I’m lying on the floor of the hong kong airport. The elderly Asian woman sitting near me is shamelessly glaring at me. It could be for one of two reasons: I’m dressed in parachute pants and a berong shirt or because I’m lying on the floor of an international airport. No doubt I’m gonna get Sars. Too soon? Always too soon. Anyway… Bali. The reminiscing has commenced.
Remember when I said “goodbye until ‘Murica”? Lies. I’m back! With more tales from Bali.
I think my first “McDonald’s abroad” experience deserves its own blogs post. Yesterday brought the greatest things in life together: friends, dancing, & cheeseburgers. Kuta lived up to the hype. Bali’s Las Vegas held much instore for the Global Corp crew. A few highlights of the evening:
- Fire dancers & fire! A pyro’s firey heaven.
- "Single Ladies" was played. Yes… This alone could carry the list.
- Fake glasses galore. Not much different from the rest of this trip, but noteworthy.
- I danced off the pizza I bought at the club. #exercise!
- no arak! no more. ever. again.
- MCDONALDS to finish the night. They offered nasi there, but french fries were calling my name.
Today I pampered myself. One pedicure later and my feet don’t look like they belong to a troll. Finished off my morning with some Pizza Bagus and a chocolate milkshake. Before you judge my American food choices, understand Singaraja was all nasi, all day. Breakfast. Lunch. Dinner. Second Dinner. Nasi. Overkill is alive and well. Tonight, my pal Agung Rai will be hosting Global Corp at ARMA for an anniversary celebration. Nasi will be eaten and celebrating will be done. Our last night in Bali :( Logging off before I start bawling.
I’ve have been God awful about updating this. Sorry all. Its been a crazy last week. Between additional field research, presentations, papers, final goodbyes, and celebrations I haven’t had the chance to tumble. Except for that time I wrote an entry and the computer decided to turn off as I clicked “Create Post”.
We had our final dinner with the Balinese students on Wednesday. It was a hug- and tear-filled night. Singing was involved, as always. Despite the depressing goodbyes, the dinner presented the perfect opportunity to say “terima kasih” to my Balinese buddies and give them some NU gear. They are truly amazing, kind, and genuine people. Without them, we would have gone nowhere with our projects.
Thursday morning, we trekked back to our beloved Ubud. Along the way, we made a pit stop at a beautiful water temple and grabbed some Nasi Goreng.
So here I am, back in Ubud at Madra’s Homestay. Singaraja was amazing, but it feels like home to be back with Ibu and Bapa at Madra’s. Boston & Tubi were introduced last night. It was…. interesting. Ibu cooked up an amazing welcome back feast and we rested for the next day.
Its now the next day and thank god I rested. We paraded across Ubud souvenir shopping in the heat. I had forgotten what exercise feels like. Tonight, the group heads to Kuta, which is sure to be interesting. Tomorrow, I’m thinking spa day?? Until America, peace out!
Because I was in the mountains… but that’s irrelevant. Field research day was quite an adventure.
Our group biked up into the mountains through rain, fog, and cold (relatively cold). The mountains we trekked up were BEAUTIFUL!
The Balinese farmers on the mountains grow the flowers used in offerings to the gods. The other side of the road bordered a valley, containing a large, blue, freshwater lake. After some minor detours (We played with some monkeys and Winny & I got lost in the fog…whoops), we braved a rocky path to a remotely located school.
There, we (ironically) did not find a transportation problem. What doesn’t kill you makes you really pissed off?
On to the next!
Git Git (so fun to say) lacks access to school transportation. The elementary school kids walk 45 minutes to school. The Junior High school kids pay for a bemo (aka bus), ride motorbikes, or walk. Adding to this stress, the school is 10 km away. The kids that don’t have bikes either have to throw down 5,000 rupiah a day or stop going. THE DAAAWG's are putting an end to this!
Today in class, we got down to business. We learned about media, gaining support, and budgeting. So much, so little time!!! MIMEH DEWA RATUH. To break up the tension, we broke it down with some salsa dancing after lunch. I even whipped out the worm.
Field research day! Woo hoo!
Today we had the entire day to research our projects. My group decided to visit a few rural schools up in the mountains, and meet with educators and students there.
The trek there was amazing. It was early when we left Singaraja, so we saw the morning sun come up behind the mountains. Absolutely stunning. I couldn’t believe how incredibly beautiful our drive was. I almost forgot where we were going, and just got lost in being where I was, right then.
After a long, windy drive up the mountain, a quick stop to say hello to the monkeys, a slight accidental detour, and a scary ass rock climb on the back of a motorbike, we finally made it to the first primary school we went to visit.
From there we went to the nearest junior high school to try and confirm some of the information we obtained from the previous school.
Next stop, a primary school in Git Git. We met with the principle and discussed our project ideas with him. He seemed super enthusiastic about the potential, and I think it really helped to motivate us even more.
We were fortunate enough to visit two primary schools, and one junior high school today. We met some amazing people, and learned a lot bout the people we’re trying to help. And even though we gathered a ton of useful and necessary information, we also realized just how much more research and work we have ahead of us.
Can you imagine not being able to get an education due to lack of accessibility?
For example, I live in a town without a Junior High. I have no ride to the nearest Jr. High, which is 30 minutes away. Since I can’t get there, I drop out of school, stay in my village, and end my education.
The Group 1 DAAAWG’s say this ain’t ok.
We are currently using our brilliant problem solving powers to analyze the problem and come up with an innovative, creative, and sustainable solution. The saga continues tomorrow, as we face our 2nd field research day.
Today, our social entrepreneurship guru, Ryan, consulted us on our project, challenging our assumptions and future plans. Tomorrow, we have a lot to due.
- Visit rural school that don’t have Junior High schools and onward
- Talk to the students and their families
- Talk to school authorities
- Visit Singaraja’s Junior high school
- Visit the Bus depot (or “bemo” depot)
- Write a mission statement, vision statement, and goals
- Anything else that comes up, because it will
Wish us good luck!
Thank you, Balinese men that play chess in the same location every day. I will never wear leggings again.
So, the Global Corps possy visited Amed this weekend (aka Paradise). I felt like I was in a Sandals commercial, without the corny rendition of “I’ve had the Time of My Life”. The beachfront bungalow, hammock, bonfire, and sunrise were all included.
I managed to catch up on my sleep, “tan”, swim, snorkel, read some of my book, and drink 5 chocolate milkshakes.
I slept in a hammock Saturday night. Which was on the porch of my beachfront bungalow. AND this was no ordinary hammock. When you lie in it, it wraps around you like a cocoon. You fall asleep and wake up like a butterfly. Too perfect.
Prior to my “cocoonification”, Saturday was luxurious to say the least. We departed from our EduHotel at 8am (to my dismay). We drove along Bali’s northern coast to the East.
After our 2.5 hour trek, we arrived at Good Karma Bungalows. The day consisted of a 7 hour cycle of swimming, reading, sleeping, tanning, eating- the better things in life. After lounging all day, we were treated to BBQ Balinese style.
For those who do not know, Balinese BBQs involve being Arak-stars, fire dancing, and lots of nasi. Like true college students, we all passed out by 12 am….
Before you judge us, we had to wake up at 5 am for the sunrise. Nothing like seeing the silhouette of sailboats against the tye-dye horizon. Truly surreal.
After watching that amazing display, we set sail to a coral reef near Good Karma. There, we snorkeled till exhaustion/ seasickness got the better of us.
After the 5 am wake up, sleep was needed. With the exception of a brief game of Apples to Apples, I slept, read, & ate all day. I couldn’t script a more perfect day.
Good Karma, I will miss your Chicken Burgers, black sand shores, scary gnome heads, and cocoon hammocks.