Archive for May, 2011

One of the many activities you can take part in while visiting Jiwa Damai is being a guest at a local dance class for children right here in our local village! Our guests and wwoofers enjoy watching the talented children learn and perform traditional Balinese dance. Because the dance is beautiful and unique one of our volonteers inquired about a private lesson with the local dance teacher.

What a special experience! She was so lucky to have this lesson because she was getting a genuine traditional dance class. She loved it so much she has been continuing her classes! This type of traditional dance is not as easy as it looks! The low squat and many intricate movements make this dance very beautiful and also very hard to learn in just one lesson! New movements are introduced such as eye direction, winks, hand twirls, and hip sways! Once you start its hard to stop! The gracious dance teacher enjoys it very much as well as having visitors to her class in the village.

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This Tuesday was busy at Jiwa Damai as 40 students from a local Balinese school visited for a field trip. It was such a pleasure teaching the young children about many of our plants, the importance of organic gardening, and the many different animals and organism we have at Jiwa Damai!

The show started with coconut tree climbing, followed by descriptions of different trees and flowers. During the tour the children taste cocao, coconut, and sugarcane while exploring.
The children also walked around the Mandala Garden identifying different vegetables, and tasting herbs. We also teach them about the importance of composting and recycling, and end the tour with each child planting a sprout in the earth with their hands!

After the tour the children enjoy lunch made at Jiwa Damai with food from the garden! We served them Taro, a root vegetable, which they see before it’s cooked and also when its in the garden. The children enjoy their lunch by the lake enveloped by nature all around them! Butterflies, fish, frogs, and lizards join the kids at lunchtime!

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We are also hard at work building a water tower for the lumbungs. The water tower will stand about 7 meters high. The purpose of the tower is to provide water for the bathrooms, taken from a well about 30 meters below. Water travels from the tower, down into the pipe and up into the showerhead. The tower’s height is necessary to give water pressure for showering.

Construction of the Water Tower

Inside the tower we install a floating device; if the water goes below a certain level the pump starts. The water tower ensures that in the event we lose electricity, there will be enough water for the lumbungs’ bathrooms. The tower will hold 1,000 liters, or about 400 gallons. This would provide a sufficient amount of water for two or three days.

As pictured, these incredibly strong little women transfer cement bricks for the water tower from where they are stacked outside to inside the compound.

Hard working Balinese women

One man slowly and painstakingly straightens each piece of iron for the tower. Lots of time and great care go into the marvelous quality of work done here. We are very excited about the pending completion of the lumbungs.

Straightening the wires

Bamboo, known for its strength and durability, forms the frame for the water tower and is often used for scaffolding in Bali. This worker diligently separates strands of bamboo.

Bamboo scaffolding

Water conservation plays an important role at Jiwa Damai. A large pond surrounds the main buildings and guest rooms. The pond is home to many different fish, microorganisms, and splendid white and purple lilies. Three different pipes drain excess water to separate ponds. Another drains water to our extensive permaculture garden. Our beautiful swimming pool is fed from a spring located underneath the pool.

We employ lots of structural thinking. Every drop of water gets reused!

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