Indonesia

We Feel Good When We Do Good

It was a sunny Saturday in Kuta, Bali, Indonesia. A nice weather to cheer a day up. It was a perfect afternoon, as perfect as our road trip with a cab to Jodie O’Shea orphanage. There was no huge traffic jam as what always happen at Ngurah Rai bypass, Denpasar, Bali. We were lucky!

We arrived couples of minutes before 1 pm,  the time of appointment we made with the orphanage staff. Stopping by in front of this orphanage, I was wowed by a colorful painting this house had. We were also warmly welcomed by Alison Chester, a British origin Indonesian citizen who operates this orphanage. There were some Singaporean students visited this orphanage also in that afternoon. After entering the house, I got more wowed as the interior of this orphanage was very kids friendly. It had a reading room, an art and computer room, a large garden, a small sport court, a vast clean kitchen, some fridges with a lot of dairy products and fresh fruits in, and some clean and neat rooms, each is for around 8 children.

My favorite spot : the paintings on the sport court

The Singaporean students in the reading room. Cool, huh?

With a lot of curiosity, we asked Alison how come this orphanage was named Jodie O’Shea.  Alison explained us that Jodie O’Shea was an Australian victim of 2002 Bali Bombing. Alison was a volunteer in a hospital at that time, in which she accompanied the survivor of the blast. Jodie was burnt due to the explosion. Alison gave her a painkiller pill, and Jodie just refused it politely. She told Alison “give the pill to the girl on next bench, she needs it more than I do”. What a generous and big heart-ed Jodie was! I unconsciously shed my tears. It was so touching and inspiring true story! Jodie was survived until she was sent to Australia afterwards. She passed away couples of times after.

Brigid and Alison in the art and computer room

Anyway, this orphanage takes care of 57 Indonesian kids with different social background. Most of them experienced abusive and traumatic life in the past. I met Y ( I put initial here for the sake of her dignity), a beautiful around 7 years old kid who witnessed a murder of her mom that was done by her daddy who committed suicide by drinking poisonous liquid afterwards. I also met a boy whose parents were sent to jail for murdering their boss’ family. There was also a 22 years old boy who previously worked as migrant worker in Singapore, but he wanted to go home to Indonesia, and now he lives in this orphanage.

The kids are wearing T-shirts with Southern German dialect words. Thanks for that, Brigid!

No other expression I can use to represent the life in this orphanage but love! Yes, this house is a place where the children get love, care, and supports. Even if the kids got those unpleasant experiences before, I saw no more misery on their face. Everyone was smiling and live in a cheerful brotherhood ambiance. I witnessed myself how the kids love Alison and Yanto, Alison’s husband. The image I captured was that, yes, Alison is like a mother of 57! She has lot of love to share with! The staffs were also caring to those children. I’m so proud of this orphanage!

This orphanage depends solely on the donation of the people, because the government of Indonesia doesn’t even give tax compliment or so fort. If you want to donate, get more details, or contact them, please visit this orphanage’s website www.careforkidsbali.com

Well, what I’ve learned from this lovely orphanage is that we are a bunch of human race, regardless where we are from, what ethnic group we belong to, what social background we have, and what religion we do believe. I learned a lot that the universal language of the world is love. Thanks Alison and Yanto for taking care those unfortunate Indonesian kids. I really appreciate that 🙂

Then, we went back to hotel with an irreplaceable feeling. Those kids put smile on my face that day. Those kids made me realize that gratitude is altitude. Can’t wait to come back soon!

Categories: Indonesia, Travel Journal | Leave a comment

Exploring Baluran, Indonesia’s Little Africa

baluran

Triggered by a documentary show he has just watched couples days ago  in TV, my brother urged my dad to bring us to Baluran National Park for his school break. As I’ve never been there before, I, without any doubt, confirmed that I’m in. Ironically, in the morning before we went for this trip, I broke up with my (ex)boyfriend. And yeah, coincidentally it turned to be my personal post-break-up refreshment trip. What a great timing!

Well, my intention is not to share my creepy broken-heart thing here. So why don’t we move to the cool part of the story? Exploring Baluran, Indonesia’s little Africa!

Brief Description

Baluran is one of Indonesia’s National Park where animals are protected in their own habitat. Located in Banyuwangi-Situbondo by pass, this park offers a unique combination of Africa-Like savannah ecosystem, the mountain view, and what you’ll get more is the fact that the clean and calm beach (Bama beach)  is just a stone throw away from the savannah.

Getting There

Private Car

Driving private car will be easiest way to get there. I went there from my hometown, Malang, through Pasuruan, Kraksaan, Paiton, and Situbondo. Please check this google map for the driving direction.

Bus

Take the bus to Banyuwangi, and stop at Baluran National Park Office. Then take ojek (motorbike) to the savannah.

Here is my trip’s sum (by private car):

Malang – Baluran National Park Office : 7-8 hours

Baluran National Park Office – Bekol (where bungalows are available to rent) : 1 hours (12 km)

Bekol – Bama beach : 30 minutes

What To Do?

  • Bird and safari animal watching
  • Fishing
  • Cycling (bicycles are available for rent)
  • Canoeing
  • Snorkeling
  • Bottom glass boat trip

Accommodation

There are some bungalows  owned by the national park and located in Bekol savannah are ready to rent. Please check this link  for details and  reservation.

How Can I Feed My Appetite?

Well, better to bring your own foods since food stalls are far away to reach, but cafeteria is available in Bekol Savannah area, next to the bungalows.

Is There Any Notice I Should Pay Attention To?

Well, surprises are what make every trip interesting, huh?. But I think I need to inform you, just beware of the monkeys, especially in Bama beach. It is better not to obviously carry foods, since the monkeys expect you to give them foods. In short, just be cool. Don’t we always want to look cool, even in front of monkeys? haha

Categories: Indonesia, Travel Journal | Leave a comment

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