FROM US TO YOU
The bad hair day belongs to me. Tina.
In 2014, against all advice, I travelled to a small coastal town in Central Sulawesi, Indonesia. I was told there were radicals. Jihad terrorist training camps. That it wasn’t safe for a solo female traveller. NOT safe. Full stop. With lots of !!!!!!! The Australian Government travel warning was very clear. DO NOT TRAVEL! But here I am. In July, 2014.
Palu, Central Sulawesi, Indonesia
who would have thought?
well and truly alive
Most people on the planet had never heard of Palu. That was, until 28 September 2018. The devastation of images coming from Central Sulawesi are far from the memories of ten remarkable days filled with some of the most warm, generous and hospitable people I have ever met in my years of travelling. These ten days changed the way I live my life. And not just because my story begins with me on the edge of a cliff, with a motorbike running on top of me. I begin to ask
“what can I do?”
On 3 October, I did a rare check of Facebook. There was my friend, Donny Saluling, with another great photo of Sulawesi imagery, a place I had lived for one year. Donny had taken me on adventures where I felt no other person had ever wandered the paths, often with machetes, wet clothes and loads of ticks in places I’d rather not discuss.
I then noticed the text accompanying the photo. You can see it for yourself over in Notes from the Field, along with all of Donny’s pictures, daily updates and current reality.
Donny is a trainer with the Indonesian Mountain and Explorer Association, Wanadri. So if you were going anywhere in remote locations, he’s certainly a person you want by your side. Besides keeping you safe, he makes a mean meal, knows how to create from what is available, stimulates wonderful conversations and wants to make a difference. In his own way. With the skills he has. His passion is to encourage others to connect more with nature, particularly young people.
Right now, he is leading a team of Wanadri members to assist with building sanitation and cooking facilities for the displaced. When I heard this, I knew what I could do. Because there is trust. Compassion. And commitment. To what needs to be done.
Yes. A LOT of aid from around the world is heading to Central Sulawesi to assist with medical care, major infrastructure and rebuilding.
70 000 people displaced means there is much to be done. Wanadri is there supporting at the grassroots level. They will be there for a while doing as much as they can and sending through daily updates of what is happening on the ground.