February 2010
on Just Some Things I Rote (Indonesia), 15/Mar/2010 20:25, 34 days ago
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February- very toughThe truth is, February included a trip to Bali to meet and greet new volunteers in my position as volunteer representative (something of a significant event as they were the first new volunteers we’d had in a year) and a variety of other events but in reality, February was really about one thing for me.I was in Kupang working on the new database for the hospital with Sam as well as trying to hand over a load of immigration documents. I suddenly, out of the blue I got a call from my dad, now it’s not uncommon for him to call me to give me an update as to how rovers have got on, but this was quite early on Sunday morning (UK time) which was unusual. Anyway, he was calling to let me know that my Grandma on my mum’s side had died suddenly at home.She been in hospital the week before for surgery however she was apparently doing well and a week on there were no signs of infection and she was recovering well so I (and others as well) felt she was out of the woods. She had just gone home from hospital and my mum was in the Isle of Man visiting her. Then suddenly on Saturday night she collapsed and died.Now I’m not going to pretend this wasn’t incredibly difficult, it has always been my biggest fear about being out here. However, there is one thing that was very important to me, shortly before I left the UK I went to visit my grandparents and they were really enthusiastic for my trip away. This meant a great deal to me as I knew that coming away for two years, meant that they may not be there when I got back. Back in the 60’s they had spent a few years out in Tanzania working on grasslands farming and so they had been very supportive of me coming away.They have also been great since I came; writing to me and sending me care packages. As I mentioned in my explanatory note, one of my regrets is that I didn’t write to them more often or indeed keep this blog updated as I know she loved hearing about everything that was going on.Things were especially difficult as I was due to hand over my passport to immigration less than 24hours later for a visa extension. The whole thing was incredibly complex so we had to make a quick decision as to whether or not I would go back (it would have been a bureaucratic nightmare).In the end, after significant discussions with my family we agreed that I would not come back although not because of the visa scenario (paperwork can always be done somehow) but because we didn’t want to cause any additional stress for the rest of the family of me trying to make it back in time for the funeral, travelling from a small island in Indonesia to a small island in the UK is fraught with potential problems.It has been immensely tough really but I’ve got through it. It’s very strange to think of coming home and not being able to go and see her and tell her all about my time away.But I just wanted to say, thank you to everyone around me (although I have no idea who reads this but I mean VSO staff, other volunteers, the hospital in Rote) for being helpful and understanding and to all those people who have sent me messages, called and generally been supportive especially my family who have understood the decision for me not to come back, it has all meant a lot to me.