We’ve had our ceremony to bless the land, and begun the build. With the land cleared, the builders have to prepare the foundations. It seemed like everything was on track until we have to start our build application from scratch.
There are about 15-20 men working hard every day. They start early, take a midday break when the sun is at its hottest, and work late. Building a villa requires a lot of hard manual work. It is backbreaking work to prepare the foundations. With earthquakes so common, they need to be dug deep and done right.
I have tremendous respect for these men (and women too on many sites – but our build crew is only men at the moment). Many hail from Java, and move from site to site in Bali. They live on site in basic conditions and work hard. Most of their earnings are sent back home to their families.
While writing this blog, I had to pop out to run some errands. Within a few hundred metres from my house I saw these groups of amazing women on work sites moving piles of rocks and dirt. Women certainly do hold up half the sky.
Our nanny Umi
Migrating to Bali for work opportunities is common for many Indonesians. There is more work available on this island so many families send their main breadwinner to Bali.
One of our wonderful nannies, Umi, is from Solo in Java. She came to Bali by herself at age 22 to work. She had already left school at 14 to start work. We feel extremely privileged to have her as part of our family. Along with Wayan and I, Phoenix calls us his 3 mums.
That’s one loved kid!
Digital nomad hotspot
Bali has been popular for decades. From surfers and seekers, to end of season footy trips and cheap family holidays, Bali has it all. The most recent wave seems to digital nomads – young and tech-savvy, they work from their laptop while sitting in cafes and co-working spaces. Those co-working spaces seem to be springing up like mushrooms these days.
Canggu now ranks highly on lists of nomad hotspots. YouTube and Instagram are full of young and gorgeous nomads celebrating their Bali life – endless beaches, tropical backgrounds and lots of coconuts. With so many distractions, it would take a lot of motivation to stay glued to a laptop and get the work done. I’m no exception, and if I’m not careful, school drop offs can easily turn into coffee catch-ups rather that much-needed photo editing and scooting around the mean streets of Denpasar looking for an elusive homewares maker in a tiny lane with no name!
2 steps forward, 1 step back
We’re about a month into the build now and it’s been going very well so far. The builders have cleared the land, built their dwellings and toilets, connected electricity, dug a well, staked out the position of the buildings on the land and started to prepare the foundations. So far, so good…..or so we thought…..
We had submitted our building application about a month ago. We just found out that on one of the many documents submitted, the name of the deceased landowner was spelled incorrectly (by the government department that issued the official document). However, we only just found out and it seems we have to start the application again. Arrrrhhh! A wasted month! Now we’ll get the document fixed asap, resubmit, have the site inspected by the government, and the processing starts from scratch.
The delay is frustrating but we have to focus on the positives – we’re building our house! The build has been going well (the site looks like the aftermath of a battle!) and is on time and on budget so far. Soon we’ll start to see our actual home being built!
Scooters are the main form of transport in Bali. They carry everyone and everything. Whole families and entire shops on 2 wheels. I got my scooter licence in Australia before I moved to Bali but riding here is a different kettle of fish!
Although at first it seems there are no rules, with a little time, you begin to feel the currents of the road and understand how it flows. It helps to stay calm, and go slow! Amazingly, despite the heat and the traffic jams, there’s no road rage. It speaks volumes about the patience of the Indonesian people.
It was time to have my own ride, as some of the rental bikes I have used have been dangerously thrashed. I decided to buy a new Honda Scoopy. Comfy, ultra-reliable and super fun – I love riding a scooter. Check out this video for some more scooter love!
A family visit to the build site!