Bulletin 27 February 2012

Rotary Club Bali Ubud Sunset
District 3400/No.79571
Meeting every Monday at 5:30pm Maya Resort, Ubud

“A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new.”
Albert Einstein


Attending: Allan, Antje, Mr. Chu, Don and Sue B., Janet, LLoyd, Marilyn, Patricia, Philip, Rucina, Sue W, Zsuzsa

Apologies: Alisa (USA), Augie (Thailand), Bruce, Cat (attending to her sister’s funeral in Canada), Danielle, Donna, Driya and Probo, Fred and Mandy (Egypt), Gabe (Sumatra), Rosalind (Nepal), Rustiasa (India), Jody (USA), Kadek, Mary L., Mary Jane (Singapore), Tjok Raka, Bill (Mexico)

Guests: Rtns Bill and Judith Schneider (RC Foster City USA), Rtn Roger Barclay-Edwards (RC Cheltenham North U.K.), Rtn Sandy Crittenden (RC Menlo Park, USA),  Whitney Crittenden (USA),  Michael Goodman, USA, Mike Jorgensen (Canada), Guest Speaker Garrett Kam


Lots of correspondence this week.  From International Chair Rtn Rowan McClean, (RC North Balwyn), excitement as he begins writing his club’s first Global Grant Proposal.  We have a vested interest in his success because we anticipate being Rowan’s host club for a project that would put computers, computer curriculum, and computer training into a bunch of elementary schools.

From Rtn Sheila Henry (RC La Jolla Golden Triangle) a passionate interest in reducing sex trafficking.  (Our own DG Ridlo advised focusing on education rather than our club members considering doing battle with the slimy types of individuals responsible for sex trafficking.  With growth in Rotary membership an important goal, he clearly does not want any of us bumped off).

From Rtn Allan Briggs, RC West Perth, a report on the continuing efforts of his club to finalize a budget to help the distant village of Les where lack of education and resulting poverty leaves the villagers with few options).

Rtns Don and Sue Bennett are putting the final touches on their project proposal to help one of their Bali neighborhood schools.

Woman at Aceh market in Sumatra

And from our Rtn Gabe the following comical message…

‘Still in North Sumatra, about to enter Aceh by sardine bemo (Ed. Note: This is the public transport vehicle)… Please tell our members that I have perfected my story on where my husband is ;)) and practicing my instant jilbab technique.  Also that I am clearly the most interesting event to happen in some of these little towns for some time.  She eats! Look she drinks water!  Let’s practice our two English sentences immediately! Hope you have a great meeting.’

Deja Vu: Ever sit across the room from someone and say to yourself, “I KNOW that person…but who is he?”  Sure enough from RC Menlo Park, USA it was Rtn guest Sandy Crittenden and his daughter holidaying in Bali.  Turns out AG Marilyn has done make-ups at Sandy’s club and a fine club it is!

Rotaract Age Limit Stays at 30: We were a bit unhappy that the Rotary Council on Legislation has ruled against increasing the age limits of Rotaractors.  Several of our Rotaracts are at that magic age of 30 and over the years have set great examples for the younger Rotaracts.  But in every cloud there’s a silver lining….the push is on to bring them into the Rotary fold.  And as experienced Rotaracts, who would be better Rotarian advisors to the younger Rotaracts?

Rtns Alan and VP Rucina told us about preliminary planning for the project with RC North Balwyn.  If it is as large a project as RC North Balwyn is anticipating, it will be a long running effort.  With limited continuity of principals in schools, Allan and Rucina might find themselves annually teaching new principals about their responsibilities to the project.  The project could likely run 24 months or even more!  (Hey, this is Bali…nothing happens quickly.) We may have to beg for some downsizing from our international partner.

PP Sue W had a terrific training adventure at one of the five schools in our GG project.  Now that all the schools have new toilets and running water Sue is intent that those toilets remain CLEAN!  Sue went at Kerta #1 elementary school with Rotaracters Sudana and Kaler teaching the teachers and the students how to properly clean their toilets!!  After Sue polished up one toilet (with a little humorous guidance from the Rotaracts) she turned to the teachers and kids and under Sue’s eagle eye supervision, they cleaned the others.  The good news is that the toilets were in pretty good shape to begin with!!  And after cleaning toilets Sue asked the students to demonstrate the proper way to wash their hands.  Not only did they remember all the necessary steps, most of them insisted on showing Sue how to do it with the real stuff…soap and water!  Good thing we built plenty of wash basins throughout the school grounds or Sue would still be there, waiting for the last student to show how it’s done.  

Sue instructs girls how to get gloves on to prepare for cleaning

Rotaract Sudana demonstrates using the mop

Student demonstrates handwashing to his friends.

Global Grant Evaluation News: A busy day for Sue – from toilets to project evaluation, Sue went on to visit Campuhan College where,  with instruction from our sterling friend-of-Rotary and survey expert Farquhar Stirling, industrious students are doing the data entry for hundreds of pre and post basic hygiene evaluation tests.  Based on observation, the kids really have learned a lot, but we hope the statistical data backs this up.

Thanks to Rtn Zsuzsa, we received a big bagful of spectacles that needed a home – donated by the meditation group of Inner Journey from Oceanside, California and brought over by Sylvia Aurora .  They all ended up at RC Lovina where that club is embarking on a project to test children’s vision and then, for those children needing glasses, providing them.

We’re getting close to 100% membership donations to Every Rotarian Every Year.   Thanks to everyone who has given and thanks to everyone who is on the verge of giving!  100% membership donations can make it possible to send PE Rosalind to the Rotary International Conference in Bangkok for FREE!  Ever generous Rtn Patricia wanted to know, just in case, we don’t receive the needed Presidential Citation, if individual members could pitch in to make sure Rosalind gets to go.  This was met with a resounding YES!!!

Sadly Rtn Zsuzsa is returning to Canada and we’ll miss her a lot.  She and Rtn Antje have made a great little research team for the HIV project.  And speaking of this project, Rtn Bill will be returning to Bali next week and is eager to resume the chair of the project committee.  We’re eager for his return as well.

Pres LLoyd presented acknowledgment certificates to both PPs Sue and Marilyn for their training activities at PETS.  They had so much fun doing the training that they think certificates should be given to the DG for giving them this opportunity.

Antje and Zsuzsa


Garrett Kam

“All About Nyepi”

Our cultural speaker extraordinaire, Garrett Kam, talked to us this evening about Nyepi, the Balinese New Year.  It never comes on exactly the same date each year and in 2012 it will fall on March 23, year 1934 on the Balinese calendar.

Nyepi is also known as the Day of Silence.  On this auspicious day Bali is TRULY silent!  Airports are closed, TV and radio is shut down, and hotel guests are required so stay on their hotel grounds.  Normally busy streets are completely deserted, with the exception of each village’s security whose job is to insure no one else is out and about.  Beginning at sunrise on Nyepi day and ending at sunrise the following day, the New Year is honored by not lighting fire (so no cooking or passion), no entertainment, no working, and remaining cloistered in one’s home.  Most families will cook the day before Nyepi so food is available without breaking the ‘no fire’ rule although devout Balinese Hindus will fast.

Preparation for Nyepi begins a week prior to the New Year date.  Villages hold a cleansing ceremony (melasti) where they take their images of the temple gods down to the sea (or to a river that runs into the sea) to be blessed with holy water.   Schedules for going to the sea are staggered between villages so not everyone is on the road at the same time.  Just envision colorful processions of fully loaded vehicles carrying villagers by the score, full gamelan orchestras, and the most sacred of temple objects wending their way towards the beach.    During this time, don’t expect to easily travel on main roads…they’ll be jammed.

The day before Nyepi is also filled with activity.  This day is Pengerupukan during which every effort is made to frighten off evil spirits.  At mid-day villagers will gather at their crossroads to pray and as the day progresses noise increases to ever increasing volumes as each household beats pots and pans, waves firebrands throughout their property, and yells at the top of their lungs…the intent being to shoo away those malicious evil spirits.

And finally the evening before Nyepi, there are parades of Ogoh-ogoh, the nastiest and meanest (and sometimes comedic) looking demons you could possibly imagine.  Constructed of papier mache, bamboo, metal, bamboo and every other imaginable material, Ogoh-ogoh are a reasonably recent addition to the New Year celebration, first appearing about 30 years ago.  Each village constructs their own version of a demon…not only to be scary but also to illustrate the artists’ inventiveness and ingenuity!   Traditionally, the Ogoh-ogoh are burned that night, but some have become so elaborately creative they are collector’s items.

And Nyepi Day?  There is nothing quite like it in the entire world.  Twenty-four hours of peaceful and total silence.  No electric lights to compete with a night time sky filled with brilliant stars.  An uninterrupted time to think, meditate, be totally relaxed.  An entire island population in complete calm.  If it only came more than once a year. 

More BIG * Rotary Events Coming Up

And practically in our backyard, the Rotary International Conference will be held in Bangkok May 6 to 9, 2012.  It’s not likely to get much closer to Bali for years to come so if you can, REGISTER!  Many of our international project partners will attend and it will be our chance to meet them face to face and thank them for all their past help and support.

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