Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Happy Volunteer Merapi

I was thinking about it for days, didn't know how that affect on me because seeing people without their homes in some shelter place is quite sad picture and I didn't know how I will feel about it. Then I said Sonia about it. There was a long weekend of doing nothing in Surabaya in front of us and we had no idea where to go and what to see so I just suggested going to Yogya and volunteer there for Merapi refugees. Since Dama, Merio and Yakub told us about their work around camps we were thinking about it and wanted to go and help but couldn't manage our time. Frankly speaking I was scared of what might I see.
Sonia was completely ready for helping people in refugee camps and we got up at 5 in the morning (which was the most difficult part of the story) and went to get the train tickets to Yogya. Unfortunately on Wednesday we missed the free volunteer bus going that way but still we were prepared to spend certain amount of money for this cause. At the train station in Yogya there were 3 people we loved and we were always happy to see them. Our little monster Dama, her stupid boyfriend (who is actually really nice and smart but we like to call him like that) and our little boy Merio were smiling and happy to see us and after having a bit rest and a small chat we went to Seminary of St. Paul where was one of the biggest refugee camps in Yogyakarta. Yes, we were shock for all the people there, we were surprise and there were million of smiles waiting for us. Luckily for me, those people got used to be there since they were there over a month and they were smiling and asking loads of question and of course, laughing their asses off with my Indonesian. I was talking to this old lady who asked where I'm from and when I told her Serbia, she asked me "That is a part of old Yugoslavia, isn't it?". I was really surprised, hearing this since I always got sentences like "Oh yes, I went to Prague" :D
We were distributing food for people on the first evening and they were looking at us like we fallen from the sky but the next day they got used to us and everything was going smoothly. Sonia got stuck in the kitchen and made friends with Sisters and women who were helping around. Soon everyone liked her and she had a chance to practice her Indonesian. I was moving around, helping distributing food, helping in the food storage room, clothes storage room, bringing things to the sisters, helping with counting the meals and sorting them out for different rooms and everything else that I found interesting. There was even a room for muslims to pray in, which made great impression on me. Muslims praying in Catholic seminary. The rooms were big and there was a lot of people sleeping in them but they had matraces and everything they needed. There was a group of volunteers working with children all the time. You can always see children singing, dancing, running around, eating candies. The women were helping in the kitchen and washing the londery and chasing around small children. Men were basically doing nothing but some rare were helping women.
There was always loads work to be done and the boys who live in the Seminary were working day and night for the whole month. In the morning they were attending classes and in the afternoon they would work as a volunteer or vice versa. They were tired but always smiling and always ready to help. Here and there we had small breaks when we had our chance to talk to some of them. They are all studying to be Catholic priests and they love their work and they want to head to Rome after studies, of course. I couldn’t remember all of their names and I always called them “honey” like everyone in this country but for them I can really say that they are all Honeys, a real ones. Graha the kitchen Man, Copy-Paste-Edit, Good-Morning Guy, Pretty Face but not from Egypt, my not-meant-to-be-dancing-partner, my working assistant and all of those guys who were running around and who gave everything they have to help. I just wanted to thank you all for this great experience and it was pleasure meeting you all.
And I really do hope we will meet again soon :)

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