If there is one thing I absolutely love about being in Asia, is that there is always something new and different each day. With the energy and your surroundings, it is very easy to feel alive in this country.
For the last 4 days as I drive to and from the Orphanage on the back of a scooter, I have gotten to know my route. There is always this one corner that is ridiculously congested, and I love watching these scooters and cars work their way though this maze. There really is no method to the madness.
As I sit and watch “how much one can carry” on a scooter, I see families with their children, large bags of rice and even chickens getting a ride. Many would think, “Wow what chaos, how can people commute and actually live like this?” But last night, I was in a taxi, en route home from the beach and my driver said to me, “Bali, is very very good. Very good.” And I responded, “Yes my friend, Bali is very good.”
The Balinese people have one of the most grateful cultures. Every morning you will see them placing Canang Sari, daily balinese offerings out on their walkway, in front of their homes, stores etc. It is offered everyday as a form of being thankful and grateful for the peace in their world. It is a small palm palm-leaf basket that is filled with colourful flowers, all having different meaning. They are also lit with incense. Considering Hinduism is very concerned with the relationship between humanity and the environment, it is put back into nature and replaced with a new one each day.
I feel extremely grateful to be given the opportunity to work at the Jodie O’Shea Orphanage. Every morning I arrive, not only am I greeted with hugs from the children, the staff are so welcoming. It truly takes a village to keep this place functioning.
The Jodie O’shea Orphanage was started in 2005 by a British lady named Alison Chester. When the Bali bomb went off in 2002, outside a nightclub, 202 people were killed. Alison recalls asking a friend who worked at the hospital how she could help. She was assigned to Jodie, a young 29 year old Australian girl, who was in Bali celebrating her new business. When Jodie was offered more morphine, she declined it, telling them to give it to someone who needed it more than her. Jodie died and Alison was so inspired by this young lady, that she decided to set up the orphanage in her memory.
Over the last 4 days it has been truly remarkable to see how many individuals have walked through the doors, offering their assistance.
On Tuesday, a group arrived with 6 laptops that they had transported as a family, from donations in Australia. A young couple who were on their one year anniversary, took some of the children grocery shopping, returning with bags of food. Small gifts have been received, today there were “bubbles” and balloons dropped off.
There is a also a store on site with necklaces, bracelets, paintings etc, all made via the children. All donations going to the Orphanage with some of the money going direct to the children who created these.
I have more stories from my past 4 days. However I am sitting in a restaurant, located right next to my hotel and I started a conversation with a lady by the name of Tania, She grew up in Bosnia during the war. She just showed me pictures of her children, and grandchildren…she has many health issues and is in Bali for two weeks to have some independence from her family.
It is 9:14pm and she has asked if I would like to walk down to the beach. My plan was to have an early night as I am up tomorrow morning at 7am for work.
However I can tell she would like some company so I will join her.
Off I go……xo
I love you sis,