My second month in Bali

Volunteer Blog

Denpasar, Bali, November 2014 (Emanuele Didu)

Quite late as usual, the time to write down my November’s blog post and overcome my deadlines phobia has finally arrived. Last month for me has been all about discovering and gaining a deeper understanding of the reality here: Sometimes wandering aimlessly, we have been travelling across the island and the islands around, exploring wild areas, meeting new people, testing ideas, discussing and learning more things about Bali and its social structure. Together with the other volunteers, I also had the chance to take part to

some cremation ceremonies (“Ngaben”) and the colorful celebration that precedes them: for Balinese Hindus death is just a rite of passage, so ne tears are shed. The fire shall free the soul from the body and enable it to reincarnate or find final rest, freeing it from the cycle of Samsara. For me, as a westerner whose cultural background inevitably lies into the Christian view of life and death, definitely food for thought.

At work, I spent most of my time researching and thinking about what can be concretely done for the local community, developing some project proposals, trying to make a point, then checking whether they would be useful or not. Since a good and effective project for a community can only start with an analysis of the needs and with a deep understanding of the dynamics, I tried to study and put the results together to have an overview of the important issues of Bali, researching though data and informations. Looks like that doing something effective will not an easy job: as far as I learned up until now, Bali is facing issues related to extreme poverty of certain disadvantaged areas, lack of proper education, school dropout, lack of a waste management system, sewage system, building development master plan…big issues that need to be solved with big projects or large scale actions and that sometimes really seem to be out of my operating range. However there is no reason to give up: sometimes even small things can make a difference, and since some foundations and organizations always take into consideration good community development projects and we as a group have the capacities and some time to do it, I accepted the challenge of trying to gaze upon the heights seeking a way to put together good projects that can lead to some effective and sustainable actions for Bali and its people.

I mostly spent my free time visiting new places in the surroundings. On the first weekend of November we headed off to Gili Trawangan and stayed there for a couple of days, kindly hosted by a Julian’s friend in a very nice villa. It was definitely a good time. The weekend later I travelled along Uluwatu’s coasts and stopped by Pura Luhur temple: it was a really warm and nice day, even though a monkey kindly decided to steal my phone and smash it down from a tree. I can’t remember the sequence of the events, but I also visited some beautiful spots and beaches around Nusa Dua, Legian, and Cangu. And doing so, I added a consistent amount of parts into the puzzle map of South-West Bali.