Empty in Bali

An close elderly Aussie friend and his Balinese partner sent me the following. They are trying to save her family from hunger.

My partner Wayan comes from a part of Bali that frankly, with the onslaught of Covid, has turned to shit for some. The north east area of Bali is generally not well off, suffering from a poorer soil and dryer climate which renders it unsuitable for rice production.
Wayan’s home village of Siakin is fairly typical of others in that part with pockets of extreme poverty. And now, due to Covid, those pockets are suffering greatly. In particular those without family support, no land to grow food on or run chooks and especially some of the elderly, certainly those who are widows and some others who have lost employment and have no back up.
They need a leg up. We’d like to help some from the village of Siakin and also a few from nearby, some of whom are quite isolated and very affected by the general lack of income in Bali at this time, their families working in Denpasar but with children to feed and travel back to the village curtailed anyway in a rigid lockdown.
Using only Wayan’s immediate family as the driving force. One brother, Pak Nengah is principal of the local secondary school and is highly respected throughout Kintamani and the other brother Pak Nyoman works at the nearby primary school in Administration. Also Wayan’s son Putu, niece Mitha and three nephews, Gede, Amon and Kadek will assist with packing and deliveries.
The plan is to distribute small and very basic parcels of food. Beginning with 36 souls and sending out 5kg of rice, packets of noodles, cooking oil and eggs. Other than food purchase, a little for petrol and the occasional Ute hire there are no other costs involved. Receipts are provided and other records kept of frequency, purchases, deliveries etc.

We’ll set up a separate bank account and that will be transferred as needed to Bali for supply purchases.
We hope this scheme is needed only for the duration of the present emergency.
So far we’ve seeded it and have now run short of funds to continue except in a small way.
Understanding that this is a difficult time for most we ask that those who are able may forward a small donation to the bank account.
BSB 733018 / account no. 644291.
If able to help in a small way your kindness will have the gratitude of hungry people. Some recipients, after a surprise delivery, have been reduced to tears. We have requested photographs of those receiving to indicate the level of need. Here are a few.
On behalf of the battlers of Siakin

Thank you Colin & Wayan

COPROPHAGIA – The Sport That Will Not Die

In an earlier blogpost I wrote of the obscure pleasure of sharing my breakfast cereal (Grape Nuts – made in the USA by POST, certified kosher) with mice. In return for the cereal they had eaten the mice left me small crescent shaped items between my Grape Nuts, black in colour (mark that observation – it is significant), that had no strong flavour but retained undoubted nutrient residues.

Today I shared coffee with cats. The cats in question – civets – live in Bali, Sumatra and Sulawesi. They eat raw coffee beans, process them and return them to local farmers who sell them to gullible visitors.These people, being tourists, have more money than the locals. My brother was one of these and he purchased some beans. On his return he gifted them to me. He told me they were a form of catshit, they tasted good and I should grind and drink. It sounded like bullshit so I googled “Bali Coffee Luwak”. Wiki said my brother did not lie. Apparently the black Luwak rivals Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee for flavour. Years back took out a bank loan and bought a thimbleful of the Jamaican. It was indeed good.

I opened the matchbox sized pack of brother beans. They were a familiar black colour. I ground them fine, added hot water, waited, then drank the infusion. Splendid!

I am grateful to the frugal farmers of Bali. They set an admirable example of thrift. And they give rise to wonder: what goodness, what nutritional value, what flavour sensation do we waste when we press the larger button in the bathroom?

There is probably something to gain in sifting the kitty litter too.