Sam Wilding's Blog
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Sam Wilding Bali Visit – Part 1

Sam Wilding Bali Visit – Part 1        the video

So eventually, after three flights and 12,000 km, my publisher, Allan, and myself landed in Bali. As soon as we stepped off the plane the difference in temperature hit us. My clothes began to feel clammy and damp and the air was like treacle. The humidity was sitting at about 80% and the temperature was 31 degrees centigrade.
We were driven to the hotel and got ready to meet up with the people from the East Bali Poverty Project.
One of the first things we did was to look through all the fantastic project work and art that had been produced by the children of Christie Park Primary and Braehead Primary. Paper kilts, Scottish songs, Scottish slang, and a whole host of drawings, bookmarks and even friendship bracelets. We also looked at the educational booklets produced by the East Bali Poverty Project and met up with the founder David Booth – MBE. David had literally searched for the poorest village in Indonesia and he had actually discovered an unknown village on the slopes of the Agung volcano in Bali. Unknown to anyone on the island, even villages several kilometers away, Ban village had lain undiscovered for thousands of years. It literally was a like finding a lost world.

However as sickness and disease was rife, David formed the East Bali Poverty Project and got to work addressing the poor nutrition and ensuring clean/safe water provision.  There were no rivers, streams or piped water supply: David says that ‘their water came from God’, because only source was by harvesting rain water. However all the water was highly polluted with E.Coli bacteria. There was also very bad sanitation. Most people had never even heard of a toilet!
Now the EBPP are focused on Education.

We discussed what we might do on our visit over lunch and then set off for the Agung (aaagong) volcano and our volunteer quarters. On leaving the city of Denpasar we headed east along the southern shore of Bali and up round the eastern edge of the island, the gigantic outline of the Agung volcano ever present. We zigzagged through busy villages and towns, skirted rice paddies and eventually wound our way down towards our accommodation in Tianyar. It was dark by the time we got settled in and as I write this the light of my iPad is attracting a wonderful variety of moths and mosquitos. More about them later.

But there is just so many interesting things to see here that I have decided that it might be useful to include a section called ‘features and creatures’ whenever I send an update.

So today’s feature is one of the biggest landmarks in Bali. It’s an active volcano in the Eastern part of the island called Mount Agung. It stands 3031 meters above sea-level and forms part of a chain of volcanos that jut out like a backbone all the way across the island. Called Gunung Agung in Indonesian, which means – Great Mountain, it is very special to the Balinese people and is home to the Mother Temple of Besakih. The whole mountain was supposed to have been formed when a Hindu God – Pasupati split the spiritual axis of the universe, Mount Meru, and then made Agung from one of the fragments. In Bali many of the people are very spiritual and have a whole host of ceremonies and beliefs.

And today’s creature is a giant millipede. Although millipedes look pretty scary, they are in fact vegetarians. They rummage through the rotting leaves and actually do a good job mixing everything up, a bit like earthworms do in the soil. They are also our oldest-known land animal. And there is even a bit a of Scottish link, because oldest example of a millipede ever found was uncovered in Scotland. This particular beastie was crawling through the leaf-litter of a tropical rain-forest in Scottish over 428 million years ago.

I am also going to try and pick up an Indonesian phrase each day. Today’s phrase is ‘Terima kasih’, which means ‘thank you’. [djb…Terima = Receive; kasih = give. So this is a beautiful greeting!!]
I hope you’ll keep tuning in to find out much more about Bali and it’s wonderful people.
Bye until next time.

Sent from my iPadp6


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