Bali Journal 3: A Day Apart….

EBPP Celebration

Sometimes will drop into your life announced. But in our case we had plenty of advance warning.

A couple years back, Donna and I had met David Booth and learned of the work he had accomplished through his organization, East Bali Poverty Project. This morning, as we rolled down the gravel drive of Villa Gayatri in Ubud, with Gusti at the wheel, planning, hope and circumstance had four of Donna’s company icons-ambassadors and film maker Aaron Marcelino  aboard for the 2 hour drive into the mountains of East Bali.

We had been invited to attend a festival where most of the children who had been educated through the project would be participating in one great big party of sorts. That much we knew for sure.

In 1998 David Booth had found the tribe which had been cut off from Balinese society by circumstance and the simple fact that no one thought to ever look for them. No one is exactly sure where the tribe came from but suspected that maybe it had been Lombok, due to the people bearing a strong resemblance to those who reside on that island.

A volcano eruption, poor diet, a persistent problem with goiter and a few other environmentally related issues had combined to provide a lack of real history due to memory loss. In effect, these people are the tribe that the world had forgotten. Such was the poverty endemic to the area when David found them, that they themselves knew little of their ancestral past. In terms of Western understanding THAT is true loss and deprivation: not having a history. No connection to anything. The ability to smile which is such a part of Balinese culture: it was simply not there.

I will not attempt to communicate how EBPP exactly restored hope and at he same time implemented the tribe as a model of social and environmental restoration right now. I will simply say that the feat is of such scope, that as I met and interacted with the children this day I had a hard time keeping back the tears, because I understood that not only did these children have hope, but that a future now exists where only death and oblivion had loomed prior.

We are hard at it, and time is short for writing and imaging, but I hope that in future I will have more available, in order to tell the complete story.

So I will let the images do the talking. And later the motion picture may as well, document this day that occurred in a dry river wash in the lee of the volcano which had almost obliterated a tribe.

They are back. And in their return, David Booth has shown us a way that we can transform our own society potentially. It is a great story that will make the world smile. We all need hope. No matter what our lot in life.

At days end, at the home and in the temple of our friend Gusti Made Merta, prayers of thanksgiving went up, Christian with the Hindu. And you realized what the affect of a life could be, and for some maybe ought to be and for a few will be. Hate, division and separation are odd and common bedfellows. Love is a better way.  It is much stronger. We saw the affects of it today.

The Drive
The Drive
Pit Stop: The Road Up.
Pit Stop: The Road Up.
Children of EBPP
Children of EBPP
Must NOT Smile (She did)
Must NOT Smile (She did)
Beauty
Beauty
David Booth, a Child's View
David Booth, a Child's View
Sidelined for a Moment
Sidelined for a Moment
A few tents in sandy wash
A few tents in sandy wash
Weaving and Sowing Vetiver grass
Weaving and Sowing Vetiver grass
Games
Games

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Ready Set...
Ready Set...
What an Ambassador really does.
What an Ambassador really does.
Mary and David Booth and  a couple hundred friends
Mary and David Booth and a couple hundred friends
Dance
Dance
Ecoturin: Sustainable Culture
Ecoturin: Sustainable Culture

7 Responses to Bali Journal 3: A Day Apart….

  1. wow… the most powerful photographic images for me are of nature, children and shows of force/strength.

    A child’s sad countenance or a look, draw something up out of my own past from those moments, emerging into awareness, starting to ‘get it’..
    Thanks so much David.

  2. Seeing the young woman weaving the grass tells everything. There is a future for her, her family, her people and her community. The picture captures what words cannot.

    I cannot wait to see this film, to hear the whole story, and to share with my network of friends and associates.

    Thank you for sharing this precious moment in time.

  3. Echoing the above comments David, looking forward to more. The images as ever are beautiful and moving. The shot of the two girls with arms round each other is iconic and to me at least says so much by saying so little, hope, community, simplicity, friendship, beauty.

  4. These images really evoke the emotions in a special and very good way David. I pray that these and the movie to come bear more fruit for these people. The eyes always tell the story for me. That whole windows to the soul thing. God Bless you all.

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