Feels SO GOOD to be done and you can tell a major weight has been lifted from everyone’s shoulders. I feel as though I just got a hot stone massage and a hair cream bath and a foot massage all at once (I might go do that actually). Everyone’s presentations are done and portfolios handed in. Some of the community members came to ARMA to hear what we had to say. Unfortunely, the representatives from the Bali Spirit Festival or Rotary Club were not able to attend. Our group did however meet with the Bali Spirit Festival yesterday to pitch our idea. They were very receptive and we recieved some great feedback. I’m so proud of my group (especially Kim) for dealing with last minute issues that were out of our control, yet we still managed to pull through with a great project.
It’s now our last day in Ubud and I realized that I’m going to miss several things about this place…
1) The Balinese students :(
2) Gecko’s on every ceiling and wall
3) Pizza Bagus’s chicken sandwich
4) Getting ripped off at the sort of convience store across from Panorma (just kidding, that’s actually wicked annoying)
5) The peverted statues…everywhere
6) The Monkey Forest
7) Frog pee swimming pool
8) Spas on every corner
9) Street DOGS!
10) Fried Bananas
11) Hearing “Transport?” 20 plus times when walking to Circle K
Although group reflection was cancelled the other night, I had a bit of a self-reflection on my own. I feel like I’ve been a little negative lately and I hope to turn it around the last week of our project. Although I’m under the weather, I’m going to embrace this week with a positive attitude and prepare for our proposal presentation on friday. And really, what do I have to complain about?
Mini Mart’s hot dogs rival the late night street sausages in Boston. Kuta was a lot of fun; a much needed break from our projects. Kuta: the home of foam parties, motorbike crashes, lost friends, cheap drinks, stripper poles and Austrailians. I’m not suprised that we found a syringe on the beach this afternoon, but I can appreciate Kuta for all it’s touristy goodness.
Vision: Kuta will make us happy.
Mission: The students of NU Global Corps will have fun to curb frustration by clubbing and surfing in Kuta this weekend with the belief that Ryan would have wanted us to…?
Yesterday our group visited Denpasar to continue our action research. We have five major contacts in the city - Bali Plus Foundation, Yayasan Kerti Praja, School of Public Health Udayana University, Dinas Kesehantan and the Prodia Lab. We had a couple of doors slammed in our face; however, we did receive some useful contact information. Today, Zach mingled with David Cuper, a well known and active member of the local rotary club. A few years back he headed a HIV/AIDS awareness initiative and Zach picked his brain for a few hours. Anna went to Bali Hati to speak with Yacintha E. Desembriartista (aka Daisy) to learn about the organization’s programs. Our group has a meeting scheduled with Dr. Wirawan next Tuesday - the man who EVERYONE has referred us to. Very exciting stuff!
I’m so tired. I got an aloe vera facial today. Group reflection was awkward. Good night
The Bali Spirit Festival put the spirit right back into our project. Today, Zach, Putu and I visited their headquarters in Ubud where we spoke with WeWe - the head of the “Ayo! Kita Bicara HIV/AIDS!” program. The Bali Spirit Festival has a vision to evolve into a premiere international holistic wellness & world music destination, while leading to a positive change in the community. The festival founders are working to create HIV/AIDS awareness programs through “Ayo! Kita Bicara HIV/AIDS!” to alert families about this rising issue. Wewe explained that they provide workshops in high schools across Bali promoting prevention, knowledge, and spiritual well-being. Our group (HIV + Positif: Kita Bisa Rubah) has a focus on promoting HIV education and testing within the local community. We have hopes of collaborating with this organization’s efforts to bring affordable or free testing for the Balinese that attend the free family day the last day of the festival. Wewe also put us in touch with helpful contacts within other organizations in Denpasar. Everyone and everything seems to be connected in Bali - the night festival is hosted at ARMA and “Ayo! Kita BicaraHIV/AIDS!” works with Campuhan College…
The headmaster and a friendly English teacher at the high school SMAN 1 Ubud (the largest public high school in Ubud) helped our group understand the extent of sex and HIV/AIDS education available in their high school. The high school has approximately 700 students enrolled, ages 17-19 years old. They also explained the way the high school curriculum works and we have an appointment to meet with the Biology teacher (the person responsible for teaching sex education) tomorrow at 10am.
Anna and Kim visited several clinics in Ubud, speaking with doctors and nurses to learn the protocol of HIV testing, prevention and care in Ubud. The answer was: it’s almost non-existent and they were always pointed to the capital, Denpasar. This confirms the need for our initiative in Ubud for HIV testing and our next action research destination: Denpasar.
Matt Coviello is Spider Man.
View from our bungalow in Amed.
The beach bungalows in Amed were incredible; black sand beaches, hammocks to nap in, outdoor waterfall showers, snorkeling and bonfires. Saturday was quite possibly one of the most relaxing and carefree days of my life. I’d love to be a beach bum someday…
Now that it’s Monday, that means it’s time to get back to work. The reality that our community development project is going to be a long and difficult process is starting to set in. The mood was heavy today in class; hopefully by the end of the week everyone will have a better grasp on their research and will gain a positive outlook.