The Year of the Pillow Cases.

 

Our 2006 holiday was the usual rushed affair following a knee replacement for Herself and minor ankle surgery for myself. This only served to indicate that we are slowly falling apart and did not really slow us down too much in Bali, but the garage sale on the weekend before our departure on Tuesday June 6 required a lot of help from our kids.
We booked only a few weeks before leaving, suddenly needing to beat the local school mid-year holidays when Herself got a part-time contract for second semester.

The garage sale on the ultimate weekend proved a boon in a way we did not expect. These days we always expect to pay excess freight on the way over, despite the allowance we have been given by Garuda management in Adelaide. This year we had 2 wheelchairs at 23 Kg each, a wheeled walking frame, 2 laptop computers and a multi function printer, all the pillow cases that had been made for us (see a couple of paragraphs down for details), cases of clothes, toys and other gifts for friends and the orphans, 2 home brew kits and other stuff that evades my memory, all of which added up to some tens of kilograms. What we were not prepared for was the increase in the freight rate from 12 to 15 dollars a kilogram. The result was that the $1,200 we made at the garage sale all disappeared over the excess freight counter before we had even boarded the aircraft. Quite plainly we are going to have to re-think how we do things. For example the wheelchairs (at 23 Kg each) cost $345 in freight but we could have bought new ones in Bali for $200. Although not as sturdy and with inflated tyres rather than the solid rubber puncture proof ones on our chairs the money difference is too much to ignore.

 

One trolley load of three, plus 2 wheelchairs and a walking frame, at the Adelaide airport.

We had several aims which included the delivery of a modified wheelchair (thanks to a group from the Largs Bay Rotary Club here in South Australia) for the daughter of our long-favourite beach manicurist's second daughter, Kadek, whom we thought had polio. That discovery came only on the last day of our December 2005 trip although we had known Lisa for many years.
I think the Balinese are a bit funny about deformity and severe illness, blaming witchcraft and the demons for many ailments. Afflictions are a sign for the family to take care and often seem to result in the affected person being denied what we would term normal medical intervention for fear of offending the demons further and at times also results in the afflicted one being excluded from the family as we found later in the case of twin girls at an orphanage where both were sent although only one was deformed.
The second chair was for the local doctor who will look into problems if we ask him to, and will not charge us for his services. He also treats isolated families in the hill districts and has previously found a needy home for a wheeled walking frame we had and distributed a big bag of soft toys amongst the children he came across in his rounds.

Kadek in her wheelchair with grandmother who looks

after her while mum and dad work on the beach.

We had also started a Pillow Case drive similar to the generously over-subscribed Toiletry Bag project of last year. Through the Bali Travel Forum (balitravelforum.com) and friends we invited people to make or decorate pillow cases for the orphanages we visit. We purchased the contents, in this case pillows of course, and distributed them to the kidz and staff at Negara on this trip. More were delivered both at home and to our drop-off points in Bali (to Haaris at the Bali Cyber Cafe in Kuta-Legian and to Mr Made the Front Office Manager at the Balihai Resort in Tuban) and we plan to do the same in Singaraja on the north coast next trip. If you are in Oz and would like to help you can send some to -
FILO
c/- 194 Holbrooks Road
UNDERDALE
S.A. 5032.

Two sleeping (?) beauties on their new, personal pillows and cases

At the last moment (if you think that much of what we do is 'at the last moment' you're quite right) we also heard of an orphanage for kids with disabilities in Gianyar from a posting by 'Bazz' on the Forum. It seemed an ideal place to deliver more of the spare toiletry bags we had stockpiled in Bali, and so it proved to be. The kids, only about 25 in number, won our hearts, especially little twin girls, one deformed and shortly to go to Melbourne for cranio-facial surgery. It seemed that the carers at this orphanage were especially caring and also dedicated to the happiness of their charges.
The address, if you're interested is -
Panti Asuhan Kesa Yanikan Papa
Jalan Elangga
Gianyar.
A visit can be a simple half day affair or extended to a full day with visits to the silk, cotton and ikat weaving houses in Gianyar or visits to the shopping mecca of Sukawati on the way. An alternative return journey can be through Ubud, the centre of the arts in Bali. Here there are markets, a palace, galleries and museums as well as some of the best eating establishments in all of Bali.

Twins at the orphanage for handicapped children.

Our package deal included 14 nights at the Baleka Beach Resort in the heart of Legian with entrances from both Jl Werkudara (otherwise known as Jl66) and Jl Padma Utara. We were firmly influenced by a bit of a shortage of ready cash for the trip and the fact that during June they were offering a 2-for-1 deal which effectively meant half price accommodation and this meant more money to spend with the Balinese.
This spending with the Balinese is a bit tricky at times as much of the commercial property in Bali is really owned by rich Indonesian politicians, rich army corps officers or rich business people who are great graft and corruption collectors and can only legitimise their ill-gotten income by property investments. We try to spend as much of our money as possible directly with Balinese individuals or where we know Balinese interests are involved.

It aint always easy though!

                         

Baleka Resort and restaurant on a bend of Jl. Werkudara.               Collection of frangipanni from the Balihai Resort.

Part of Herselfs shopping expeditions involved beads for projects with her school classes and silver jewellery not for Her school classes. The number of bead and bead jewellery shops has boomed all over the tourist areas in the past 6 months and in the short sort-of-backwater of Jl Werkudara I counted 17 separate outlets.

Silver bracelets at Solomon Silver 2.

Rice and the Subak Museum go hand-in-hand of course. We were both fascinated by this exhibition and the delightful and well-informed guides who showed us around. Not only did I at last find an Ani-ani but later I saw sheaves of the original Bali rice and some black rice.

Rice field panorama on the road west to Tabanan.

Most people first go to Bali for the fabulous shopping but all soon find a second drawcard in the restaurants and the food. I'm not a shopper but even with a mild dose of the 'belly' I found the food irresistible.

      

                    Food, glorious food!                             - but watch out for the cunningly hidden chillies!

Two new mountainous visits for us were similar in some respects but so different in others

                    

The temple on Mount Batu Karu, silent and deserted     and the crater and lake at Mount Batur, a tourist drawcard.

 

 

The links below will take you to some photos of other parts of our holiday.

Not all will be ready and active straight away but they will evolve as July rolls in to August and so on.

 

  1. The pillow case run to the NEGARA ORPHANAGE.

  2. Stuff we took, the flight and the airport taxi fare board.

  3. The orphanage for children with handicaps, Panti Asuhan Kesa Yanikang Papa in Gianyar.

  4. Friends including the girls on the beach, little Kadek, the feet and fingers, driver Made and family including the newly-weds, waitresses and food, and of course the old boat builder of Jimbaran Bay.

  5. The Baleka Beach Resort and the Baihai.

  6. Rice and the Subak Museum at Tabanan.

  7. Pura Luhur Batu Karu, north of Tabanan.

  8. Food, glorious food.

  9. Kintamani and the crater and lake of Mount Batur.

  10. Kites and batik quilts, tea/coffee/spices plantation.

  11. Silver jewellery and bead shops, Handbags, woodcarving and leather.

  12. Right back to our home page for the shoppers Cheat Sheet, the first visit to the Negara Orphanage, a long Bali story (the 2003 'Rushed Trip'), the details about Bali's peoples, rices,  religion and culture or history or things to do and see in Ubud as well as many others.

 

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