Bali, Hi - 2007

The other intriguing aspect of this stone-quarrying trade centered on the lack of any community effort to make the cutting or carrying any easier for all; i.e., no attempt to create a pulley system all could use to bring the rocks up from the quarrying site; not even a minimal effort at making the treacherous path safer to climb had been attempted. It seemed to us that the extreme “family responsibility” ethic of the island might be working against the people. If they could get together to make some of the work more efficient, safer, and easier for all, then whole communities could prosper more. After all, the communities do work on the public temples and shrines together. EDUCATION Education is increasingly seen as very important to the Balinese future. Elementary schools are present in most villages no matter how small, but they are dependent for supplies and teachers on the efforts of the villagers. The central government does very little to support these institutions. However, when students pass examinations at the conclusions of the different levels of education, more public support is available for attending high school and college/university. Very few youngsters take advantage of higher education because their labor is demanded at home to support the family structure. Our guide, Komang, is very involved in the elementary school in his village of Bulian about 30 miles from the North coast beach where we were staying. His wife is a teacher in the school and he works to secure donations and grants as well as organizing fund raising events for the school. He also takes his clients into his village to see that type of life in action. We visited his home for a delicious meal and met all the members of his extended family (his cousin had been voted mayor of the village the very day we were in town) including his father, stepmother, mother-in-law, aunts, a disabled sister with one child, and his own three children and wife. His father had been incapacitated by a stroke but even he performed small tasks around the compound. The older ladies helped in the way previously described and also tended to the needs of the sister who had lost a leg in a motorcycle accident and her child.

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