The COVID Diaries: Louise and Constanze

Louise
Umalas, Bali
Full time mama bear


Where are you at this very moment and how are you feeling?

I’ve been living in Bali for the last 5 years and have spent this strange anomaly of a year observing from afar how this pandemic has affected my home country and the rest of the Western world. It’s been quite the surreal experience to say the least!

Looking back on the past months, what have you been struggling with the most?

When corona exploded onto the world stage, everyone on the island sat back and waited for Bali to collapse under the strain of sickness, death and despair. Such a small island population with a huge yearly influx of Chinese tourists, including from Wuhan, was surely going to be crippled by this pandemic. It never happened. To this date there have only been 4 deaths in Bali attributed to corona. Hospitals are operating as usual, there is no rise in funeral ceremonies in the villages and, apart from the mandatory mask wearing, life continues here pretty much as normal. The biggest struggle has been watching the beautiful local community try to cope economically without the tourism that fuels and feeds a vast majority of the Balinese. Restaurants stand empty, hotels and guest houses are closing down, beaches are deserted and there is a rise in what was before a near non-existent crime rate due to hunger and desperation setting in. This has been the biggest struggle this year so far and what I am doing my best to support.

Has Corona taught you anything about yourself that you didn’t know before?

It has demonstrated to me the in-built comradeship of us as a species. In a situation where we are being told to divide and separate, our inherent human instinct for community and unity has shone through more than ever in our lifetime. We are social beings being forced into an unnatural situation for our kind, so watching news clips of the people in my home city clapping en mass from their doorsteps every evening for health care workers during lockdown literally brought tears to my eyes. The human instinct towards brotherhood can never be squashed, no matter the circumstance, and that has been a heartwarming thing to witness.

They say every crisis is a chance for growth. Where have you grown over the past months? Have you tried anything that you hadn’t tried before? Started a new project? Stepped out of your comfort zone – and loved it in the end?

Living through such a surreal politically and socially charged chapter of human history has done a lot for my perception of reality and the world that we are living in. I don’t think I’ll ever accept anything at face value again and I’ve learned to question facts that are presented to me and to use critical thinking.

On a personal level I have found an opportunity in this crisis to provide a platform for small local business through a pet project I’m working on which will bring exposure to sustainable handmade children’s toys brands from across the Indonesian archipelago to Bali. I’ve also been using this year as an opportunity to set up more of a homestead situation. I’m starting my own herb garden and have been furiously fermenting- a new hobby I’m loving! So far I have made organic wine, mango water kefir, apple cider vinegar and kombucha. Next I have my eyes set towards learning how to make and hand dye my own clothes.

With everyone focusing their attention on COVID-19, which other topic doesn’t get enough attention any more in your opinion?

Child trafficking and the media censorship around this topic. Look up #savethechildren.

However complicated, confusing, and challenging life may be, there are always so many things we can be thankful for if we take the time to look for them. What are you grateful for today?

I believe God’s purpose for each of us is to tend to our garden. My garden will look different to yours, for we all have been given our own to love, nurture, protect and make as beautiful as we can make it. I give gratitude every day for my garden. What a gift it is.


Constanze
Moers, Germany
Project manager


Where are you at this very moment and how are you feeling?

I am at home feeling tired after my monday eve sportsclass but thankful that I could attend the class.

Looking back on the past months, what have you been struggling with the most?

The greatest struggle for me was the uncertainty and the realization that my actions could affect others. Meaning that I didn’t dare seeing my parents in case that I would pass on the virus without knowing it. So many decisions were made only for keeping others – possibly – safe. I am not afraid of Corona myself, but for the sake of my elder family members. With uncertainty I mean that I never knew and still don’t really know if my kids can see their friends, visit the pool or go to the zoo, if someone cancels a play date because of a fever or if the pool tickets are sold out.

Has Corona taught you anything about yourself that you didn’t know before?

I would never have thought it possible working at home with my partner and two kids not being able to escape to real, the library or even the market when a tantrum showed up. I now know that a lot is possible…

They say every crisis is a chance for growth. Where have you grown over the past months? Have you tried anything that you hadn’t tried before? Started a new project? Stepped out of your comfort zone – and loved it in the end?

I can’t say that I loved the situation in the end therefore it was too exhausting. But my kids were amazing (and terrible) and I think that we (partly) did a good job. We cooked more, I did more gardening and I saved money. I was always impressed by mums who have a cooking plan- well not any more, have my own now. And I am more thankful than ever for not having an only child. I kind of like not having that many appointments any more but also miss some of them.

With everyone focusing their attention on COVID-19, which other topic doesn’t get enough attention any more in your opinion?

I think that protecting our environment does not get the needed attention any more. I hate producing so much litter because of all the new rules and restrictions thanks to Corona!

However complicated, confusing, and challenging life may be, there are always so many things we can be thankful for if we take the time to look for them. What are you grateful for today?

I am grateful for my family.

Today I actually felt grateful and thought about it, when I saw my happy son during his horseback riding lesson.

I am grateful for what I already did in life which gives me the needed peace of mind for taking a break from action during lockdown.

3 Kommentare Gib deinen ab

Kommentar verfassen

Trage deine Daten unten ein oder klicke ein Icon um dich einzuloggen:

WordPress.com-Logo

Du kommentierst mit Deinem WordPress.com-Konto. Abmelden /  Ändern )

Google Foto

Du kommentierst mit Deinem Google-Konto. Abmelden /  Ändern )

Twitter-Bild

Du kommentierst mit Deinem Twitter-Konto. Abmelden /  Ändern )

Facebook-Foto

Du kommentierst mit Deinem Facebook-Konto. Abmelden /  Ändern )

Verbinde mit %s