Will Bali recover?

I will not give an analysis on the motivations behind the bombings–whether the coincidence with the recent massive rise in the price of fuel in Indonesia has anything to do with the bombings, or whether the bombers want to destabilise the country or shake faith in the president. It is not my capacity to do that. I just want to quote these comments which I took from BBC NEWS, and pose a question: What can we do to help the people of Bali?

… we feel very much for the people of Bali–the most welcoming and friendly people anywhere in the world. Don’t stop going–they need our support and they need tourists to survive. Our thoughts and good wishes are with them …

I’m due to go to Bali in January, and am more determined now than ever. Having lived with 30 years of terrorism in Northern Ireland, the only thing to do is to clear up the mess and rebuild even stronger. The people of Bali need our support now more than ever and I for one intend to give them mine.

The Balinese people are crying out for tourists to come back to the island, many locals asked us to come back next year and to bring our friends and family with us. The island has so much to offer and the people are amazing. We shouldn’t let terrorists put us off travelling there – it is no different to going to London these days. I am hoping to go back in April and will not let these terrorists put me off.

… I don’t think people really know how the locals suffer at the hands of these suicide bombers. Obviously, I guess travellers will be reluctant to travel to Bali but please don’t totally abandon going. …

The people of Bali are so welcoming and friendly and have feared the economic impact of more bombs. One example is a Balinese man who we became friends with called Eddie and his wife who both work in tourist surf shops. They are expecting their first child. Their family’s future depends heavily on tourism, like so many other local people. My thoughts are with all those on the beautiful island of Bali.

My heart goes out to the Balinese as they were talking about how they felt that life was just starting to get back to normal after the 2002 bombing. They are the nicest people you could want to meet and they are so grateful to have tourism within their country, as it is the only form of income they have. I will say a prayer tonight for all the Balinese people.

We have moved to Bali recently to start a new life. The Balinese are a friendly fun-loving people, who make you feel welcome wherever you go. Speaking to them over the past few days, they can only ask what they have done wrong to deserve this. One thing they are sure of is that Bali will recover, and be stronger for it all.


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