Finishing Up In Tigawasa

On October 18, 2011, in Clean Water Project News, by jon

The project in Tigawasa has been completed recently, and there are hundreds of people now enjoying access to water just several meters from their homes.

Festive atmosphere at the community gathering place.

Prior to final completion, we tested pipes, pumps, and electricity several times per week.  Because they were test runs only, this meant a lot of water being pumped up the mountain that did not necessarily have a place to be stored.  It was awesome to see the people from the village swarm to the pipes with their buckets, pots, and containers.  It was like a big party…  Kids were taking baths, people were laughing, and really enjoying the fact that hundreds of gallons of water were available without a long walk down the mountainside.

On the fourth of October, the village had the official ceremony at the bale banjar (community gathering place).  It was a formal occasion to mark the completion of the project along with the transferring of responsibility from Access Life Bali to the people of Tigawasa.  There were representatives from the local government offices, the Australian Consulate, the ALB team, along with a journalist from RRI (Radio Republic Indonesia).

Pak Nyoman doing an interview with journalist from RRI.

After the formal ceremony, there was a religious ceremony to dedicate the site of the main water tank.  Water has a big spiritual significance in Bali, and the priests came to do all the appropriate offerings.  It was a complex process and small offerings had to be carried up the mountainside to all the tanks and pipes.  As the offerings were being distributed, the rest of the people enjoyed a traditional Balinese meal complete with lawar (pig meat along with other ‘additions’), cooked jackfruit, and starfruit leaves.

It was a great day in Tigawasa!  They had lots of thanks for the work and perseverance of the Access Life Bali team along with everybody that supports the work of ALB.

Happy to have clean water.

On a side note, one of the more popular parts of the Tigawasa project was the construction of some very basic shower heads and clothes washing stations.  It only consisted of two large overflow reservoirs with 6 raised faucets and three raised surfaces to do washing.  It was sort of an afterthought on our part, but it proved to be a big hit.  People started coming from other areas to take a shower and wash clothes.  On several afternoons, there were over a hundred people waiting, washing, and hanging out.


Getting a renewed lease on life

On October 12, 2011, in Mobility Aid Project News, by sashi

Today a team of ALB folk (a visiting OT from Australia, Melinda Conroy; 2 of the ALB staff, Lisa and Arie; and Carolyn our translator friend) visited Mrs Rumi, a 95 year old great grandmother who lives in the Denpasar area. She had a dislocated hip 6 years ago which Melinda  thought had never healed properly and since then she has had a number of other falls. She received a wheelchair from us 6 months ago but never used it. Her family didn’t see how useful the wheelchair could be and thought it would be easier to move her manually from place to place ( esp as there were stairs that she couldn’t negotiate with the wheelchair). The wheelchair had been consigned to a shed and was literally gathering dust and cobwebs. When the team arrived, Mrs Rumi was sitting on the concrete floor of the house’s central courtyard, feeling pretty despondent and  said that she just wish she could die!

The team started thinking of options for her mobility. They realised crutches were not an option due to the amount of falls she had already sustained as well her age being a consideration.  The courtyard of the house was quite big and flat and potentially Mrs Rumi couldlearn to wheel herself around this area and be part of the daily activities, many of which take place in this courtyard. The team offered to tailor some foam seating for her wheelchair ( after it had been cleaned up of course) that would make it more comfortable for her use.

Melinda taught Mrs Rumi how to move forwards, backwards and turning around in her wheelchair  so she could get around the courtyard by herself- though this really was a team effort as Melinda gave instructions in English and Carolyn and Arie translated them into Indonesian. Before long,she was whizzing around the courtyard , smiling and enjoying her independence! The team even came up with a creative way to use the stair/step for her to be able to get into and out of the wheelchair with minimal assistance.

Mrs Rumi can sit in the chair to do some of her chores or jobs that they can give her to do. Her family had not really expected her to help out around the house because of her lack of mobility and her age. But the team were able to show that Mrs Rumi CAN help out a bit more – this should give her more of a sense of purpose and of being needed which would help with her emotional stability and some hope for living.

Ibu Rumi being helped into her chair by her grandson

Showing her how to wheel herself around

A gentle smile as she relishes the independence her mobility has given to her