Small things

Last day at Nusa Lembongan … Armed with only the iphone for a camera these pictures represent some of the colour, uniqueness of everyday life on Lembongan reflective of the Hindu culture and lifestyle.



Our little friend who found us each day and came walking with us each day, often he would find us on a completely different beach, or we would find him, but then he was always back at his home each morning ready for a new day! It was a dog life!


Sekolah Desar Negeri 1 Jungutbatu

A visit to the school at the Northern end of Nusa Lembongan, Jungutbatu highlighted the basic resources of the schools in Lembongan and Bali and beyond. While the building was only 7 years old, after the old school was condemned, the building is not standing the test of time well and looks well beyond the 7 years. Constant humidty takes its toll on buildings. Children come to school with buckets of sand or water each morning to help the schools essential resources and at the end of the day the children, armed with brooms sweep the school clean again ready for a new day. Immaculate as always in their uniforms the children were happy and busy at play when we arrived. There were signs of some poverty as a couple of students were out of uniform and had no shoes. Adopt a school is able to coordinate sponsorship of identified students in need of sponsorship for $100 a year you can sponsor a child’s school needs for a year including shoes and uniforms. For more info go to


It was a pleasure to entertain the students on my own although I did miss my 33+ new friends, many of whom were much better equipped to have all the students up singing and dancing than me, although an ECE background left me with the usual favourites to teach.

Sekolah Desar Negeri 1 Jungutbatu is part of the Adopt a School program – AdoptASchool actively promotes partnerships between sister schools and their communites in Bali and Western Australia, to enrich and support the educational environment for students and educators. While their sister school is Cocos Islands District High School but I could not help but arrange a visit to yet another school. It is such an enriching experience to see these schools and how happy the children and teachers are. If you are in a WA school and don’t have a sister school in Asia or Bali you might like to contact Adopt a School at as there are many schools that would value and appreciate any support educational or fundraising that you can muster. I know our school community are very supportive of our sister school in Pelaga, many parents and staff visit annually.



Ceningan and Nusa Pendida

Yesterday we went to check out the Cenigan Island Manta Point surf break. A fantastic motor bike ride over to the island albeit very bumpy, the scene between the islands is rows and rows of seaweed farms. We passed a Sekolah that was a private school to train high school students for the hotel and tourism industry. Between Cenigan and Pendida, another island though is a very deep channel, the island looks very quiet and peaceful with some accomodation at the north end.





Nusa Lembongan

After a grueling tour it is great to relax at Nusa Lembongan … Apart from the day trippers it is a very quiet location on the clear waters facing Bali. landing in Lembongan be prepared to be wet as their are no jetties and you jump from the boat into knee deep water. Your bags are carried by the ever efficient boat crews who mostly carry everything on shoulders and heads. We never saw them drop anything.

Nusa Lembongan offers the relaxation, beaches and food of Bali without the crowds, nightclubs and heavy traffic. In fact Nusa Lembongan doesn’t even have an ATM and common sense says change money in Bali before you come over as the rate isn’t as good as Bali. The islands population are seaweed farmers, the seaweed goes into ice cream, cosmetics and paint, go figure. There are very few cars, mostly little trucks used to carry supplies and tourists to their bungalows. many tourists use push bikes to get around but at $5-7 a day you can hire a motor bike as soon as you get off the boat. It’s so easy to get around and after a couple of days pretty hard to get lost on an island 2×4 km. The roads however are pretty rough, make sure you don’t have a full bladder before you head off! Nusa Ceningan is a short bike ride and then the third island Nusa Penida only accessible by boat and is not set up for tourists.

Accommodation is abundant and varied, from beautiful villas with hot water, chefs, swimming pools and wifi to basic bungalows with cold water and many still with wifi or pools. Everywhere is either on the beach or a few hundred metres walk to the beach. If you like it quiet, enjoy water sports, and there are great surf beaches and breaks at playgrounds, lacerations and shipwrecks on the main beach and then Ceningan’s offers a massive swell when nothing else is working.




After a fun filled closing dinner on the beach at Sanur we said farewells as on Friday all but three of us set of for Australia. Three of us stayed on for another week of relaxation on Bali or Nusa Lembongan.

The study tour was a wonderful journey through Java and landing in Bali for a last day of relaxation, shopping, massages or spas for the uninitiated. A closing ceremony dinner allowed for an evening of celebration, fond farewells and festivities on the beach front at Sanur.


Indonesian construction – wall removals 101


A big thank you to ACICIS, especially professor David Reeve for his guidance and deep knowledge of Indonesia and to our wonderful tour coordinator Dimas, the trip would not have been so memorable if not for the wonderful preparation and coordination and care of the ACICIS staff, the university students who accompanied up each day and to David Armstrong for his support back home in leading up to the trip.



SMP Negeri 4 Bebandem Karangasen

Wow what another amazing experience, as with all schools in Asia you are always made to feel like a celebrity or royalty when you visit, treated as very special guests, the children all came to school in their holidays (not to mention staff) so we could experience the Balinese school day. I think the pictures say it all …

We arrived to a grand performance of immaculately dressed students either in uniform or traditional costumes flanking us on each side singing welcome songs and waving the Indonesian and Australian flags. We were then escorted through to a grand outdoor area set up for us with a ground level stage area were we were formally welcomed by the Principal and Ministry of education official, both humble and welcoming and treating us like we were the heads of the Australian education departments! If we were, one thing for sure is we would all be staunch advocates of Asia education.

20120712-125633.jpgAfter a breathtaking student performance of traditional dance we were left to walk around the grounds and see the students in classes. Students loved our interaction as much as we appreciated and loved meeting them, it was a mutual excitement and interest in another culture on both parts. A spectacular lunch of mouth watering Indonesian dishes (about 15 to choose from) with a choice for every palette was sensational but as I took my plate out another performance had begun. Torn between more photos and eating the wonderful food I took a bite and grabbed up the camera again, and you can see why! I did eventually get through my wonderful lunch though.




Carol had a memorable 49th birthday as you can see from us all staying up till midnight the night we arrived to sing her happy birthday to her being sung happy birthday by a whole school. Staff and the principal, also on holidays of course, while taking a back seat to the students were so friendly, interesting and overwhelmingly supportive and helpful in making sure our visit was nothing more than one of the highlights of our trip, which of course it was, as all the school visits always are.


Bali – Island of the gods

Selamat datang Bali! The smog has gone, the sun is out, the sky is blue, all the things we take for granted each day in Australia. But of course Bali has so much more, a rich Hindu culture abounds, the Balinese people, like all Indonesians are happy, warm and welcoming.

Today we head off to one of the BRIDGE sister schools so stay tuned …




Batik and jewellery creations

In the last day at Jogjakarta we spent creating and making our own batik and silver jewellery, or was that watching the real artists at work help shape the batik and jewellery that was to become ours! Varying degrees of creativity and independence were discovered!

Photos to come I need to find a better wifi. Soon!




Well today is a sad day for those following pictures as I’ve lost my memory card’!!!!!!!! In the hotel room!!!! Ok lunch time now and in a cafe with wifi. T
he memory card didn’t turn up but Lauren and I tortured a becak driver (we paid him well) who took us from the batik workshop to the electronics shop, bit of a coo that place for the electronics buffs! Anyway I bought a new card and am back in business, and other card had been emptied so all good!




A village life, Borobodor and more

Well words escape me right now due to time constraints, tiredness and the volume of what I would need to say to do everything justice, so here are the pictures and words will come …

Borobudur, or Barabudur, is a 9th-century Mahayana Buddhist monument in Magelang, Central Java, Indonesia. The monument consists of six square platforms topped by three circular platforms, and is decorated with 2,672 relief panels and 504 Buddha statues. A main dome, located at the center of the top platform, is surrounded by 72 Buddha statues seated inside a perforated stupa. (from Wikipedia)


Borobodor was first stop for the day on Sunday a splendor of ancient design and craftsmanship.


From Borobodor it was another bus drive but a window seat always makes the bus drive interesting.


From Borobodor we headed off to the village of Sumber where the heads of the three local villages welcomed us into their homes and village life. Planning was of course perfect as we arrived the day of a grand festival of music and dance out on in aid of the ‘chicken sponsorship’ program whe children of the villages are given a chicken to raise … We had lunch in the common eating room, another grand selection of Tempe, rice, soup, tofu, cabbage, carrot, sambal and more. From here we went to watch the festival with half of the people from the close by villages all watching from every vantage point. A highlight of the dancers was definitely the children, the two little boys with their bamboo horses definitely stole the show! The children are amazing to watch dancing, they take the dancing very seriously and watch their elder children and full in line.

We returned to the common room to be allocated to our villages for the village home stay. back to the village for a team dinner then some went back to watch the festival were our village leader, the Sumber village, Bapak Damar was one of the fine performers! But some of us were weary at days end and headed off to our varied village accommodation spread across the three villages, all within walking distance of each other. At three am the roosters were at it, at four thirty it was call to prayer from the loudspeaker at the mosque handy for us this was fit next door, then five am the roosters set back to it and then the dogs joined in, by six the cat had even joined in. Best to fall and rise early in Java I think! Surprisingly after being used to Bali there are very few dogs around the villages, those that are in houses are caged, I only saw about 5 dogs in all, but I seemed to hear many more!