Joy Vogel, above, will today fly to Thailand
Joy Vogel, above, will today fly to Thailand

Moi?s mother in pilgrimage to Thailand

By SAMANTHA TURNBULL sturnbull@northern

JOY VOGEL will leave Mul- lumbimby today for Thai- land to celebrate her daugh- ter's birthday on the beach where she died. Moi Vogel and her hus- band Christian Nott, of Syd- ney, were both killed in the Boxing Day tsunamis while on their honeymoon in the Khao Lak region. The newlyweds had dis- covered they were expecting their first child just days before the tsunamis struck. Joy will never know the exact circumstances sur- rounding their deaths, but she said there was a way she liked to think it hap- pened. "I imagine them in their bungalow sleeping with Christian's hand on her stomach above the baby," she said. "I know that's probably not how it happened, it's just what I picture when I think about it." Joy travelled to Thailand last month to the site of the resort where Moi and Chris- tian had been staying. The resort was destroyed, but there were markers in

the sand where their bunga- lows once stood. "I had this vision that I would walk along the beach where my daughter passed away and put flowers in the water," she said. "I wanted to feel the place, smell it and hear the birds. But it wasn't what I expected. The water was still filthy and full of de- bris, it was a mess." However, she said she felt an undeniable closeness to her daughter's spirit among the ruins. "I took a drum I found called a healing drum and I walked along the beach beating the drum and screaming Moi's name," Joy said. "I felt like she could hear me, like she was there. I was almost expecting her to yell 'mum' back at me." Joy will go back to the same beach today in prepa- ration for Moi's 33rd birth- day on Wednesday. "I feel like I have to go for her birthday," she said. "You'll never forget your child's birthday and I'm de- termined to make this one special. "It will be a party, a cel- ebration of everything she was."

Moi's body was flown back to Australia in March. Christian's body was found but misplaced before it could be returned to his family. Joy is now in the pro- cess of changing her name to Joy-Moi. "Moi's name was actually Moi-Joy," she said. "So I felt it was right for me to change my name in memory of her. "Anything that makes me closer to her."

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