(written by Sara Levin, photographs by Martin Smit)
We made it to Bali on Friday evening accompanied by Wendy and Tom who joined us for the second leg of our trip. Bali is fresh and fragrant with bright flowers found everywhere from the Plumeria strands handed to us as we left the airport to the small colorful Hindu offerings set out each morning.
We started our first full day in Bali with a visit to the IDEP Foundation, an NGO that strives to “help people help themselves by cultivating resilient and sustainable communities.” IDEP uses permaculture education to help the community in a variety of ways. They offer workshops on natural disaster preparedness and recovery by teaching earthquake-resistant building techniques and educating communities on how to sustainably rebuild after a natural disaster.
They work with school groups to teach organic horticulture techniques and have an outreach program with prisons to teach prisoners how to grow vegetables and save seeds. The IDEP farm consists of a small demonstration garden featuring permaculture practices to help teach the community about organic gardening. They have sites all around Indonesia and a few neighboring islands. We were incredibly impressed with their work. More information on the IDEP Foundation can be found at www.idepfoundation.org.
We ended our first day in Bali with a trip to Taman Tirtagannga, the water temple. This beautiful temple was once a retreat for the royal family. Today it is a pubic oasis, tucked away among the rice fields in eastern Bali.