have a power failure. It’s completely dark, but the praying goes on. Now it sounds almost magical. Joep has a flashlight, turns it on, what makes all insects fly to Joep.
After the prayer, Cuk explains to everyone the bemo will be used for the children to go to (Junior) Highschool. The bemo will be parked in the Kampung every evening so it can also be used for transport to ceremonies in the evening. But only on the condition the tank will be refilled with fuel when the bemo comes back. 
The most important thing is that in the evening/night the bemo also can be used in case of emergency.
When someone needs to see a doctor or needs transport to a hospital, Cuk will take them there. In that case refueling will be paid by the proyek.
Everyone is listening very carefully, and seems happy with the advantages of the bemo.
Then the foods is brought in. And it is a lot of food.
For everyone a portion of rice, chicken and vegetables. Also a glass of water.
After dinner everyone gets a cup of coffee.
Cigarettes are presented in glasses. You don’t see this in Holland anymore.
But still I can remember birthday-parties in Holland, where cigars and cigarettes we standing on the table, in between coffee, tea and cake.
So in this case Indonesia is like Holland was 30 years ago.
After coffee everyone leaves. In Lombok they’re not used to linger at the table after dinner. But we do, with a small group, but not too long.
Tomorrow at 06.30 we want to be present for the bemo’s first ride!

Monday 03-11-2008


At 05.45 we get out of bed. We don’t want to miss the first ride of the Kampung Loco Proyek Bemo. The bemo is waiting in front of Cuk’s house. During the first period, Cuk will be bemo-driver. That way we can see how it works, if there are any problems etc. 
There are still some children who cannot use the bemo. These are the children which go to school in Mataram. Our bemo has a licence for public transport between Ampenan and Senggigi. Not for Mataram. It’s allowed to use the bemo in Mataram to bring children to school, as long as it is not being used as public transport in the Mataram area. So, in fact, we can bring to children to school in Mataram, but before we do that, we want to explain the other bemo drivers the way we work, that the bemo is used in Mataram only to bring children to school, that we use the bemo like a schoolbus. So to avoid problems with other bemo-drivers, until everyone is being informed, we don’t use the bemo for transport to Mataram. But we also think this year there will be not enough children going to Mataram Highschool, so using the bemo for only a few children will be to expensive. It will be cheaper to use other transport until more children go to Mataram.
At half past 6 the bemo leaves with a few children that go to Junior Highschool in Kerandangan, North of Senggigi. Some children from Elementary school in Senggigi are very lucky today. Usually they walk to school. But as the bemo is going the same direction, and there still is some space in the bemo, they can get in the bemo. A lot of parents and other people are present to watch the bemo leave. We enjoy the proud faces of the people, when they see their children leave the village by Loco-bemo! 
I also get in the bemo, but I get out at the main road. There I take a seat at the Pos Ronda bruka. A lot of children from Loco are already at the bruka. They have to go to Junior Highschool in Ampenan, south of Senggigi. When the bemo comes back from Kerandangan, Cuk will pick up these children.
When the bemo comes back, we all get in and drive towards Ampenan. On that moment I receive an sms-message from Marianne in Holland; “Selamat pagi! Enjoy the first bemo-drive!” That’s perfect timing!
The children that are on the bemo now, go to 4 different schools, so the bemo is getting more and more empty, until only Cuk and me are on the bemo. Then we go back to the kampung, I look forward to my breakfast, but before I start eating, I get a phonecall from Cuk, asking if I want to join Eful and him “for papers to police and service station”.
When I came home I told Adi I would take breakfast and after that lie down for half an hour. So Adi is very amused when he hears me answer to Cuk “I will be there in 5 minutes”. With a smile on his face he says “Tidak tidur”, no sleep.
We drive to the police office to complete the documents of the bemo. We already prepared everything in order to be ready quickly. But it takes some time, a lot of time, the documents will be ready at 3 in the afternoon.
We don’t want to wait that long, so we drive to the service station for service and maintenance of the bemo.  I won’t mention too many details of this. Marianne in Holland translates our stories from Dutch into English language, and she is not happy with all the technical descriptions I use to write…
Of course we want to thank her and the rest of the Geurts family a lot for  keeping the website up to date. 
When after two hours the maintenance is completed, and Cuk and I removed all the stickers and the redundant lighting, it is time to pick up the first child from school. Half an hour later we pick up two children at another school, and on our way back to the kampung we pick up the others. 
We also have some “unknown” kids on board. But when they get out of the bemo, the properly pay Cuk the bemo fare. There are no fare dodgers in Lombok! Tired of the waiting and the heat, we reach Loco, where we evaluate the first bemo-day. It is important to know the exact school hours, and to let the children know we leave right on time, we don’t wait if someone is late, because if we do, the other children also will be late!

In the meantime I made one day’s travel report, did some laundry, and read a book. It is very muggy and hot. That’s mainly because this is rainy season.
Joep comes home and we decide to take a nap. We think we deserved it, this morning we got out of bed very early. Late in the afternoon we wake up again, and it is raining and thundering. When it is dry, we want to go to the internet-café, but we get some visitors, children who need to be photographed. So we take the camera and make nice photo’s. Yuliante, sponsored by Vicky and Peter,  has her second photo taken, on the first she was standing with her eyes closed, so we try again. We still haven’t photographed all children. 80% of them was finished in one day. But the other 20% takes some time…
At the internet café we “meet” Marianne in Holland, we chat for a while. We tell her we want to try to send some photos of the bemo, so they can be put on the website. But it won’t work. Marianne advises us to ask Mohni, he often sends photos by e-mail. So we go to another internet-café. There’s Mohni, also chatting with Marianne. Mohni roars with laughter, he just heard from Marianne in Holland that we are coming to see him, and a minute later we actually do! Internet makes the world really small…
Mohni helps us, and a few minutes later the photos are sent to Holland and published on the website, where now everyone can see them.       
We go for diner at Angel’s, and do some shopping. When we are home, we enjoy a nice evening with Adi and Mariam on their terrace. On the laptop we watch photos from former holidays in Lombok, and also some photos from Holland. Especially the photos we made in winter are impressive to Adi and Mariam.  We really like these nice, cosy and quiet evenings with our friends!


Tuesday 04-11-2008

Today we have a day off, get out of bed quietly in the morning, no plans, no obligations.
It is nice to be at home, do some laundry, just by hand, without a washing machine, so it takes some time. We also use only cold water. We don’t have hot running water, and we don’t really miss it. Doing laundry like this, makes me appreciate the washing machine in Holland more. Throw the laundry in, push the button, that’s it.
But we can also appreciate the way things are here. In this heat it is nice just to do some laundry.
Joep is typing the travel report from yesterday. If we don’t keep up with that, it’s not good.
Before noon we decide to go to Ampenan. We want to buy a small side table and a table lamp. First we start looking for a side-table. On the way to Ampenan there are several furniture shops.  
We find a nice “opium-table” but it is a bit too expensive. “Harga pas” the girl says; fixed price, so we cannot “tawar” (bargain).
We drive on to the direction of  Montong. There we find another shop, but they only have very extensively decorated tables, ugly as sin, we think.
So we decide to look further. At the moment we want to go on, we meet Oekie. Someone we met years ago at café Berry. So we have to talk for a while.
As we both really liked the “opium table” we saw before, and the price, compared to Dutch prices, is really low, we decide to go back to that shop.
They show us two different tables, both made of teakwood, but one a bit lighter coloured than the other.  We prefer the dark one, and tell the seller a bemo will pick it up in the afternoon. No, the lady says, 2 weeks delivery-time, and we bring it to your house. “No way” I answer, ”in two weeks we are in Holland”. So at the latest we want to have it tomorrow, otherwise we won’t buy it!”
She has to discuss with one of her colleagues, then they promise us the table will be delivered at 16.00 tomorrow. This whole conversation is in Indonesian language, and Joep has to admit that life here is easier when you speak some Indonesian.
I even can explain to them how to get to our house. Something like this:
Just before Graha there is a bridge. Before the bridge take the sand road to the right. When you reach the village ask for Yup or bapu Belande, everyone there knows us and they will show you the way to our house.
Because we don’t have a real address, the streets have no names, there are no house numbers, we have to do it this way. Then we drive back to Senggigi. When we reach Batu Bolong we see in Senggigi it is raining a lot. It is a nice view from a distance, so we just wait.
As we see the sky getting lighter, we drive on, and want to go to Coco Loco on the other side of Senggigi for a drink. In Senggigi the street changed into a river. While we carefully drive on, another motor overtakes us in a big hurry. Result: we both are soaking wet! Tidak apa apa, it doesn’t matter.
When we sit at Coco Loco, it’s pouring with rain again.
But we are fine, drink something, watch the sea, and wait for the rain to stop.
We watch the little shops and stalls at the pasar. We talk with a boy who has a little shop at the pasar. Last year he saw pictures of our stall and he tried to copy the lay out to his shop. We like it. It’s a nice boy, and he tries to look into the tourist’s mind.
We explain to him tourist don’t like to be pushed so much when they enter the shop. It’s better to give them some time to look around.  
When you push them too much, what sellers usually do in Indonesia, you scare them away. He thinks it is interesting, and worth a try. We hope it works!
When we walk to our motor, the phone is ringing. It’s Adi, telling us there are some people from Belanda visiting us. It takes us 5 minutes to get home. There we see, on our terrace, Izaak and Lory. Adi has been a perfect host. Already offered them some coffee.  We are so glad with Adi and Mariam as neighbours. Izaak is the important staff member in Indonesia of LombokCare, a foundation from Roermond, Holland. They support a lot of projects in Lombok. We already tried to meet him before, and told this to Mohni. Well, Mohni is a friend of Izaak, and told Izaak we were looking forward to meet him. So now he is visiting us. Lory is a lady from Switzerland. Ever since Izaak was a little boy, she coaches and helps him, together with Marita, a lady from Holland.
It’s good to hear Izaak’s story. He was young, and quite lazy, when he met the ladies. They kept insisting he should study, try to find a job and, very important, save some money.
Indonesian people are not used to save money. It took some time, but after a while, because the ladies didn’t give up, he started saving money. Especially Marita was very severe and insisting, he says with a laugh.
Thanks to this, Izaak now has his own, new built, house. I also ask him something else. I know, people in Indonesia can be very jealous when someone can afford more than another.
That’s right, the people in Izaak’s kampung were very jealous, asked if he got the money from the friends from Europe. They couldn’t and wouldn’t believe Izaak saved the money himself.        
Now Izaak has no contact with that kampung anymore, but he changed into a person with a strong personality and a lot of self confidence. Adi is sitting with us, listening. I think Adi also has some trouble with jealousy from the kampung. He lives in a beautiful house. He doesn’t tell us directly, but sometimes we feel it. For instance when he tells us people from the kampung have to understand he is not a rich man. If he was, he wouldn’t have to sell watches on the beach and at hotels.
We enjoy the talking with Izaak and Lory. It makes us understand Lombok a little better. Izaak has gone through a lot, started to get a western mentality.
We talk for hours, and before we realize it’s eight o’clock. Izaak and Lory leave. We will visit Izaak another time in his house, and for sure we will meet Lory at Graha, where she is staying. We sit and talk with Adi for a while, until we see it’s half past nine.
Too late for shopping, too late for the internet-café and too late to go out for diner. But Joep offers to make us some diner.
Well, he boils some water for instant noodles. Just add some boiling water with the noodles, and 3 minutes later you have a meal.
Very proudly he comes out with our diner, Adi is roaring with laughter!
Hamad, who used to work at Bumi Aditya, joins us. I love to see him again, we had a real good time together at Bumi Aditya.
But Hamad has changed, has become more quiet.
Now he works for Senggigi Beach Hotel. He has to keep sellers away from the hotel-guests that lie on the beach.
There is something like a chain-fencing on the beach. Sellers may not pass this. We think it looks ridiculous. 
Now Hamad tells us Senggigi Beach Hotel has made an agreement with the Kepala Desa. He hires local people as Security to keep away the sellers. Because the Security and sellers know each other, the sellers won’t make it too hard for the Security. Hamad sometimes had to send away his own friends an neighbours. Now, out of respect for Hamad, they don’t come to that place anymore. It works, sellers stay away, of course the Kepala Desa gets some money, and Hamad has a job, even better paying than his job at Bumi Aditya. But we think it’s sad, when he explains how humble he has to be towards the hotel guests. He may hardly speak to them.
The more expensive the hotel, the more humble the staff has to be. Some way we understand it, but it makes us sad to see how Hamad has changed. He used to be a self confident, happy boy when he was working at Bumi Aditya.
The more time we spend in Lombok, the more we see, the more we learn.
Sometimes it is not easy to understand things, but sometimes it makes things easier for us, because we now learn to understand why people live like they do.
There’s one thing that really worries me. Back in Holland I will have to tell to some sponsors that a child quit school. And try to explain why, why the parents are so different from Holland.
In fact, to understand these things, you should live in Indonesia for a while.
Izaak had a good way to explain this:
Sometimes parents say: “I also made it without reading and writing, so why shouldn’t my child make it without school?”.
Gladly now most of the parents realize why school is very important for their children.
Indonesia is changing, but it takes a lot of time!

Wednesday 05-11-2008


Around our garden we have a little brick wall. To keep the cows out, who otherwise will ruin the nice garden. When we are not in Lombok, Mariam takes good care of our garden and plants.
Adi made a new small gate, out of  waste wood. But it is almost falling apart.
So we want to make a new one. We want to make it out of plastic tubes, like they use for waterworks. So we need some tubes and connecting pieces. It’s not heavy, and won’t decay or rust.
So we take the bemo to go shopping. In Holland we would go to a do-it-yourself shop. In Lombok it is different. They don’t have everything, so you have to improvise. We also want to buy some cane mats to make sunscreen-roller-blinds for our terrace. We find the blinds, after that we go looking for materials to make the gate.
Adi wants to attach the hinges with nails to the wall. I think it will be better to attach them by first drilling a hole in the wall, putting in a plug and attach the hinge with a screw. Adi thinks it a good idea, but no one in the kampung has a drilling machine. Anyway we are going to buy the screws and plugs, if we find someone with a drilling machine, maybe on a building site, we will ask if we can borrow it.  Back in the kampung it is time for Cuk to get the children from school. But first we pay him for using the bemo, yes we also have to pay for transport!

When Joep comes back, he asks me if I want to go with Cuk to get the children from school. Of course, I haven’t been in the new bemo yet. So, together with Cuk I go to the first school. We pick up about 5 Junior Highschool kids. One of them gets out at the next school, an Elementary school. He will wait for Bagus, and will help the younger child crossing the busy street. The other ones drive with us to Gilang’s school in Ampenan.   
There we all have to wait quite a while. But that’s no problem, Lombok people are patient. Now Cuk and I have some time to talk. Cuk tells me he would like to become the driver of the bemo, but first he would like to discuss it with his wife, June. Cuk is a good, professional driver. But he and June run a shop in Loco, and being the bemo driver will take a lot of time, so June will have to run the shop then almost by herself. I tell him to discuss this with June, and also with the boys from the Proyek. It’s a decision they have to make by themselves, I don’t want to interfere with this.
When Gilang arrives, he gets in and we drive back to the Elementary school, to pick up Bagus and the boy that waited for him. I really appreciate it that they have an older child wait together with the Elementary school child. In Lombok children usually obey older people very good, their parents, but also other people. And they also feel responsible for other children.   
Back in Loco Cuk takes a coffee-break and I join June and him. He tells me the grandfather of Hamad, we wrote about yesterday, died, and the family asked if it was possible to take them to the funeral at 4 o’clock.
Now we see the bemo really is an advantage, people can help each other.
I walk back home and would like to take a nap, but I see Andrea coming.
He asks us if we already heard the big news. No, we haven’t.
Andrea accepted a job in Hungary, he will be working as a manager culture and communication. As we understood it well, he will also make promo movies for movie-industries. He is really looking forward to it, and they want him to come to Hungary soon. So he will be leaving on Saturday or Monday. First he will visit his parents in Italy, after that he will go to Hungary for a new adventure. We congratulate him and feel happy for him, but we also will miss him in Lombok. He has been a great help with the Proyek!
Then we get another visitor, delivering the side table we bought yesterday. So my route description in Bahasa Indonesia was okay!
When Andrea leaves, we go to Senggigi. We have to go to the internet café to send the travel reports of yesterday and the day before.  At the internet café I have a chat with Marianne and Mohni. Mohni asks why we don’t use his laptop for internet. But we don’t want to bother him all the time.
A bit later, when we have diner, we meet Mohni again. He still has to deliver some texts in English for the web-site of his diving school. I promise to help him translating the texts from Indonesian to English.
After dinner we will visit him. He first wants to make the texts, after that I can check them.
He will call us as soon as he is ready. We go to the Chinese souvenir-shop, don’t know the name, but they have a lot of nice things, and good prices.
2  Years ago we saw a nice table-lamp there, but we first wanted to have a table to put it on. But now we have, and they still have the lamps, so we buy one.
With the lamp in my arms, I take place on the back of the motor, and we drive home. Our house feels more and more like a home, and with the light of the new table-lamp, we watch a movie on the laptop.
How luxurious!


Thursday 06-11-2008

I get out of bed early, but I don’t feel very well. I’m a bit tired of everything.
I know it is my own problem, I want to finish everything in time, but this is Indonesia. I want to have a photo of all the children, want to be sure we don’t forget anyone, but to me everything is to much pelan-pelan, easy, slow. But everyone is doing his utmost. We have a long talk with Adi, about  the way things go in Lombok, and a few minutes later the others come.
They bring the new cash book for the bemo, and show us the receipts they’ve got until now.  Purchase, license, registration, monthly payments.
The bemo is officially registered on Eful. On the Proyek is not possible, because then no one would be legally responsible. The bank accounts are registered on Cuk’s name,  so now we’ve decided to use Eful’s name for the bemo. Adi will manage the bemo’s cash book, for Cuk is already very busy with the other cash books.
Eful will climb the mountain now, there lives a boy we don’t have on photo yet. He will ask him to visit us now.
Now we still need two children.
We discuss how we can improve the school system. We decide the parents have to subscribe the children themselves. Until now we sort of invited the children.
If the parent subscribe them themselves, they will feel more responsible.  
It appears that some parents don’t care about their children’s education, and often these children don’t finish school.    
We also want to have the names of the children for the new school year (which starts in June) already in October. But here most people don’t schedule in advance. Sometimes this is difficult for us, and for the sponsors.
When everyone is gone, Joep and Adi start working.
They are going to hang the bamboo-roller blinds outside. It takes some time. We find out Adi has to think a long time about what Joep tries to explain to him. On the other side, he works very accurate. Joep changes something in the way the curtains are tied up. Adi doesn’t understand why, but a few moment later he smiles, yes this is much better, better than at the neighbour’s.
To hang the first blind takes about one and a half hour. But the second one only takes half an hour. Sometimes Mariam and I can help a bit.
It’s a nice afternoon. Sareah comes to bring us the laundry. She does some laundry for us, of course she gets paid for this, although she doesn’t want to accept the money. But we insist on it.
Sareah is a great help for my study Bahasa Indonesia, she doesn’t speak English at all. But I’m improving, so after this stay in Lombok, I sure will continue my lessons. It still is hard to understand the people, they speak too fast! 
At half past 5 we get an sms from Andrea. He changed his ticket, and will leave on Saturday. He promised to put some of his photos on our laptop, and he want to have some of our photos. So he’s computering for 3 hours, Joep and I don’t understand the things he is doing. 
We also get some very nice movies from him. I hope we can publish them on our website. In the meantime Sareah brings us some tempe goreng with sambal, because we were so busy… And Sareah’s tempe goreng is the best in the whole world!
When Andrea is ready, we rush to the internet cafë. We promised Nick to be there for a chat with Holland.
The boy from the internet café was already closing, there were no more customers, but now he starts up the computer again, especially for us.
We chat with Nick and Edgar, talk about several things. Nick and Elise are really looking forward to their next trip to Lombok. We want to have diner at Happy Café, but it’s too busy in there. So we walk to Angel.
The waitress is very young and very polite. There are 2 Australian men in the restaurant. One of them is very rude. When he grabs at the waitress, she is very upset. When she comes to our table, we have a talk with her. Her name is Emma. During the morning hours she is studying English at the University. In the afternoon and evening she works at Angel. When we tell her about our Proyek, she starts to cry. She is still upset about the Australian man, but she also tells us she is so glad to meet someone who is concerned about the education of Lombok children.
She wants to thank us in a Muslim traditional way. She kisses our hand and puts the hand on her head. I’ve already seen many children do this, and the gesture really moves me. Now I’ve got tears in my eyes, she such a nice girl.
I would like to throw the Australian men out of the restaurant, but working here, she will have to learn how to deal with these “tourists”.
After diner we visit the mini-market, next to café Berry. The shop is open 24 hours, good, because we haven’t had time to do shopping today.
We met the owners of the shop already, now we meet her husband.
He tells us a remarkable story.
He has worked for someone from Switzerland for 10 years. The employer got wounded, a knife stab in the back of his head. The shop owners borrowed 34 million rupiah, and took the Swiss man to a hospital in Bali. They were afraid in Mataram hospital he wouldn’t be treated in the right way.
When they arrived in Bali in the hospital, the Swiss man accused his employee and wife of stabbing him to steal his money.
The shop owner looks at me and says: “Can you imagine that, after having worked for him for 10 years?”
Very disappointed they went back to Lombok. Because of the loan now they have to work really hard. Luckily they got help from someone from Holland.
By opening their shop day and night, they hope to be able to pay back the loan a bit faster.
You hear all kinds of strange stories in Lombok. I don’t know if everything is true…

Friday 07-11-2008

Today it is Friday, day of prayer for the mainly Muslim inhabitants of Kampung Loco.
We hear the voice of the Imam while we are having breakfast at our terrace.
The new sunscreen blinds do what they were meat to do, they they keep away the sun. In half an hour we will get sunbeam at the side of our terrace, there is no screen, but the bamboo there is growing very fast. Where there is an empty space, Mariam puts branches from other bushes in the soil. Just put it in the ground, nature does the rest! Adi already made 2 iron hooks to fasten the cord of the roller blinds. Problem is how to connect the irons hooks. A few minutes later I see him walking with a bucket to the place where I little bridge is being built over the river. When he comes back, he has some cement. The Government pays for building the bridge, so in some way you can say the Government also is sponsoring our roller blinds.
When our blinds are fine, we start with the ones for Adi and Mariam.
Now we know the best way to fasten them, we finish the job much quicker than yesterday.
Only the cord-construction makes Adi’s face wrinkle…that’s difficult!
But with a little help he finishes it and is very proud.
In the meantime Marijke did some laundry and went to June’s shop to buy some things. On the way back, she spent some time on the bruka with Andrea and Boung.
It’s Andrea’s last full day on Lombok, tomorrow he is leaving. He’s checking the children’s-proyek laptop and he wants to take the laptop to the internet café to install Skype.   
Using Skype we want to communicate with Eful every week, when we are in Holland. So we have a cheap way to keep each other up to date.   
The afternoon we stay in and around our house. At 7 we drive to Senggigi for diner and after that we go to the internet café together with Andrea and Eful.
Andrea teaches us how to use Skype, in a way even we understand it.
After this course we drive back. Have a stop at Pos Ronda Bruka, where we meet Boung. We get some drinks at café Berry and talk till deep in the night.

Saturday 08-11-2008

Time flies when you are having fun!
Today our last week in Lombok starts. It’s a holiday-day, no obligations, so we start at Graha’s swimming pool.
We try to find the flyers with proyek-information we left here. They’re gone, no one knows where. Doesn’t matter, we’ll deliver them some new ones. 
We enjoy the sun and the water. Joep also enjoys a massage from Ibu Iba.
In the meantime Andrea comes. He packed his things, and has to pay the bill. He is not really sad to leave Lombok. He’s going to a new adventure.
At noon we go home. And although I have been “ di bawah pohon” , under the tree all morning, I got a sunburnt.
But we don’t complain, we have sun, different from in Holland! At 3 we go to Boung’s bruka, where we find Andrea, Rian and Boung. Sareah made urab-urab. That’s a traditional Lombok vegetable dish. A little farewell diner for Andrea. I enjoy the urab-urab. Joep doesn’t, so I end up eating two portions.
Then some last photos, shake hands and we get in the bemo, together with Andrea, Eful, Adi, Cuk and some kids. On the way to the airport. We usually fly domestic, to Bali. But Andrea has a flight to Singapore, so now we have to be at the international part of the airport. It’s really busy there.
Andrea shakes hands with his Lombok friends, and I give him a big hug. I think when he leaves he still is a bit sad.  Andrea is a great guy. We hope to see him once again, in Holland or in Lombok. But he sure will stay involved with the Proyek.  
We go back to the Kampung. Some ladies are sitting next to June’s shop. I join them, and get a big smile from Bahman’s youngest son. He even spends some time on my lap. I enjoy this, knowing that next year he will be frightened of me.  Now, he is 6 months old, he is not.
We walk home to get some things and go to Senggigi, the internet café. The connections are really slow today, but we don’t care. We hear someone from Holland who does care. We have a talk with him and his wife. They have been travelling for 16 months now, and have seen and been through a lot.
They don’t really like Lombok, they were being swindled when they arrived on Lombok. Not a good first impression.
They like people from Bali more, we like Lombok people more. But everyone is different.
I think it’s not a question of the islands, but the people. Sometimes you just have bad luck to meet the wrong ones.
We walk to Angel, and meet Emma again. A lot of people walk by. Run and Jan, both watchsellers, stop for a talk. A lot of people are not happy with the sellers, but to us they have become friends. Every time they walk away, we wish them good business. After diner we go home. Have a chat with Adi on the terrace. He tells us we are world-famous in Senggigi. All his friends tell him when and where they met us. “Adi, we have seen your friends again, mister with long hairs, and lady with rasta.”
Adi always acts surprised “Really, where?”
A lot of people don’t know we are Adi’s neighbours. We talkabout the sellers, and Adi says they all think we are very polite, we always say “Tidak, terima kasih” (No, thank you).    
But we think it’s just normal, especially if you think about the way the sellers have to earn their money. Thinking about that makes it easy to be polite…

Sunday 09-11-2008


Today we planned to go to the “big city” Mataram, together with Mariam, Sareah, Kartini and June, the wives of the staff members of the Proyek. We will visit Mataram Mall. The wives also do a lot of work for the proyek, and this trip is like a “Thank you”.
It’s not easy to have all the women together, because we know they do not all get on together very well.  June stays at home, Cuk goes with us, and she doesn’t want to close the shop. Mariam doesn’t want to go to the Mall, she has been there before, and she is afraid she will see things in the shops that she cannot buy. If she doesn’t see them, it’s no problem. Well, that makes sense.
We don’t want to interfere with this, so we leave, Sareah, Diana, Kartini, Gilang, Cuk, Eful and a friend of Gilang.
Mos, the bemo driver that will start working next Monday, is driving the bemo. At the Mall we split in 2 groups, men and women.
The Mall changed a lot. A new part was built, complete with parking garage and elevators. Some shops in the new part are still empty.
I go with Cuk to the Toko Buku, bookshop, to buy a guestbook for visitors of the Kampung. I ask Cuk if he knows something June would like to have. We want to give her a present. Cuk knows, a pan with a glass cover. She once saw it, and would like to have it. So we are going to buy the pan. 
After that, we meet the ladies again, and have, as usual on these trips,  lunch at Mc Donalds or Kentucky Fried Chicken. Today we end up at KFC.
I go shopping with Kartini, Sareah and little Ana (her name is Diana, but everyone calls her Ana). We go to Tiara, a very big clothes store.
First we go to the kids-department. Ana sees a jacket, red with pink. Decorated with Mickey Mouse and a lot of glitter. She falls in love with the jacket, she’s a real woman…
When she is trying on the jacket, she is shining. And of course, Babu Belanda buys the jacket. Ana is very happy.
I tell Kartini and Sareah they can also pick out something.   
Kartini wants a suit, jacket and pants. As a teacher she always has to wear neat clothes. 
Today she was wearing a T-shirt we gave her 4 years ago, so they really are careful with their clothes.  They hardly ever buy new clothes. But now she gets a brown suit, with small golden stripes. She is also shining in her new suit!
Sareah gets a traditional Muslim outfit, beautiful pink trousers with a long blouse. And now I’m lucky, this one is marked down at 50%.
This is usual with these clothes at the end of the Ramadan. 
I really enjoy the happy faces of the ladies.
We walk back to the men, and then all together to Kentucky Fred Chicken. Not our own choice, but to our guests it is like very luxury eating out.
With a portion of rice, a drumstick and a huge coke, everyone is enjoying.
Joep and I rush to a shop to get a photo frame, so we can give our granddaughter Lara a place in our house.
After that, the women walk to the bemo. Joep and the men are going to buy a headset for Eful. When we are back in Holland, we plan to have a conversation with him using Skype every week. So he needs a headset.
It’s very warm when we get outside. The air is getting dark, but there’s no rain. Tired we go home, and have a shower. Then a little nap.
It’s unbelievable how much we sleep in Lombok, but the heat is very tiring.
Now we understand why people in a lot of “hot” countries have a siesta. It’s the best way to make it through the hottest hours of the day.

As we get up again, I see Adi, and ask him when he starts making the gate.
He tells me it will be next week, when we are gone. This week he is busy with selling watches. He has to visit some people that are interested, and he doesn’t exactly know how late he can meet them. We realize this is just an excuse and I offer him to wait with him for the customers at the beach. We can take the materials for the gate, and while we are waiting, we can make the gate.
Adi understands the joke. He promises the gate will be ready when Nick and Elise are in Lombok again. But that takes 8 months.
I think he doesn’t want us to see the wrinkles in his face when he is thinking how to make the gate. 
We take the motor and go for diner. When we have diner Eful joins us. He has an appointment with Andrea, who now is in Singapore. At 9 they will have a meeting on Skype.
Together we walk to the internet café and speak and chat to Andrea and Nick and Elise. It’s late, but still very warm. Half an hour later we drive back home.
We have pity on the people who competed in the triathlon in Senggigi today.
That must have been very hot! We can not imagine you have to run and  bike through the mountains in this climate. The only part of the triathlon we would do is the swimming…
Our friend Nick is going to draw attention to our Proyek on a very special way in Holland. Together with a friend he will walk the Zeven Heuvelen (7 Hills) Loop next Sunday. Wearing a T-shirt with the Kampung Loco logo ! Terima kasih Nick!


Monday 10-11-2008

Now we get the holiday-feeling. At 9.30 we go to Madalika Homestay. At the sand path we carefully ride past a cow. Then we take the mainroad. Martin, the owner of Mandalika, invited us for coffee. When we arrive at his house, he excuses us for 15 minutes, he has to pick his son Adam up from school.
His wife Rohanna and their little daughter join us, and start a conversation with Marijke, in Bahasa Indonesia.
Sometimes I pick up some words, and I can understand a bit what they are talking about.  I hoped my Bahasa Indonesia would be better, too bad!
But I am very happy with my interpreter.
When Martin is back, the conversation continues in English, and sometimes I can use a word of Indonesian. 
It’s good to see Martin again, he’s an “old” friend.
At noon we leave and drive to Ampenan for a visit at the hairdresser’s, Salon New York.  There we enjoy a nice treatment (“Yes, Elise, she still works there” Marijke says I have to mention this…). 
On our way back we have a drink at the terrace near the see at Graha’s.
There we meet Lory and Izaak, who were just leaving.
We agree to have diner together next Wednesday. Then we go back home, just in time, before a huge thundery shower. Today we have bad luck, the shower stays above us, but it’s a nice view.
I think maybe a lot of women are happy with the rain. This morning they started walking up and down from the river. They pass our house with a bucket filled with sand from the river. They use it to make cement for a house that’s being built.
All my respect for the women; only watching it makes us tired and hot. But the women will be glad they can earn some money with the very heavy work.
When the shower is over, we go to the internet café, to do our daily homework. Yes, we want to keep everyone informed!

Tuesday 11-11-2008

This morning we are busy with all kind of little jobs in and around our house.
Joep and Adi are discussing the gate.
Adi wants to take his time and make it when we are back in Holland. Joep is pushing him, asking him to start now. Then they ask me to make a movie, of Adi promising Joep to repair the gate before Nick and Elise arrive in Lombok. That will be next July…
Five minutes later we all roar with laughter. They’ve got a lot of humour in Lombok.
Joep always says in one month in Lombok we laugh more than in 11 months in Holland.
Joep wants to hang the picture of Lara on the wall. He uses a nail. Adi wants to hammer the nail in the wall.
But all the nails he tries are getting crooked.
Joep shows him how to do it, and hammers the first nail into the wall. You should have seen the look on Adi’s face!
There’s a girl coming, she will be in our proyek next year. She’s already in class 3, but she moved to Kampung Loco with her family this year.
The father also comes to meet us. He also has an older daughter at Junior Highschool, and a little girl that will go to class 1 of Elementary school next June. So, 3 children of one family that we can support. The father tells us how very grateful he is. We explain to him we can only do this with the help of a lot of sponsors in Holland, and other countries. When they are gone, we go to Graha for a nice swim.
Security Herman has a chat with us. We have a good time, until we see the sky getting dark again. We quickly go back home, before the rain starts. We make it, half an hour after we get in, the raining starts.
We are learning to recognize whether the rain will fall in our “valley” or in the next one. You can see it in the sky.
It keeps raining for a few hours. When it’s dry, Boung comes and tells us he spent some time in the hospital with Sareah last night.
She had an extreme asthma attack, and could hardly breathe. I walk to Sareah to see how she is feeling.
She is sitting on the bruka, not feeling very well, and tells the story.
Yesterday she took medicine already three times. Usually she feels better after the first time, but the medicine didn’t make her feel any better. At 12 at night, she felt worse and worse. Ana woke up, gave her some water. Boung was in the other room, he fell asleep watching soccer on tv.
Ana woke up Boung, because Sareah wanted to go to the hospital. Half asleep on the back of Boung’s motor, she was taken to the hospital.
I ask her why they didn’t take the bemo. She tells me she didn’t want to wake up and bother anyone. But she also tells me she fell asleep on the back of the motor. I have her promise next time she will take the bemo.
It is meant for situations like this! At the hospital they gave her oxygen for one and a half hour. She also got other medicine. After that they could return home. The rainy season is a bad time for people with asthma.
Sane and her little girl Zara come to join us. Zara smiles at me, she was also not feeling very well last week, but now she is okay. The young girls from the kampung, Daan, Ani, Nur, Sitie and Anita also show up, and we have lots of fun. They talk half Indonesian, half English, and the subject of the conversation is of course “BOYS”.
They are laughing at each other, mentioning boys’ names, who should be “boyfriends”. Sareah is feeling a bit better now.
It’s getting dark, very fast. I walk home. Joep and I want to go to the internet café. We hear Aprilia, a sponsored child, also is ill.
This is a hard season, a lot of people don’t feel very well.
As we come home at 9, Adi is cutting the hedge in front of our house. Very clever to do this at night, temperature is very good now.
We chat a bit, and as a few minutes later it starts to rain, we go to bed.

Wednesday 12-11-2008

At 11 we drive to the center of Senggigi, we want to buy tickets for our flight to Bali, for next Sunday. We don’t want to fly with Merpati, they usually cancel flights that are not completely booked which can give you a lot of delay, waiting for the next flight. On our way to Lombok we were flying IAT, a small Indonesian airline, that one was okay.
But the don’t fly the next two days, and they are not sure when they will start flying again. Maybe the pilot is sick… So we decide to try flying Triwangan. Their first flight leaves at 8 in the morning. Then we will be in Bali at 8.25. So time enough to collect all the things we ordered a few weeks ago, and have some time to walk through Kuta.
We will stay in Bai for one night, on Monday we start travelling back to, probably cold, Holland.
As we bought the tickets, we drive to hotel Sheraton. There we enjoy the view over the bay of Senggigi. On the other side we see the valley we live in, and the mountains behind it. We also see dark clouds above the mountains, coming our way. The Loco bemo passes us, he is going to pick up the children at school North of Senggigi. We want to make some pictures when he comes back. But the clouds are faster than the bemo, and we hurry back to the center of Senggigi. As we reach the restaurants, we see a wall of water falling out of the sky. We stop to have a coffee, and a dry place to wait until the rain stops.
We order a real cappuccino, not a fake nescafé, and wait for the rain to stop.
Living in Lombok, you have to learn to accept this weather, no on e is complaining. As we arrive home, we see Boung. He tells us he goes up the mountain, to collect grass for his sapi, cow, but also to find the 3 children we need for a photo. We don’t have a lot of time anymore…
Eful still has a photo on his camera, another child we still were waiting for. She’s on Junior Highschool, a boarding school, so she doesn’t come home every day. That’s why her father went to the school with the camera to make the photo. Now we have to try to find a sponsor for her.
Ani comes with 2 bowls of delicious sop (Indonesian for soup). Sareah, who officially should rest, made this delicious soup for us, she’s great.
Just when we are about to take a shower, we have another electric failure.
There are much more failures this year than other years. But we can have a shower with candlelight and a torch, no problem. Then it’s time to go to Graha, where Lory, Izaak, Ayu and Natalie are waiting for us. Ayu is Izaak’s wife, Natalie is their four months old baby.
Together we walk to the center of Senggigi. We have diner at Bumbu restaurant, there they have a generator and for that, light.
But they also have good food, and we have a nice evening. It’s interesting to hear how Izaak constantly keeps struggling with his life in Lombok. If you adjust to the Kampung life, everything is okay. But as soon as you are different from the rest, things change. The village rejects you, why don’t you pray every time, why don’t you visit your mother more often, why don’t you live in the kampung, that kind of things.
You can compare it to Holland 50 years ago. You also had special “rules” when you lived in a village, they didn’t like modern things.
Izaak says sometimes he is wondering if his life is better now, after, thanks to Lory and Marita, having education. He’s more independent now. He has problems with jealousy from other people. But he realises there’s no way back, he has to deal with this.
The more time we spend in Lombok, the more we see and understand of it. Not always good, but very interesting.
Marijke has a problem with her ear. Probably a starting ear infection.
Just wait and see/feel how she is doing tomorrow.

Thursday 13-11-2008

When I get up in the morning, my ear feels really bad, I can’t put in my hearing-aid. This is not good! We decide to go to Senggigi clinic.
A small clinic near Senggigi Beach Hotel. We get there at 9, and a kind nurse lets us in. She makes a phone call and a young man, about 20 years old, enters the room.
We think he is going to do some cleaning or something, but he appears to be the doctor. He watches my ear, and explains, in half Indonesian, half English, and with the help of a drawing, that the inside of my ear is completely red and swollen because of an ear infection. We already expected something like that. I get four little bags; antibiotics, pills against the swelling, ear drops and cotton wool to “close” the ear. When I tell him we will fly to Bali next Sunday, he advises me to close my ear by pushing it hard, when we take off, because the pressure is not good for my ears. I’ve had this problem before, when we were travelling in Thailand. The heat, sweat in my ear and the hearing aid is apparently not a good combination… Now my hearing aid works perfect, my ear doesn’t.
Joep says laughing he never has a problem, that’s true.
On our way back we stop at Cuk’s house. He’s talking with Eful and the policeman we rented the motor from. Cuk tells the policeman Joep has a fake international motor drivers license from Thailand. The policeman is very interested in this… He wants to see the license. He tells us it looks very real, it’s a good fake... We laugh a bit, in Lombok everything is possible.
He asks Joep about his past, where his family comes from, and gives him some tips about how to find his family in Java. Well, this is not so important to us, now we have a lot of family in Lombok…
Cuk explains to us this policeman is not a traffic policeman, more like an area policeman. He controls a certain area, some villages, and tries to solve the problems in that area. Cuk says, smiling, because he’s not on the street, controlling traffic, he cannot earn “extra” money. The policeman confirms this. Strange, this kind of corruption is commonly accepted in Indonesia.
Joep decides to pay for the rent of the motor, and we go home. I take some medicine, and lie down on my bed, a few minutes later I sleep. Maybe because of the medicine, maybe because of the pain, I don’t know.
When I wake up, I lie down on the couch, and fall asleep again. Joep is reading a book. We have to wait for the 2 children that live on the mountain, they will come this afternoon for the photo. We don’t know what, but there something strange about those kids. When the mother arrives with the children, she tells the story to Adi. The oldest one of the kids, was victim of harassments at school. The mother asks us, if it is okay if the children go to another school. Adi tells her to visit Eful. He will join them to the old and new school, to arrange everything. I’m happy we don’t loose these children. That would have been worse.
There’s 1 girl we don’t have on photo. But Eful tells us the mother is being vaguely about this. Boung went to the family again, asked the father to come and explain what’s wrong. But he doesn’t show up. Then Eful says we should forget about this kid, if the parents don’t want them to go to school, there’s nothing we can do. It’s sad, but we can only confirm this. There are still some parents who don’t see the use of education for their children and rather keep them at home. We can not and will not force them, but we are afraid the children will regret it later, because nowadays 95% of the children go to school.
We go to the internet café to send the reports of 2 days, and meet Marianne and Nick on Yahoo chat. We chat a bit, and wish Nick a lot of success with the 7 Heuvelen Loop next Sunday. It’s great he will wear a shirt promoting Proyek Kampung Loco!
At a terrace we have a cup of coffee, and hope “our” bemo will pass by. We still haven’t got a movie of the bemo in action. We see a lot of bemos, but not the one we were waiting for. So we go home. We find the bemo in the Kampung. The driver stopped a bit earlier today. That’s up to him, as long as he takes care of the children’s transport to and from school.
We take a seat on the pavement in front of Cuk’s shop. Mariam joins us. Joep walks home, I have a talk with the ladies. June is busy working. She asked us for diner tonight, because their son, Judy, will be home then.
Then Judy is coming, He hasn’t changed a bit. Well, a bit taller, but he’s still the same cute boy. I realise he has become a bit more serious. That’s the result of the special school he goes to. Already after half a year you see the difference. I walk home with Mariam, and we see Sareah on the bruka. She tells us she’s feeling very well now. Kartini also joins us for a talk. Together with Sareah she invites Joep and me for diner at Saturday evening. That won’t be possible, Peter Geurts is coming to Lombok that evening. We will pick him up at the airport, after that we will have diner together at Cak Poer (sorry Marianne, this is not to make you jealous, only to give some information). Kartini looks very pitiful, but that’s the way it is. Maybe next year. I also tell her Sareah and she already did a lot for us, by preparing all the food for the bemo-ceremony.
I walk home, take a shower, and together with Adi we go to Cuk. The house is crowded, June’s sister with husband and 2 children are there, a friend, we’ve met him before, Eful and Boung, we, Adi and of course Cuk, June and Judy. June did a lot of cooking, we get rice, sate kambing (goat), sate ayam (chicken), two other chicken plates, and two small bowls with vegetables.
Cuk and Judy don’t like vegetables, they prefer meat. Last but not least, she brings in 2 plates with kentang goreng (French fries), especially for Joep, because she knows he likes it very much. How thoughtful of her!
Sitting together, on a carpet on the floor, we enjoy this lovely meal, eating by hand. In a bookcase we see the cashbooks from the proyek.
We ask how the bemo is doing. Proudly he shows the book keeping.
Mus, the driver, hands over an amount every day. This changes, depending on the number of customers he had. But if it goes on like this, the income will be more than enough to keep the bemo on the road! We don’t have to make a profit. Even is okay.
Cuk also tells us, he has had the first night ride. A woman from the kampung was very ill. In the middle of the night they took her to the hospital by bemo. We don’t know how she is doing now.
After diner we have a seat outside, on the pavement, where we can enjoy a little breeze. We make a design for the proyek, to put near the main road, and a design for a sticker to put on the bemo.
So everyone who wants to visit the kampung knows how to find it. We also put a logo at Cuk’s house, so everyone knows that’s the place to get more information. Well, the proyek is getting more and more official and professional.
We take the new guestbook to our home, so we can write a short introduction for the guests that will visit the proyek.
When we arrive home, we have a seat outside, at the terrace with Adi and Mariam. We enjoy the full moon and the lights and sounds of the night.
Too bad, there are some clouds, the moon sometimes disappears.
Enough for today.

Friday 14-11-2008

We are going to enjoy our almost last holiday-day. Sun is shining. Time to visit the pool at Graha’s.
Odjong already prepared our seats underneath the palmtrees. He asks if he can take our motor to go to the kampong. We say it’s okay, and ask him to tell Cuk we want to make a photo from Judy at 13.00.
A few minutes later he comes back, and tells us he arranged it with Cuk. Ten minutes later Cuk and Judy come to the swimming pool. Odjong told them to meet us now, so they came to Graha quickly. When I tell Cuk what we asked Odjong, he laughs; Communication!
But it doesn’t matter. We buy some drinks and make a nice photo of Judy. He wants to go back to the kampung quickly, he’s not often home from school, and want to play with his friends in the kampung.
When they are gone, we get a visit from the Sales manager of Graha. We asked him if there could be a special arrangement for sponsors visiting Kampung Loco and staying in Graha. Of course he discussed it with the general manager. He has a map with some folders and a special “Ratekontrakt” for 2008-2009. Marjke noticed this was only valid until March 2009, so he changed it into November 2009.
The contract contains normal prices and special prices for our sponsors
They will get a discount of 20%, for a double-room, airport-pick-up service, breakfast and some other facilities. So, Theo and Sjan, if you’re interested, the first discount will be for you!
As the sales-manager has gone, we have some time to relax and enjoy the lovely pool. At 01.00 go back to the kampung. We stop at the Pos Ronda bruka, we want to wait till the bemo passes, to make a movie.
But we don’t see the bemo. Ibu Marsia joins us at the bruka. We met her the first time we came to Lombok.
We talk a bit, then we have to go home, Marijke has an appointment with Mariam, they are going to prepare diiner together.
Cuk calls us to say he is in Ampenan, and the bemo is on it’s way to Senggigi. Too late, we’re already at home.
I start reading a book, a few minutes later Adi walks in. Marijke sent him out of the kitchen, he was interfering with the cooking and Marijke’s Bahasa Indonesia. Of course he’s laughing.
I show Adi the photos of family Geurts of last July. As we smell the food from the kitchen, Adi walks towards the kitchen. I follow him, and it looks good.
IWe enjoy a great meal, I won’t tell all the tasty details, otherwise some people in Holland will get jealous (isn’t it, Marianne?).
After diner we talk about all kinds of things. Sometimes we are being “disturbed” by children who need a new pencil or exercise book. The stock of school materials are in our house.
It’s funny, with Adi we always have something to talk about. He tells us a friend of him, also a seller, wanted to know how it is to live together with tourists. Adi tells laughing it makes no difference. It’s just more cosy than living alone. But of course it depends on the relationship you have. We are equal. Sometimes you see other relationships.
We often see expats behaving arrogant, superior in relationships with local people. As if they are more important or better than people from Lombok.
Early in the evening we start the long travel (next door) to our home, where we watch a movie on the laptop.

Saturday 15-11-2008


Today is cleaning-day. Tomorrow Peter Geurts will move into our home, so we want to clean everything.
But we are slow today. The last day in Lombok… We are sweating and cleaning. When I am sweeping the terrace outside, a few women from the kampung are watching me. This will be the first time they see a tourist cleaning… Mariam already offered to do the cleaning, but why should we let her do it? We can do it ourselves.
After the cleaning we go to the internet café, to publish 2 more days of the report. After that we drive to “our” place, near Sheraton Hotel, where we have a nice view over Senggigi bay. Incredible how time flies this month. But we are glad next year maybe we will be able to spend 4 months in Lombok. We drive back and take place on Pos Ronda bruka.
Joep is still waiting for “our” bemo to come, to make an action-movie. We see lots of bemos, but not the one we are waiting for.
After a while we go back to Loco, and join June on the pavement near the shop. We talk a bit, say good-bye to some people. We don’t like it, but we have to.
Then we walk to Sareah, who starts making tempe goreng for us, again. Ani is helping her. Boung walks inside, and asks me to follow him. Very officially he offers me 2 T-shirts. In fact I don’t want to accept them, but refusing them would be an insult. They’re so sweet!
We walk to Kartini, who now is back from University. She looks very tired. That’s not strange. Every morning she is teaching in school. In the afternoon she studies English in University. Besides that, she runs a household.
I tell Kartini to stay in bed tomorrow in the morning. We are going to say good-bye now, so she doesn’t have to get up so early on Sunday. We walk back home and tell Adi and Mariam we want to spend this evening, our last hours in Lombok, with them on the terrace.
Then we get a phone call from Mohni, it’s 06.00 and we are going to pick up Peter from the airport. We hurry to Mohni’s office, where he’s waiting for us. Before we reach the airport, we get a phone call from Peter. The plane landed early, and he is waiting for us.
It’s great to meet Peter in Indonesia. Now we still want to meet the rest of his family in Indonesia, someday… Together we drive to Cak Poer, and while we enjoy the delicious traditional diner, Peter phones Marianne. Very mean! But she knew he would call as soon as he was in Lombok. After diner Mohni takes Peter to Bumi Aditya, and we pick up our motor at Mohni’s office.
We stop at Angel’s, to say good bye to Emma. Poor girl, she starts crying. She’s so sweet, we would like to take her home.
All Angel’s staff is coming to say good bye. And we hate saying good bye. But we can really recommend the restaurant. It’s nice, cosy, good food and a great staff. Then we drive to Bumi, where Peter and Boung are waiting.
Peter walks with us to our home, where we spend the rest of the night with Adi and Mariam. Talking, enjoying the (almost) full moon, listening to the sounds of the night. We don’t want to go to bed, but tomorrow we have to get up at half past 5!


Sunday 16-11-2008

Today Nick is running the Zeven Heuvelen Loop. We wish him lots of success.
It’s sad, our time in Lombok is coming to an end. We take our luggage, have a last cup of coffee, then we have to leave.
Sane is waiting outside with little Zara to say good bye. These are the hardest moments. The bemo is waiting with running engine. For warming up of the engine (at a temperature of 30 degrees)! We say goodbye to Ani and June, and driver Mus takes us to the airport. The bemo is crowded with 20 people! Cuk and Eful next to the driver. In the back Ana, Sareah, Mariam, Adi, Daan, Hamad, Gilang, Ismael, Boung, Nur, Badjeri and 4 other boys.
And of course Joep and Marijke, and all our luggage.
There’s a rule on Lombok, a bemo is never full! At the airport we don’t have a lot of time, that’s good. Waiting for good bye is terrible.
We give everyone a big hug, and at the end of the row there’s our dear Adi.
This is a very hard moment for us. Also for Adi.
As usual we leave in tears. It’s always the same.
When we are together, waiting, we don’t know what to say. Already feeling homesick for Lombok. We will never get used to this.
As we take off and I see Senggigi disappearing on the right, I start crying again. Why is this island affecting us so much? Especially the people, but also the pureness.
Bali is busy, crowded an full off noise, and we hurry to Adus Beach Inn.
Take our luggage to our room, and pick up the order we placed a month ago.
We’re not interested in Kuta anymore. It’s not about Kuta, it’s about us.
We are sad, down and homesick. We walk over the beach, traditionally end the day at Kopipot, were we talk with Madé, the waiter we’ve known for years already. Our minds already left Indonesia. We are both silent and counting the hours until we really leave.

Monday 17-11-2008

Since yesterday I’m not feeling very well. Do I have to go to the toilet, vomit? I don’t know. So I just take some toast for breakfast.
We have to repack our luggage. But we don’t manage to put everything in the 2 backpacks.
So we also have to take another bag, and a bag with warmer clothes (we’ll need them when we come closer to Holland), Marijke’s small backpack, my small backpack with the laptop, and two small bags with passports, tickets and some personal belongings. We are allowed to take 20 kilograms and 5 kilograms hand luggage.
It looks as if we have travelled for one year, so many luggage. Maybe we have to pay for extra luggage, we’ll see. At 12 we check out, pay the room and wait for the taxi.
We have a talk with one of the boys from Adus Beach Inn. Of course we talk about Lombok, the only thing we are interested in, here in Bali…
The taxi drops us at the airport. We “enjoy” an argument between a tourist and a luggage porter. The tourist took the porter’s trolley. The porter is asking him to give it back. The tourist is screaming and swearing at the porter. Yes, we’re getting back to the western society.
Before we go inside, we have a drink at a terrace. Marijke also has a meal, I don’t. Then we enter the airport building. Yesterday we went to an internet café for online check in, so we don’t have to queue up.
As we put our luggage on the scale, I move one bag so it doesn’t weigh.
The scale weighs 40,5 kilograms. That’s fine.
The hand luggage we placed on the floor, so they don’t see it. Then we can walk up the stairs to pay airport taxes. Domestic flights 20.000 Rp, international flights 150.000 Rp, so about € 1,40 and € 10,50.
Better than in Holland!
Then we go to passport check and wait for the moment we can board.
Luckily for us in Indonesia they still have smoking areas.
At last we can board, find our chairs and leave Indonesia at 16.00. We have a stop at Hong Kong, we arrive there at 20.30. There we have to wait again. We decide to use that time to write 2 more days of the travel reports. And writing the memories of Lombok come back…
We watch a movie of Adi laughing and having the giggles. It cheers us up a bit.

Tuesday 18-11-2008


Our flight to Amsterdam leaves on time, and it’s going to be a long flight.
It’s a modern plane, and we can decide ourselves what movie we are going to see. It means you can choose a movie, and start it yourself, independent of the other people.
On this flight I will also do some shopping, I haven’t forgotten that. On our way to Lombok I got a check from $ 50.
The people who know me, know I’m fond of expensive perfumes and glamorous watches…(but not really).
So I choose really glamorous lipgloss (wow, 10 pieces, $ 32) and a nice teddy bear, special edition of Cathay Pacific, for our little Lara.
Luckily we both sleep well during the flight, because the flight lasts over 12 hours.
After a very early breakfast, we land in Amsterdam. It’s still dark, we can feel the cold in the air bridge, and we’re still walking around on our flip flops.
It takes a lot of time till our luggage arrives, as usual on Schiphol Airport.
But at last we can go outside. There we see 2 beautiful people, both wearing a T shirt with Proyek Kampung Loco. Sweet Nick and Elise left home in the middle of the night to be here for us at this moment. That means a lot to us!
They both know Lombok, and know how we feel.
So we start talking about the time in Lombok, about the people they also know so well. After a nice cappuccino (we don’t want to leave immediately, traffic is very crowded this time of the day), we start our travel home.
It should be light outside, but all we see is a hazy sky and rain. Welcome back to Holland!
It’s still quite busy on the road, but talking to Nick and Elise time flies.
Then we take the sand road to our villa on our other kampung in Holland.
To our surprise, our house is warm!!! Great, Dennis and Loes, who took care of our cat Shiva while we were gone, had the great idea to put on the heating. What a luxury, a warm house. That’s just what we needed right now. Elise and Nick have to leave, because Nick has to go to work.
They also have to solve a little problem, when they left this morning, they accidentally shut the door, with the key on the inside. Dennis and his little son Radja come to welcome us, and get a big hug, especially because of the warm heating. Good to see Radja again, after one month!
Our cat Shiva also sees us. Normally she’s not fond of hugging. But today she is, and stays on Joep’s or on my lap.
We know, after two days, she has had enough of it, so we just let her, and enjoy our temporarily hugging cat.
As we are just the two of us again, we make some phone calls, and do some shopping. I’m sleepy and tired, and try to keep my mind with the shopping, but that’s not easy.
The weather outside is really depressing. As I look outside, I understand why Dutch people can be so grumpy.
We do our best to stay awake, but it’s so hard! Sitting on the couch, I almost fall asleep. Gladly Loes and Dennis come to visit us, so we stay awake a bit longer.
But at 10 it’s over, all I want to do is sleep.
Lombok was beautiful, nice, we were busier than ever before, but it was worth it. We achieved a lot for our Proyek.
Also learnt a lot about Indonesia, the way of life and the people.
But we know, also in Holland we have great friends.
Thanks to the many hours Marianne Geurts spent on translating our stories, now also English speaking people could read our experiences almost live.
We always will be living in 2 worlds. The beautiful Lombok, but also the warm Holland. Warm because of all the friends we have here.
Dear people, thank you all for your support, on whatever way.
We are back again!