Inspired Words

These are the experiences of our volunteers in Bali.

March 13: Beautiful sights, hard work and a visit to Melaya Orphanage

Posted in Bali on March 13, 2012

Well, Monday was quite the day. It's been the first sunny day since we've been at the orphanage. Although hotter today, everything just seemed to come alive. The foliage is stunning, it glitters and shimmers in the bright sunlight. The roosters are crowing more often, the hens are clucking like crazy, the ducks - well, what a cacophony. Even the pigs seemed to be grunting more. Speaking of pigs there was a new litter born just yesterday so we all had to go down and greet the new arrivals. The children also seemed noisier at lunchtime today. The sunshine seems to give the place new life. Only the dogs seemed unaffected. They just laid in the shade and slept as usual, only rousing themselves to bark when a car or scooter arrives in the driveway. They are the doorbells of the orphanage. The grounds looked just spectacular all day.

The work today was much like Friday - move the rubble pile to the build site. I have a sinking feeling that the rubble pile runs into the next county but it's marginally easier than moving that 4" down gravel. It was hotter work in the sun than before but somehow seems more satisfying today. Thankfully the path is mostly downhill. Pat, as usual, is putting us all to shame by spending hours bent over in the gardens weeding and planting. I don't know how she stands the heat of the sun and that bent-over working position.

We left the orphanage shortly after lunch to stop at a sister orphanage not far away. That orphanage Widhya Asih V in Malaya (ours is Widhya Asih II in Blimbingsari).   It is for older children aged between 13 and 19 years old. Our arrival was greeted with great enthusiasm. What seemed like hundreds of children seemed to appear from everywhere, all wanting to shake our hands and ask us "What is you name?, My name is .... Nice to meet you." They became slightly perplexed when we asked the question first. They had to stop and think about where they were in the sequence of the exchange. Some of them spoke quite good English. They all assembled nicely for a welcoming message from the Orphanage Director Frankie, and gave us a short concert on the gamelan along with a Balinese dance, the chicken dance. No! Nothing like our chicken dance. Then we were each surrounded by a small retinue of young people eager and proud to show us their home. It was a remarkable and enjoyable experience.

Tuesday brought another overcast day. Thankfully we seem to be finished with the rubble pile. I spent most of the day working with the local workers. The walls are getting higher and as I'm taller than they are it seemed logical that I be the one to pass the bricks and lolu (mortar) to the brick layers up on the scaffolding. The others were obliged with 2 new piles of gravel. This time, though, it is clean, screened gravel much easier to shovel if not to carry in the wheelbarrow. The children here are becoming increasingly at ease with us and they seem to be interested in everything we do. Especially the younger ones who don't go to school yet and so are here with us all day. I'm being closely "assisted" as I write this.  Lunch today was a particular hit with the seafood lovers in the crowd. Jumbo prawns - Rina said there were the best she's ever had. After lunch, an impromptu concert for another visiting group, our crafting project will have to wait for another day. Oh well, off to the pool and Bintang!

Paul Hope
DWC Participant
Bali, March 2012

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