Miss T Loves…
… To curl up in front of the fireplace when autumn chill lurk around the house. Home hot home.
Annika Jonasson founded Hang on hangers some years ago to help poor woman and children in Bangkok’s Khlong Toie-district. Our third day in Bangkok we visited her charity business for an inspirational talk about goals and dreams for the project and involved women. She tells us about the hardship these women meet and that beingable to work from home making decorating hangers that Annika threw friends and family try to sell in Sweden and elsewhere actually make a difference. Annika hope to sell more hangers soon since she found an agent in Sweden but still friends coming to visit help with distribution because otherwise it takes two months by boat.
Annika Jonasson not only try to provide work for several women in Khlong Toie, she also help them as a kind of social worker and seem to be almost like a mom to some. She has promised to take the women in the network on holiday and raised money among friends enough to build two small houses for a family.
So, maybe you now understand why hang on hangers is such a great name on this hearty project. Annika Jonasson is a true rolemodell and was this year elected Smålänning of the year (Årets Smålänning) in here home region by the biggest radiostation, Sveriges Radio Jönköping. She says “sure I was supriced and happy but it also put a lot of pressure on me to succed”.
We have met some people here that give so much currage and inspiration by there choosen path.
Here at Gili air we run into one of the few Swedes, Jimmy from Karlskoga. Had a chat in a dive bar when we were out hunting for a place to stay some more nights. He invited us to come and have lunch the next day at his to be restaurant at Blue Marine dive center.
The next day we met up at the dive center. He has worked all morning preparering the bar and kitchen for opening. We are sort of the first guest but he tells us that before the grand opening he will train the kitchen staff to swedish standard for one month, one dish at the time. He wants to have traditional indonesian food on the menu and served a type of Gado Gado with water spinach, peanut butter sause and rice – only left out the unhealthy glutamate taste commonly used here, that Jimmy has set his mind to fight in his own kitchen.
He tells us he is a trained chef, has worked on some resturants but no fancy once but as a UN-military chef at mission in Bosnia and Croatia during the war. About four years ago he was washed up on this small island and did four months as a diving coach.
He stayed on, met a beautiful woman and has soon finished the building of their house, a architectural creations by one englishman discribed as the house of the Teletubies, at least the oddest house on Gili I dare to say and it is unusually big too with five bedrooms and a basement. He tells us it has been an experience to build it, he also seem to feel a bit ashamed for the low saleries the builders make but at the same time says he pays better than others and also offers dinner so they can save some of what they ern. Almost everything of the gods, both grocery and brick, has to be transported the island by boat. According to Jimmy transportation by boat and hourse (only option on the island) stands for about 30 percent of the building cost.
The first month he will only cater for the staff at the diving center, he says the opportunity to take over the resturant was a fast and reson decision. We also get to taste the delicious banana, chocolate and cinnamon smothie and the helthy veggie nation juice with apples and sea spinash, the later used in many recipes and forms in this region.
If there is some time left during the fall, when the high season transform into more humid and quiet times, Jimmy says he will do some online university courses at the very best restaurant school in Sweden, Grythyttans matakademi, connecting to marketing and food planning. It seems to me he and his girlfriend has everything set for a paradise lifestyle at Gili Air.
After 14 hours traveling me almost ended up in paradise. We reached Gili Air at 9 pm last night after a long day of late shuttlebus (forgot us!), even later ferry (many wanted to go and our guy had some fellow helping him… And then it was strong currents and big waves too), a ride in shuttlebus from hell for 1,5 hour with the smallest space ever between seats and the window on my side broken – and finally “bribing” some locals to cross the strait between Lombok and Gili Air in the middle of the night in an open boat. I almost forgot: Here on this island is no cars or motorbikes so when all the hourse and carts were booked we had to walk without exactly knowing the “adress”, asking people we met a long the dark dirt road and later beach if they new out place. Most did not.
“Welcome to lazy island!” said a guy in the dark bar we passed in night and yes, it sounds like a line in a Hollywood movie.
Finally we got to our hotel Diva bungalows at the beach and the bar man had the key to our simple bamboo hut. After a nights sleep, great breakfast and a sunny walk around this small Gili yesterdays bad trip vanished! The good talks with people we met will stay with me.
Silence. No more singing under the moon. Two nights in a row a man has been chanting somewhere in the distance on the island. Now full moon has past and now only the great waves sing in the night. Here in Bali (Lembongan) fullmoon is an important temple ritual and yesterday we saw men and women in traditional clothes, either sparkling colorful or plain white stacking gods on their head. Everywhere we saw blessed parcels of food for the gods, streets, doorsteps (ours too) and small house temples. I regret not trying to attend one of the ceremonies instead of going to a childish fullmoon party.
Here is what I found written about the importans of full moon:
“Purnama, or full moon in Bali is a special day for ceremonies and festivities. Hundreds of temples all over the island celebrate this special day hosting splendid ceremonies. Balinese believe that Purnama is a propitious day when Gods descend to the earth and give their blessing. On this sacred day, hundreds of ceremonies are held in all corners of the island to satisfy and honor the gods with offerings such as food, fruit and flowers. The Balinese themselves are then blessed by performing various rituals using holy water, incense smoke, petals and rice grains.”
Today I saw the power of nature in many shapes. First we went out snorkling in a small traditional catamaran. We left shore in difficult condition as huge waves rolled in knocking down the fundaments for beach huts and swolloing the white beach.
I was a little anxious but as we put on the goggles and snorkle and jumped in the sea fascination was the greatest feeling. The corals had amazing shapes and the fish looked just like in a Disney movie. I felt so liberated forcing myself to dive deeper and holding my breath in this silent under water world.
At sunset we went to famous Devil’s tear, by foot. The great waves charged with fullmoon power (past night)was the biggest I have ever seen in real life and we can now at night here them rowling outside the hut in the dark. It was with a sting of fear we saw them crush against our semi dry clif as the sun set really fast.
What an amazing world. It is to bad there is so much waste floating around. Bali (Lembongan) should be eco friendly with sun, wind- and wave energy instead we see polution between patches of paradise.