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Vildan's story


"It was Sunday. We were sitting outside with my grandmother, when the earthquake started we first waited for the earthquake to pass and moved inside. We thought it was an ordinary earthquake. We went out again when everyone started shouting. People shouted saying "Water is coming!" but there was a great mountain between us. At first, we didn't want to believe it, but when everyone ran to the mountain, my mother took my sibling and started running. Then my older brother and my other sibling ran away from home. My grandmother wanted me to go alone because she couldn't run, but I didn't want to. At that moment, my Qur'an teacher was passing through the street. When my grandmother told him, "Please take my grandchild with you." my teacher tried to persuade me to run by holding my hand.

The city I lived in was the place most affected by the tsunami. The sea was coming over that huge mountain. I could see the water coming. I was getting scared, thinking what would happen if I didn't run. Then I started running leaving my grandmother, but since I was always looking back, I was moving very slowly.

When I sped up to climb the mountain, I looked back with one last hope, maybe my grandmother would come too. Just then, the waves of the tsunami hit our house. When the water that destroyed the house reached me, I couldn't escape. I was suddenly fund myself in water. I was constantly crashing into trees. After that moment I couldn't open my eyes at all because the water was pitch black and so high, it started dragging me.

At that moment, I prayed, "God, if I die here, I only want your consent, heaven." There was also a bit of anxiety because I was very naughty when I was little, I never listened to what my mother said, I was a little scared when I thought of my mischief.

The water receded and I found myself on the slopes of the hill. When I looked around I saw my brother who left the house before me, he was somewhere higher up the hill. He was yelling at me, "Run! Run!". We were safe, I didn't understand why I had to run again. When I looked back, I saw a bigger wave coming. I climbed a little more, but now there were bars. I tucked my little brother through the bars. He passed since his body was small enough, but I couldn’t pass to the other side. I looked at the bars and thought how to jump from the place I was standing. Then when I looked at the waves, I thought that if I stayed there I would die, but if I jumped over the bars, I would be injured. I climbed the bars and got injured while jumping. Then I climbed the hill and went next to my older brother. When I asked my older brother, he said, "I don't know." “How come? Our brother was in mom's arms,” I said.  He said, "I took my brother from her arms and ran towards here, my mother is on the way." But my mother did not come. My mother was never going to come...

Then the water was completely receded. After a while, my father's colleagues came. When we asked where my father was, "As we fled to the mountain, your father ran towards the house to save you." they said. After the water was gone, my brother went back to find my mother, father and grandmother. After the tsunami, all the dead bodies were on the ground. But we couldn't find any of them. We stayed there that day without food or water. 

Two days later, we decided to go elsewhere, to our relatives who lived a place that was not affected by the tsunami. It was too far and we were going on foot. While walking our eyes were searching for the bodies of our parents. Then we reached my cousin's house, but we couldn't stay long because of the lack of food and drink. A few days later we went to my aunt's house.

"I was in the sixth grade at that time. I started going to school in my aunt's village. I had a relative in IHH's newly opened orphanage in Aceh, he informed my aunt of this orphanage. My aunt sent me there as it is a place for girls only. There were no children in the orphanage except me, I was the first orphan of the orphanage. We became friends the orphans who came later and started living a very good life. That's how my orphanage story started. "

Vildan finished primary and secondary education in the orphanage she came to due to necessities and later was found qualified to receive undergraduate education in Turkey. As a successful student, Vildan, became a university graduate thanks to a hand that reached her 14 years ago.