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Sam Wilding Bali Visit – Part 4

Sam Wilding Bali Visit – Part 4

Sam Wilding Bali Visit – Part 4

Today we set off for Bunga village. I should explain, when I say ‘we’ that I mean Komang, Allan, James Anthony, David Booth and I. James is a volunteer English teacher who’s worked for the EBPP charity for a year. Bunga was the first village to have a school in 1999. David Booth MBE realised that if he could get community consent and involvement in education here that the same model could be used in some of the other villages. Here is David Booth himself talking about the area and the initial problems he faced.(2 mins audio.)

We met a family who obviously had amazing respect for David, and he was almost in tears when they invited him to their daughter’s wedding. The girl, Susi, was part of the East Bali Poverty Project’s first illiterate student intake. This was in Bunga on 31st August 1999, and her father was one of the local tutors. David taught her father how to use techniques that were really interactive and engaging. Her mother (who came to our vehicle as we arrived in Bunga) is the school cook, trained by Komang, the EBPP HQ leader, she learned good hygiene, sanitation and how to cook vegetables they had never seen or heard of. Even now, all children are provided with a daily nutritious lunch accompanied by a glass of fortified milk and a multivitamin tablet. Around ten elementary school students were studying social sciences and we explained where we came from and a little about our different cultures. Differences in our cattle, our art and our dances etc. In the next class, which was a junior high class, David took this a step further and asked me, ha, if I would demonstrate some highland dancing. Well, I’m not sure how accurate it was, but it certainly gave the children a good laugh. Then a girl of about thirteen stood up and began to do a traditional Balinese dance. This was unbelievable. Here she is… (20 secs video)

In the next class the children wanted to talk more about clans, which are called, ‘adats’ in Indoneasian. They also wanted to see an example of a Scottish kilt. The closest word they could find in Indonesian for kilt was ‘roc’, which means ‘frock’ in English. But anyway, I passed round the paper kilts made by Christie Park School and the Balinese children’s faces lit up.
After another few classes, where the children found Scotland on a big map of the world, I was asked for another embarrassing Highland dance performance and was rewarded this time, with a Balinese battle dance, called a Wirayuda (The War Dance) This was performed by four young lads, who again, probably just had the edge on me. (30 secs video)

We were then taken to another brilliant East Bali Poverty Project initiative – called The Daya Bamboo Learning and Development Centre.

When the area was eventually opened up to the rest of Bali with the introduction of ‘roads’, all the indigenous bamboo, until then pretty inaccessible, was cut down until there was none left. Bamboo is used for construction, weaving, charcoal and a multitude of other uses, so it was pretty important to do something about this. The Bamboo centre grows around 20 different species of bamboo, and shows the local people how to get the best results from planting and harvesting in a sustainable way. They even have a process that hardens the bamboo and makes it much more durable and resistant to insect attack. I’m pictured here with Komang our guide and driver, he’s on the far left, then it shows Allan Sneddon – owner of Olida Publishing, and Ketut, EBPP the bamboo expert.


Today’s feature is this map of Bali. It shows the main areas of the island including the four highest volcanoes: Sangang, Musi, Batur, and of course, Agung. In the south of the island the beaches are very busy with tourists from Australia and other areas, but the beach next to our volunteer house is very quiet. It has black volcanic sand and there are lots of colourful fishing boats that go out at night to catch tuna and shrimp.


Our creature today actually whacked against my head while I was eating outside the volunteer house. It’s a female Atlas Beetle. It was like being hit by a golf ball as it measured 30cm. Thank goodness it wasn’t a male. It is three times bigger than again and could have knocked me out. The male also has a pair of giant horns protruding from it’s head. Yuck! At the volunteer house our toilet is outside. One gross but true fact, is that it’s very important to shake the toilet seat and check it carefully before sitting down. There are a few species of poisonous spider out in the woods which make going to the loo a very scary operation.


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