Inspired Words

These are the experiences of our volunteers in Bali.

March 17: Final celebrations and farewells

Posted in Bali on March 19, 2012

Friday was our last day in Blimbingsari. It was an overcast day with lots of wind which certainly made the heat more bearable but I also think that we're finally becoming more accustomed to it. We spent the morning "at home" in Negara getting ourselves ready for our departure on Saturday. Pre-packing and just general chilling. Our little group will start to slowly dwindle over then next few days.

We arrived at the orphanage at about 2:00 in the afternoon just in time to accompany the children on a walk around the block. Quite the block. It was a lovely walk looking at the local houses (greeted by all the dogs) and generally enjoying the beautiful surroundings and the serenity of it all - when there we no motor scooters around. The work site is quiet today, no sign of the workers and the rest of the day was peaceful, spending time with the children and generally relaxing. A  full roast pig arrived about 6:00 and dinner began shortly afterwords. The entire orphanage assembled; children, staff, workers and their families and our team. The children sang a couple of songs in the form of a round (like row, row, row your boat) with each side obviously competing against the other. It was very rousing and exciting performance, they were obviously having great fun with it. Soon Wayan invited our Team Leader, Tom to make the first ceremonial cut into the pig. We all ate very heartily.

The rest of the evening will be etched in our minds forever, I'm sure. All the musicians and dancers in the orphanage were dressed in traditional Balinese dress for an evening of music and dance. It was just BEAUTIFUL! The children performed with such grace and poise and obvious enjoyment, even while taking it all so seriously, that they left us stunned. When they were in costume they were so quiet and peaceful and respectful that you could tell that it was a very special experience for them to hold such a performance. Yet at the same time there was so much fun and enjoyment in the process. These are happy and loving children. It's impossible to describe what an impact it had on us (I feel myself on the verge of tears just writing this). When the final solo dancer had finished, bringing each of us onto the floor in turn, Wayan asked us to line up in front of the group and asked 10 of the children to line up facing us. The children, in turn, gave each of us a hand made bracelet, a necklace, a handshake and a big hug. It was too special a moment to describe. The festivities over, we broke out the 2 tubs of ice cream that we had purchased earlier in the day - enough to give everyone at least one cone. Gaspar, of course, managed to sneak a second one. And then, all too quickly we found ourselves in the vans and bidding our reluctant farewells. It was a sobering moment but one filled with a sense of satisfaction and love. Many of us found it quite difficult to fall asleep that evening.

That's all for now.

Paul Hope
DWC Participant
Bali, March 2012

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