Thursday, January 17, 2013

Rotary - Bandung calls.

When Suki, our community Director for The Rotary Club of Pantai Valley announced a trip to Bandung, W. Java to sign a Sister Club agreement with the RC Bandung Braga Metropolitan (BBM), I swung into action. Time to fly again!

9 of us took an early flight to Bandung. Our arrival was eagerly awaited by Past AG Dewi and PP Prima who warmly greeted us at the airport and arranged for our smooth transfer to Hotel Palais Dago.

It was true Rotary fellowship throughout our stay. We got a good idea of the community services  BBM is delivering  to the community. To name a few: pondok baca , library in the box for young children, street children  project,  support for Thalassemia, glasses for school children etc;  the major one being the Clean Water  Project with RC Hoorns Netherlands. This major project took 5 years to get off the ground and we were justly proud to see the water tanks as we got into Pasir Layung  Now some 420  homes  are reaping the committed efforts and folks are relieved of the utter laborious daily chore of carrying water  and risking lives due to the steep terrain.

I was also excited as during my years as a storyteller for kids, here was a golden chance  to do it in Pasis Layung, Bandung.With Ernita who adeptly told in Bahasa Indonesia, the kids had a jolly enjoyable time.

The Sister Club agreement  was signed at President Lanny Lim's lovely home with a special meal to tickle out taste buds. Conversation interspersed with Rotary news and getting -to - know - you stuff.

What else did we do? We shopped but felt it suffered somewhat as the peak season of Xmas and New Year  had just finished. Nevertheless, our purses felt lighter. Couldn't help it - the retail therapy does work ! Up at the Tangkuban Perahu Crater, I thought I'd be swept back to Kuala Lumpur without having to occupy an AirAsia seat!! Luckily, it turned out fine. Browsing the many shops  was  a delight. Mention spa for tired bodies - we threw our bodies  willingly on the beds. At Pak Wibowo's  silkworm farm, we  got friendly with the millions of silkworms and enjoyed a yummy Sundanese lunch. A library by the BBM is sited at the farm with a playground to boot.

With Rotary on our minds, the brother-sisterhood  relations just got bigger. Not only that, the fun and learning, transference of ideas got our brains ticking for what we can achieve for our folks at home. All this, in the 4 days spent in Bandung. Thank you, Rotary Club of Bandung Braga Metropolitan. See in in July for our Installation!

President Lanny Lim  and Pres Mohamad Abdullah with a certificate each to seal the Sister Club agreement.

The team that supervises the Water Project between Bandung Braga Metropolitan and RC Hoorns Netherlands.  What a  relief for 420 families of 2,520 people! Folks do not have to negotiate the 45 degree slopes and heights of 45 metres.

Jump, clap, shake, cry, laugh with the kids - it's interaction prior to storytelling

A donation from Bandung Braga Metropolitan to some families.

A big  picture book  helps - Who will chase the goats out of the turnip field? It kept the kids guessing.

A delightful morning for the  kids - donations, gifts, storytime and bubble - blowing and lots of cheer

My co-storyteller, Rtn. Ernita with this boy who gave a v. good answer to the last question posed at the end of the story. 

Bubbly bubbles at his command!

Energetic young and old Rotarians who go about their community service so splendidly. Kudos!
Fellowship and learning go hand - in - hand

Pak Wibowo, owner of Wisata Ilmu Sutera Bandung -  85 year old, still going strong and  an active  Rotarian. Behind him is is first loom.

Library at  Pak Wibowo's farm

Hope my brief encounter  gave him a little cheer for the day.

On the way to Tangkuban Perahu crater, we popped in to check out this hotel. Like it?  It's the GH Universal Hotel.

So that's where the rabbit fur becomes cuddly toys etc. etc.

Only came home with Cepot ( red face)  due to lugguage constraints.

Every Sunday morning between 6  - 10 am , the  ? 3 km stretch at our hotel is closed to traffic - time to cycle. walk , make music, sell crafts, food. etc. Isn't it  wonderful ? - mix and play and earn  

The music filtered to our hotel  and I came to investigate.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Christmas in Lennox Head

We had a family getaway in Lennox Head, a seaside village on a stretch of coast between Byron Bay and Ballina in New South Wales. With Coolangatta as our destination via AirAsia, it was great as getting  to my sis-in-law's beach bungalow was just an hour's drive on the Pacific H'way.

This was  our second visit.And another memorable one -  great hospitality , lovely meals and the company of relatives from Brisbane and friends, the beach walks and making friends with  Helder who hails from Portugal was regularly fishing by the beach, near the bungalow. He showed me how to prepare the fishing rod  for a catch.

Xmas lunch was specially cooked by a mother and daughter team. Boxing Day was a family affair with rellies from Brisbane and friends from Casino. It was BBQ time! Certainly Xmas is very unlike what we had experienced in Europe. I think my Xmas hat made the extra impact to say, 'Christmas is here!!'

All in, we had a truly wonderful time, in a relaxed way in Lennox. Then it was time to enjoy Sydney and we flew from Ballina via JetStar. Sydney was bustling with people. It was a treat to watch the New Year fireworks from a house atop  a hill in RoseBay . Imagine seeing Sydney Opera House and the Harbour and the night sky aglow with colours.

Happy 2013 everyone. Hope you have a happy and healthy year.

Our view from the balcony. The rush of the waves is music to our ears.

Lake Ainsworth ,a freshwater lake  north of the village which has tannin-stained waters  due to the tea trees grown there.

Lennox Point - popular with surfers and hang-gliders

Merry Xmas!

Got a chance to hold Helder's fishing rod

A friendly wave from Helder - fishing's done!

Lennox Point

A lovely day which beachcombers can't resist
Paddle surfing
The beauty of the waves

From Pat Morton  Lookout
This is where I strolled