Inspired Words

These are the experiences of our volunteers in Bali.


March 15: Our last few days on the project

Posted in Bali on March 15, 2012

Well, Wednesday was a pretty quiet day. Rina stayed back of the hotel to nurse a sore hip. No, she didn't hurt herself on the job site - she slipped coming in from the hotel pool in a downfall of rain. All that was left of the gravel was a small pile for making concrete. We cleaned that up in  about half an hour or so. That seems to be the end of the gravel - whew! The local workers were just finishing off a couple of rows of bricks (with Jerry helping) and preparing forms to pour the posts. Once the forms were in place we all jumped in to help hump cement up to the workers on the scaffolding (such as it is). I think they were slightly overwhelmed by how quickly the pails of concrete were being replenished. It was soon time for a brick (Balinese pronunciation of break). "Brick time" has become our new catch phrase. When the forms for the top beams were in place we formed a human chair to snake the "rebar" in place.  It was kind of fun. Once that was done there really wasn't too much more for us to do. Some of the staff from the orphanage's head office in Denpasar came by to visit us on their way to visit another orphanage. That socializing killed quite a bit of time and soon lunch was being served.

After lunch I headed off down the road to have a nice quiet rest in a bale on the church grounds. A bale is a small raised platform covered with a pitched roof for shade. You see them all over the place in backyards, at the side of the road, used as bus stops - virtually anywhere. While I was resting the fun began back at the orphanage. The boys were playing football (soccer to us) with balls and jerseys donated by a good friend of Developing World Connections from Vancouver. They are all pretty darned good players. On one level the game was a ruse to keep the boys from noticing that the girls were having a ball on the reconstructed water slide. Soon the boys were anxious to have their go on the slide and so it was. The boys just went wild. Soon the end of the slide was a mud wallow and the boys slid way beyond the end. Boys and girls are the same all over the world, it seems. Having finished their time on the slide the girls broke out the shampoo and turned the event into an impromptu shower and a good opportunity to wash their hair. The boys, on the other hand, relished the chance to get down and dirty and just wallow in the mud.

Back to the hotel for pool and Bintang (do you sense a theme here?). We went off to the Palem restaurant for dinner again tonight. It's become our favorite but ordering from the menu is sometimes a bit of a crap shoot. You don't always get what you think you ordered. Ayam Fillet soas Lemon is usually a safe bet for those less adventuresome eaters in the crowd, like me.

Thursday morning and Rina is back in action! She won't be running any wheelbarrow loads though - the hip is still slightly sore. Truth is there are no wheelbarrow loads to be moved. Thursday proves to be even quieter than Wednesday was. The building work is now pretty much in the hands of the workers as there's not much we can do to help with building the forms etc. Their methods are unusual and innovative, to say the least. I'm busy working on the blog, Susan & Lynn were getting Balinese dance lessons from one of the younger girls, Rina and Cheryl went for a walk, Pat is busy somewhere and Wayan has taken Tom and Gino over to the orphanage in Melaya to "divine" for water. Tom has been doing this for years and tries to teach someone in each community he visits how to do it also. Finding water is always a useful skill.

It's been a quiet and peaceful morning and probably very Balinese in its tone but I sense that all us North Americans are feeling slightly guilty about not "pulling our weight" on the job site. Maybe this is our chance to slow down and learn to really enjoy the time we have left in Bali.

After lunch our "girls" organized another craft session for the kids. They have been working on this for days, organizing the materials, making sure there are enough pencils, glue etc. As expected some chaos ensued but all seems to have had a great time. These kids are very artistic.

We learned, this morning, that the gardener's brother died last night. We will be finishing our day a little early so that the staff can attend the funeral this afternoon. Another quieting moment. Tomorrow, Friday, is our last day. We are happy that the hard work is over but will miss the children and the happy routine of the peaceful lifestyle at the orphanage. Big things are planned for tomorrow but you'll have to wait, as so do we.

Paul Hope
DWC Participant

Bali, March 2012

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