September 2017


Today is  September 28, and I am in Sanur, at about 80 km from the Gunung Agung, the volcano which has been about to erupt for a couple of days now. It is strange to receive all kinds of news from the Netherlands about this, while here on Bali we do not know exactly what is going on. The magma is at 1000 meters under the top right now, and the inhabitants within 12 km of the volcano have been evacuated. The alarm phase has been installed for days already. Up to now nothing has happened, but an eruption is still expected. Terrible situation for the population of the villages which are in the danger zone. But support has been arranged, and nature will have its way.

And now the update of my trip to Bali this year. For different reasons, some sponsors decided to stop their contribution, so that we now have 8 children without a sponsor. The Foundation continues to pay for them, but we will of course do our utmost to find new sponsors for them.

On August 17, I arrived on Bali for the yearly visit to the children, parents and schools. First I went to Ubud, where we have 4 children sponsored.  The next stop was Pancasari. On the first school, SD1, the coordinating teacher Iluh, had arranged everything perfectly, as usual. Every time it is so great to meet all the children and their parents. After SD1, we went to SD3, where a lot of parents were already present as well. Unfortunately the teacher who is our contact there, had not understood the procedure correctly. The forms we had given some time ago, and which he should have handed over to the children before our visit, were still in his possession. So we needed to come back later, in order to receive forms with the drawings of the children and then hand over the sponsor money.

Last but not least we visited the students of junior and senior high school.  Here we came with a special mission this year:  handing over laptops to some of the students. Our contact person in Pancasari, Gita, had bought 10 laptops upon our request. We could buy them, thanks to a generous gift of a Dutch foundation. The laptops will be given to the students on loan. Once they leave school, they have to return them, so that other students can also profit.  In Pancasari we made three young ladies very happy with this unexpected gift. At the end of the day, we continued the drive to Kalibukbuk, Lovina, to meet the many children we support in this region.  In the next days I visited SD1, 2 and 4 in Kalibukbuk, SD1 in Anturan, the junior and senior students of Kalibukbuk, and also a number of small schools in mountain villages. The 7 remaining laptops found new happy owners as well. I was really touched by how grateful they were. Thanks so much to the sponsor who made this possible, but who wants to remain anonymous.

Parents and children are really grateful for the support. And if you have received a letter and drawing, thanking the Foundation, remember that this is not about the Foundation, but about you as the sponsor, receiving thanks. Your support makes it possible for them to continue their schooling.

The next and last visit was to Padangbay, to meet another 11 children. Everyone was happy to see me and receive the yearly support. This comes from sponsors in different countries, since we have sponsors not only in the Netherlands, but from other European countries and the USA and Australia as well.

During my trip I spent a few days with Alita, Sigrid and Arthur, all three of them sponsors of our Foundation. It was really nice to make several trips with them on this beautiful island. I really appreciated their company.

During my first week on Bali, I slipped while walking and injured my right leg. I could hardly stand and walk, and was brought to my hotel with friends on a motor. Now, almost 5 weeks later, the leg is still swollen and I had to take it easy. Fortunately I can walk painlessly again. Saturday I am leaving for the Netherlands, landing on Sunday, where Hetty will pick my up again. Will be great to see each other again after 6 weeks.

On behalf of all volunteers on Bali, and the Boar of the foundation, I thank you for your support, mails, and apps that I receive during my trip.

Salaam, Tjeerd van Dijk