As I approached the simple thatch hut the two sisters greeted me with warm, welcoming smiles.
Bunter and Kunning live in a basic shelter on the edge of a fruit orchard where they once worked, it’s a mere 1-km walk from the comfort of Gaia Oasis resort.
Their home, made of banana leaves and bamboo, covers little more than a dirt floor, with a wood fire for cooking and hard bed to share.
Rain and wind could easily tear down the flimsy walls and roof, and I couldn’t imagine how these women would survive here in Bali’s heavy monsoons.
In addition, the two sisters have an undiagnosed degenerative condition similar to Parkinson’s disease, and lost their other sister to this condition in March this year.
Neither of them are able to walk unaided. Bunter shuffles herself across the ground, while Kunning is able to hobble with the support of a stick, and both have a constant shake.
When I asked where they went to wash or toilet, they pointed to the pigsty across the way, yes, you have read correctly, a pigsty is where they toilet and along side it is where they use a bucket for washing.
The three of them had lived here together in this hut for the past 20 years, and in more recent years they have survived with the help of their only brother who would visit daily to gather wood for the fire and feed the pigs.
Sadly, during my visit in August, their brother died suddenly of a stroke, leaving them with only their nephew to look out for them. However, with a family of his own, he is only able to visit every other day and cannot give them the care they need.
Despite their daily hardships, Bunter and Kunning are kind and gracious.
Poverty is all these sisters have ever known, yet they are not bitter about life or the challenges they face.
Rather they appear to be accepting of their circumstances, and I am struck by their ability to live in the present moment and enjoy it for what it is.
As a non-profit organisation, Gaia Oasis supports a number of initiatives in the local community and I was introduced to Bunter and Kunning by Vera, the project officer at Gaia who now visits them weekly to take food supplies.
Thanks to the people at Gaia, Bunter and Kunning’s shelter has been connected to electricity recently, and while I was there I organised for a new kitchen to be built for them from bricks and mortar, just in time for the next monsoon.
The sisters now need ongoing care.
For someone to help them with their daily tasks of preparing food, washing their clothes, bathing and cleaning up would change their lives immeasurably, and it would cost as little as $20 or $30 a week.
By joining Relax, Rejuvenate, Rejoice Bali Yoga Retreat with Yoga for the Soul Retreats, you will help support these ladies, and we’ll take time out from our blissful yoga retreat to walk the bush track to share some cake with these gentle souls.
And as you enjoy the present moment in their company, you may find that just as you are helping to change their lives, they can change yours too.
If you love the idea of helping others whilst your having a splendid time, join us!
On the Relax, Rejuvenate, Rejoice~ Bali Yoga Retreat, 6 - 12 April 2019, click here to read more...
AND be one of the first 8 to book and pay by 6 December to save A$300!