Selamat tahun baru

Volunteer's Blog

Denpasar, Bali, December 2014 (Julien Goalabré)

Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle bells all the way” ! Yeah, in case you missed it, it was Christmas not so long ago! I hope that you had a good time with your loved ones. For my own this is with Act Global family that I spent this period.

Celebration time

We have a great Christmas dinner for which we all did something from our own country as we had a lot of nationalities involved : France, Italy, Poland, Indonesia, USA, Netherlands. Also had three religions: Hindu, Catholic and Muslim.

My own dish was a slice of Foie Gras (goose liver) on a bed of salad, sided by cherry tomatoes, slices of Saucisson (dry pork) and homemade mango/lime chutney. Mum would be proud

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We also participated to the Galungan ceremony with most of the team dressed up with traditional clothing. Great experience as always.

Oh and Selamat tahun baru / Happy New Year! I wish you all a very good health as without it, nothing else is possible. But my wishes can do nothing if you don’t take care of it first and foremost so take care!

We partied at the beach with a nice meal and some delicious wine brought back from Europe by AG directors. Wine being so expensive here it was a dream that came true to sip some!

First struggles: the end of the fruit juice

Things start to be a bit more challenging as the natural excitement of coming here settles. One thing starts to be an issue: money. Along with the normal motivation slump. It has been a difficult month.

If the monthly allowance is enough to live as a very basic Indonesian, it is clearly not enough to leave as a normal local. Indeed, the Indonesian population has quite a good lifestyle with numerous friends gatherings. It is not a third world country! Of course, being from France I have a different lifestyle as well. Thus, with both “bule” friends and Indonesian ones having such income, it is not easy to turn off invitations and decline meals or beers. At first, the awesome fruit juice was the best friend of every meal. Nowadays, we tend to bring our water bottle. Small adjustment among many others! Added to the strong recent inflation as explained by Stefania in her last month’s post, I basically use my monthly income within a two weeks’ time. Then I tap into my savings so the 7 remaining months may be a struggle, especially if I want to travel a bit.

Tampaksiring: My Place To Be 

I was grateful to have a friend visiting me from France (and bringing food supply!) and I took her to the second ceremony of my friend’s wedding. We stayed in that little hide out of mine that I love to go to escape Denpasar’s agitation and pollution. There is a nice trek to do in the rice field, where we enjoyed coconut water straight off the tree.

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I love to build fire pits so I did one there. The sunset over the rice field and the arak (local alcohol) around the fire was really good and Komang, the owner, is a very interesting person to talk to when I comes to the Balinese culture and outlook of life as written before

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