Here’s my plan for my first day back in ‘MURICA.
- SLEEEEEEP in air conditioning
- Shower in hot water without flip flops
- Use the toilet (that will flush without a bucket of water, have a seat, and have a roll of toilet paper next to it).
- Brush my teeth with faucet water
- Eat New Jersey dinner food. (e.g. french onion soup, a cheeseburger, a fully cooked omelet)
- Wear shorts and a tank top
- Use my wifi and my laptop
- Say hi to my family?? LOVE YOU, MOM!
Best purchase of my trip so far??
I don’t remember what it feels like to be pampered.
Is it possible I got paler?
Yesterday was #WEIRD.
Walking home from class.
Man with large gun.
Man to Grace: “I’m gonna shoot your heart.”
Grace chilling in the hotel, reading a book.
Bat: ey ey ey! fly fly fly!
Grace: Please don’t bite me. I didn’t get my rabies shot.
Other students: I have bed bugs!
Balinese man come upstairs and Barry Bonds’s the sucker to the ground with a broom with bug spray can at hand.
…Like a boss.
In the car, on the way to dinner in Lovina.
Balinese driver: Balinese men are handsome and strong, strong, strong!
Later in the evening.
Boston (my dog friend) and I snuggled by the bond fire. It was quite romantic. I ate some scrumptious pasta on the beach and went for a dip in the ocean. Don’t worry- I waited 30 minutes after eating to swim. Fire dancing and Bintangs were involved.
Our favorite Balinese song. Listen to it, it is beautiful and addicting! Sabar, sabar!
Where the idea of walking promotes sympathy,
Where fried rice is a breakfast food and pancakes are dessert,
A group of American students research the issues bringing trouble to this foreign paradise. Our journeys bring us all over Singaraja, looking for anyone with information or the desire to assist us.
Today, my group cruised around the city in true Balinese style: motorbikes (with helmets). We talked to a professor at Ganesha, who graciously shared inside on her study of child labor.
Child laborers from Bali, specifically Lovina, are mostly young girls, ages 5-17. They sell jewerly made by them or bought from retailer and resold for profit. They target the tourist on the beaches and use the funds to finance their education (which is not paid for by the government).
After speaking to the professor, Winny, 2 members of another group, and I traveled back to Lovina. There, we spoke with child laborers, asking about their day to day lives. Surprisingly, the workers did not miss school to work on the beach. The main aspect of their lives compromised by their employment is their after school studies and much needed downtime.
As time goes on, the differences between cultures emerge.
Although the Balinese students we work with claim gender inequality isn’t an issue , many inequalities are apparent. Today, my friend Winny asked if women smoking cigarettes is illegal in American, since it is frowned upon in Bali. LGBT issues also highligh cultural differences. Where the American students want to work towards bringing equality to society, the Balinese seem to think the issue is “trying to make them heterosexual”. This is not due to lack of morals, but a complete difference in culture norms and taboos.
A LOT actually.
But here’s a few :)
- The lack of McDonalds
- Feeling like a celeb every time I walk down the street
- Smiling, hospitable people
- Beautiful weather
- The exchange rate $$$
- Endless Kodak moments
- Internet cafes
- Seaweed Lay’s potato chips
- Pocari sweat
- Sunsets (I don’t get up early enough for sunrises)
- Being the minority
- Not having a cellphone
- Puffy, marshmellow clouds
- Bali dogs (Boston, Maxy, Tubi, and the wild dogs)
- Being “tan”?
- My Global Corp friends :)
Monday morning was particularly rough. After our sunset boat ride and bondfire Sunday night, I needed more caffeine than usual (Nescafe is my new favorite).
The group faced the task of deciding the subject of our social entrepreneurship projects. For the next 2 weeks, we will be conducting field research on our chosen issue. After very little debate, my group chose to work on child labor, a major issue in Bali. Even in Lovina last weekend, children were selling goods on the beach to tourists. Its a huge challenge, but with the help of our Balinese friends (Winny, Anis, and Abdi) we will surely find a way to solve this problem.
After class, the Northeastern students met for reflection. As a group we discuss any issues we may have encountered and any personal growth we’ve experienced. After discussing issues (ranging all the way from LGBT rights to homesickness) and bandana sniffing, it was time to eat. Naturally, I hit up Indomaret (my Wawa replacement), which has recently been stocked with durian, the smelliest fruit to ever exist.
Today (Tuesday), our class discussed Action research, which involves collecting primary sources for our research. Tomorrow, we will be exploring the area, seeking any and all information pertaining to child labor. We made plans to visit several government organizations, a professor at Ganesha University, and child laborers. After class, I stopped at a yummy bakery, got a snack, and hit up the internet cafe. Hope everyone’s good at home. Love you guys!