Welcome to Slide Night, where we delve into our travel photos and tell the stories behind them.

This week it’s Crikey intern Patrick Tombola’s turn.

Padang, Indonesia

Patrick writes: I had been talking to two of the four women in the photo for some time. My fixer/translator told me they had lost all their family nearby during the Padang earthquake that shook Indonesia in September 2009.

It was only after two other women from the same village arrived that I came to realize how “nearby” was another term for disappeared, swallowed by the earth.

As the four women turned towards where once their village stood, it was obvious they were rebuilding the vanished village in their minds, street-by-street, tear by tear.

This sight is not uncommon in Indonesia, the country most prone to natural disasters in the world, which sits along an active tectonic fault line. Yet, ruthless deforestation has increased the intensity of earthquakes leading to deadly mudslides like Padang’s.

Expecting desperation from women that lost entire families overnight, I was shocked to find instead a distinct sense of acceptance towards God’s will.

Shot using:

1/200 sec at f8, ISO 400 – 26mm

Shot with a Canon 5D MK II.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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