Stories tagged with Indonesia

May 5, 2009 ID Indonesia

by Kieran Ball, KF6 & 7

“Poor people are like bonsai trees”, analogises Professor Mohammad Yunus, “Even choosing the best seed of the tallest tree, if you plant it in a small flower pot it cannot grow big. Society is the flower pot, the system we have built that keeps poor people from growing. The seed of the person is as good as the tallest tree, but we must change the system to let each person grow to their potential.”

Whilst Professor Yunus failed to mention that bonsai trees look totally hip on most coffee tables, this is still my all...

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Apr 4, 2009 ID Indonesia

West Timor is the country equivalent of Robert Downey Senior. The usual reaction is “West Timor? I didn’t know there was a West Timor. But I’ve heard of East Timor so I suppose it makes sense”.

And indeed it does make sense, especially if you live here. West Timor, formerly a Dutch colony until it was un-clogged in 1945, is on an island towards the eastern side of Indonesia (Timur conveniently means “east” in Indonesian) but, it should be stressed, not the most easterly island as that is Papua and or West Papua (to clarify please see

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Mar 3, 2009 ID Indonesia

DINARI, the microfinance institution I am working at in Indonesia, prides itself on sponsoring innovative projects and spearheading new initiatives. For example, they are currently working on a joint-venture with Habitat for Humanity building houses for low income people in west Bali. The most recent project DINARI has undertaken is a joint-venture with KGCB Radio, a station based in Denpasar, to develop DINARI’s own radio station. The radio station has yet to officially launch to the public but they are currently building programs and should be “on air” by early...

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Feb 2, 2009 ID Indonesia

The morning commute to the DINARI office on my motorbike no longer takes 30 minutes since I found all the shortcuts (by getting thoroughly lost) so I hesitantly say that I’ve “hit my stride” here in Bali.  Nothing wakes you up like an exhilarating bike ride at 7:30 am, dodging erratic drivers, enormous potholes, stray dogs, pedestrians in the middle of the road, and excessively crowded streets.

Last Sunday I loaded up my bike, said farewell to my two roommates from Jakarta and started the 2-3 hour drive, solo, to the DINARI office in Melaya, a small city in west...

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Feb 2, 2009 ID Indonesia

My first and only post was back in September 2008 – I had just finished training for the Kiva Fellowship, although I wasn’t leaving until January and still did not know where I was going. I got word in November that I was heading to Bali, Indonesia! Since my departure dates were a little off cycle from the rest of the KF7 class, this is my first official post as a Kiva Fellow.

Since I arrived in Bali to begin my Fellowship with the DINARI Foundation, I have not stopped sweating. I expected the heat; I...

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Dec 12, 2008 ID Indonesia

I first went to Belimbingsari Village for a funeral. The father of two of DINARI Foundation’s staff, Gede Mustika and his sister Yulia, had suffered a stroke and died shortly thereafter. A rented van transported the staff from DINARI’s headquarters, and the mood seemed surprisingly cheerful during the three-hour trip to West Bali. I was reminded of school field trips as people passed around puffed-corn snacks and jokingly reclined their seats into their neighbors’ laps.

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Nov 11, 2008 ID Indonesia

Across from DINARI Foundation’s office, there is a large concrete lot with two long warehouses lining the perimeter. In the middle of the lot, blue tarps covered three mounds that were perhaps fifteen feet in diameter. In the morning, workers removed the tarps, revealing piles of what looked like sand as high as the men’s waists. Two of the men wheeled out mechanized plows and bulldozed the piles, gradually spreading the material across the concrete in messy spirals. A third worker appeared with a bandanna covering his nose and...

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Nov 11, 2008 ID Indonesia

Kerti Moses and his wife Endang had one of the biggest homes I had seen in almost fifty visits to DINARI Foundation’s clients. The exposed concrete foundation elevated the house above the nearby dwelling of one of the couple’s workers. The entire floor was covered in big ceramic tiles printed like green marble, and the white walls still had a lingering freshness in parts. Inside was a big room with high exposed rafters and smaller bedrooms adjoining it. The main room was empty save for a table in one corner and a TV against the far wall....

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Sep 9, 2008 ID Indonesia

I will now share my knowledge and potentially erroneous information about Bali, Indonesia:

  • My principal mode of transportation, motor bike, will significantly increase my chances of bodily harm and death
  • The start of the rainy season is October, which neatly coincides with my start date
  • Bali has world-class banana pancakes

This is all important because I am going to be volunteering for Kiva’s field partner in Bali, the DINARI Foundation.  I will be doing my best to interview borrowers, help DINARI comply with Kiva’s procedures and...

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Jul 7, 2008 ID Indonesia

Turkey, stuffing and beer.

BBQ ribs, corn on the cob and beer.


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