Last week I received word from our workshop in Bali that 25 of our 100 smiths’ families were deeply affected by the most recent string of powerful earthquakes on a neighboring island to Bali called Lombok. We were sent pictures of those affected families, living in tents and crowded together in very unfortunate and heartbreaking conditions. My Balinese partner that runs our workshop pulled together with the rest of the smiths to all pitch in and help however they could in Lombok. Myself and all of us at Anna Beck were moved to tears by this generosity of spirit.
I remember years ago while I was living in Bali there was another big earthquake that affected an area of Indonesia on the island of Java. I had flown there for a day to meet with another workshop. While I was there I saw damage to the facility I was visiting. In nearby towns many of the people were left homeless and were living in tents. I remember seeing them and thinking to myself how remarkable it was that they were all coming together in the community to support one another. They were moving on and carrying themselves through something that seemed unimaginable to someone like myself or most people I knew.
I learned during the five years I lived in Bali that Indonesians are some of the most generous and supportive humans I have ever met. They are all connected regardless of whether they are Hindu, Muslim or Christian. They have a familiarity and treat one another like they’ve known each other their whole lives, and when someone needs help they do it without question. There’s also not much of a divide amongst the locals. Indonesia is an archipelago, comprised of thousands of islands. Bali is the most popular and where most tourists tend to visit, but there’s many more beautiful and special islands that are less developed that can sometimes be overlooked.
The last story I’ll leave you with is one I’ll never forget. When I was at the US embassy in Bali and I needed a new passport, my Indonesian partner Gede was there waiting for me at the office. As we were waiting he struck up a conversation with another local man that was waiting. I remember watching their interaction and even asked Gede if he know him. Their communication was easy, familiar and they laughed and spoke as if they had known one another for years. It turns out they had never met. I learned by watching them that this is just an everyday interaction. That respect and kindness is just a way of life for the Balinese and Indonesians. I guess I had a lot to learn about what it really looked like to trust a stranger and to be open and kind no matter what. I’ve always considered myself to be open minded, but witnessing interactions like that, I could see that there was no sizing up, no divide and it was if they were, brothers, friends, or neighbors rather than strangers. And despite the fact that I’m not Indonesian, I’ve also always received the same warm welcome from these people who have taught me so much about how to move through life.
Friday August 31st through Monday, September 3rd, we've decided to donate 100% of our profits from AnnaBeck.com to our family in Bali. Every online order you place will go directly to the community to help residents get back on their feet. Or, if you'd prefer, you can donate to the Indonesian Red Cross. We will continue to support them in any way we can long after this immediate need for assistance.
We asked our partner in our workshop, Melinda, to answer a few questions about the situation:
How many smiths’ families were affected?
4 Smiths from the factory have returned to Lombok to help their families. A total of 25 immediate families have been affected
What are their current living conditions?
Currently they are living in tents provided by NGO's and the government.
How were their families affected?
All the members of the smiths families remained unhurt and everyone is ok. Unfortunately their homes are currently unlivable due to cracks and destruction from the Earthquake, as well as the houses being located in unsafe areas of the island
What do they need to help rebuild?
Going forward they will need materials and money to rebuild their damaged houses.
What does everyone need the most right now?
The most important things needed at the moment are food, clean water, blankets, tents, tarpaulins and emergency lamps
Do they have water? Power?
At the moment the government is providing water as there is no clean water available. There is also no power. In some evacuation areas generators have been provided by the government.
Thank you so much, Melinda, and to all of your for any way you can help.
Becky, founder and designer at Anna Beck
And the rest of the Anna Beck family