Saturday, September 23rd, 2017

The difference between yesterday and today is quite noticeable. 

Whoa, that was weird…just felt another little rumble. 

Yesterday, all the lounge chairs were full the entire day. Today, I’ve only seen a handful of people lounging out front. Not as many snorkelers as well. I’m curious if everyone is going through a similar thought process as I am.

Stay put – stay where you feel safe. I was nervous to go out and buy water and dried food because what if the eruption happened then? What if it happened while I was on my scooter or in an area that I wasn’t familiar with (and didn’t have an evacuation plan)? Or maybe everyone has already left Amed or Bali. But everyone that is here is just sort of…waiting.

Anytime there are rumbles, everyone sort of looks around and makes eye contact. Words don’t even need to be said. Looks of, “You felt it, too, didn’t you?” 

They raised the alert level to the highest it can be and they’re evacuating even more people near Agung. A lot of people are actually traveling to Amed to be safe. That’s given me a lot of comfort – I feel safe here. I feel safe at my warung and with the family we have formed here.

There’s a big part of me thinks that I’m completely overreacting to all of this. That this is all going to just go away and we’ll laugh about it next week. But then another rumble happens and reminds me that there is 100% movement below the surface. Another hour later and another rumble. I woke up this morning at 1:45am to the largest tremor I’ve felt yet. Shook everything in my room and felt more…sharp. Don’t know if that makes sense.

“Why don’t you just leave? Go home or go somewhere else?”

For some reason, I’ve never had the thought: Leave. Based on conversations, history, and the feelings I am getting, Amed is safe. We may get a large earthquake and we may get ash and smoke. But other areas I’ve heard have been even more intense with the tremors. Something is telling me to stay put. I feel immediately calm after a rumbling when I hear all the kids laughing. This doesn’t have to be a “WE’RE ALL GOING TO DIE” kind of experience.

And like I said, maybe nothing will even happen in the first place. If I go somewhere else to escape, where do I go and how long do I stay? What if the rumblings last a week? I pay for another room and stay somewhere not familiar to me and where I don’t know anyone? I’m going to stay put for now…

Amid the wild energy, I was able to go on a little excursion to Bukit (hill) Mencol. When I rode my scooter a few weeks ago on a long ride, I rode as far as the base of this bukit, and then turned around. I heard if you go up the windy road, it’s a beautiful lookout point with a temple on the top. But that would be too long and challenging of a ride for me alone. So Tane took me on his motorbike and it was so fun finally being a passenger. Instead of looking at the road and watching for potholes or chickens, I could look out at the ocean and the villages. Absolutely beautiful.

We got to the windy road that leads to the bukit. I understand now why you must go with a local. If I drove on my scooter, I would have crashed 50 times – rocks, holes, and rough land that I’m not really sure how Tane managed to navigate. It was so fun riding on this road, despite the roughness, because there were so many families sitting outside and once we were in sight, all the kids would wave and say, “Helloooooo!” I asked Tane if they were saying hello to him or me, and he said, “You!” It was so fun to wave back and shout out hello. You know how it’s just instinct to wave at the firemen in the big fire trucks if they drive by you? It was really cool feeling like the fireman.

At the top of the bukit was the most amazing temple. I couldn’t go in because I wasn’t wearing a sarong, but I marveled at the ‘door.’

The view below was equally incredible. I saw a woman walking with her daughters on the ridge and feeding her cows. The little girls saw me and started waving and shouting “Hellooooo!!!” 

On the walk back down, I loved seeing the little village tucked into the bukit. I also couldn’t believe that all those people ride on that rocky road every day. Very talented.

Hoping everyone in Bali has a restful evening. The sun is getting close to setting and people are getting on fishing boats to go out on the water. Kids are playing and a family is snorkeling out front. Business as usual… Aaaaand just on time, another little rumble…

Goodnight, Agung. Sleep well, pretty please?!

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