I thought i was okay… Really i did. I thought I was managing with my daughter (who has special needs)… Mainly I thought I was managing with myself… but that just recently came quite undone. Stress was the precursor. Overwhelm perhaps… you could call it. (See the About page) but the process has led me to be HERE right now… and i wouldn’t wish for anything else. This Vision I wish to share has been in process since early 2013 when I experienced living in a post-disaster typhoon recovery Volunteer program in the Philippines following Typhoon Hyan/Yolanda. I was inspired to see how people CAN collectively Co-contribute and a “magical” essence we have as a collective of humans, regardless of race or religion… and the feeling atmosphere this can produce… or rather how it can transform/transcend the “normal” state/outlook we are conditioned with.
This Vision has been evolving over the last 4 years and is spread far and wide through diaries, journals, emails, and scrap book pages. I have had many a conversation about it and my experiences have helped develop varying aspects – NOW it’s HOW to express it in a way that is encompassing of all these conversations… because there are so many aspects and levels… how to explain? Visually is a good way… which is why I’ve created some pictograms you can see on these website pages.
My own petty problem is I’ve been trying to write it for an ‘audience’ – and it still comes from my heart but it’s filtered according to who i think will be reading it and who what I’m saying will apply to… For example, I have the Bamboo Creative website and Facebook page which is where I’m posting (when my internet is functioning) about building with bamboo/sustainable building/craft meditation… which is the thing I came to Bali for and where my own interest and passion lies (which i had time to pursue when Freyr was in care with a family in the Philippines during 2016). I found momentarily (until my daughter came back into my care full-time) the value and benefit to me of having a simple and practical way to “get out of” my mind and stresses and “into” my body. I met other travellers and people seeking community life through simplifying their lives and coming back to basics and “having time” to plerk (play in work) together.
Sidenote: When I’m a full-time carer I find it nearly absolutely impossible to engage in this way with others because I’m forever watching my daughter and looking out for her. When there’s more people around it’s easier for sure… but i still can’t quite achieve that state of being totally absorbed in “Art”. So, my feeling/desire is around there being a part/section/level of living in Inclusive Community which can activate for me when the other aspects are also in place… I long to be able to spend even just one week a month in this kind of meditation of craft… being totally self-absorbed and able to totally introvert and restore my own energy.
Another Sidenote: There’s still the daily things i need to do WITH my daughter and/or train others to do… and I have some local carers who have been helping me – one of whom I’ve helped train in working with Autism through the Sunrise School/Starlight Anak Foundation here in Bali. I hope to see more carers train locally, and have connections to carers in Philippines who can come and help in Bali who are already qualified “carers” but are perhaps not trained working with children with Autism.
SO… there’s the aspect of daily living… meditative craft and working with bamboo and natural building activities as a community – which i envisage will involve travellers and artists interested in learning these things and contributing towards community life and caring for kids with special needs. I mean, just hanging out and sharing their talents and skills in a semi-structured way.
Another aspect is the Local School / Yayasan Foundation. Here in Indonesia there’s no government funding (as such) for disabilities, therapy, respite for families… In Philippines we didn’t have therapy as such but Frey had quite a tactile environment and learned to help with things like washing. In a family environment it’s not “work” to look after her… she is just seen as one of the family… and having little kids… parents are on the lookout anyway. It enabled me to go to the market or go to the beach for a while without having to plan a major mission in supervision and enabled me to relax and have time to be “normal”.
The “natural schooling” I’ve seen here in Bali also doesn’t emphasise “therapy” or ABA-like activities but looks at what the kids themselves enjoy and then find ways to develop these skills whether in music, movement/dance, cooking/life skills… encouraging participation and learning development “naturally”. So the Local School aspect of my vision is for there to be a basis for activities for kids… managed locally and involving local families with special needs kids. Maybe these local families live in our/the “community” directly or the parents have jobs/businesses in the community… or they are from the broader community. In whatever capacity, I believe the local entity that manages activities for the kids should or can be a local Foundation/Yayasan that can be funded through financial or other contributions from International families who come and live in the community either part-time (like in a time-share) basis or more permanently.
I’ve been investigating local law in Indonesia and it was first suggested to me to form a PT company (foreign-owned business in Indonesia) and run a “business” to co-ordinate everything about this community vision. However, a PT is not permanent.. and like a company in Australia “dies” when the directors “die” or dissolve. Really this Vision is about creating ongoing community and management systems that will endure after I die. Creating a system where my daughter can be cared for even after I’m “gone”. A Yayasan lasts “forever”… like a not-for-profit” or Charity… so I believe it’s better to set up this kind of more “decentralised” structure where also, it’s not just “my” responsibility to keep things running. I’ve seen excellent examples here in Bali…
Also the Yayasan structure… not being able to “make money for profit or shareholders” ensures that all “revenue” is reinvested into the school and community itself (through a PT company attached to the Yayasan) which could run the “accommodation business” side of the yayasan and generate funds for building/works/education/paying teachers and carers and other staff of the yayasan.
So this is another “aspect” and area of focus that is developing.
Another aspect is (back to the artists and international and local communities) people who would like to live in and be part of this community but who may not be incredibly “financial”… who can co-contribute through physical work/ skills/ labour/ management/ daily running of the “Living” side of the community… like managing water, managing food and meals, housekeeping, transport, bookings, staff, workshops, retreats…. some of these will be paid positions through the Yayasan… some will be privately owned local businesses (eg. laundry, transport) and some will be “donation” of professional skills or in-kind contribution as part of an value exchange.
Like the local schools i’ve seen here… no one is turned away on account that they don’t have “money”. Everyone contributes according to their capacity (there can still be agreements and accountability)… The main thing is that the community is INCLUSIVE not EXCLUSIVE.
And then there are the International families I envisage will come and live in this community periodically… 2 weeks, one month, six months… who have jobs and lifestyles elsewhere but are seeking respite, community and an home away from home they can come to and integrate with… hence the “Homestay” concept. At the moment this aspect is what i have been “trying” to convey in this, the Friends of Freyr website/blog… but i never feel like my entires or writings are “perfect” or complete enough to be able to publish… I’ve been too much all in my head and planning and conceptualising everything and that’s keeping me stuck.
So I’ve just decided to create a personal blog and sharing just what’s going on each day… my thoughts and revelations (lol)… somewhere people can actually see who I am… what I go through on a daily basis… (oh and then there’s grants and sponsorship and marketing… aaahhh… I haven’t got around that milestone yet) and I think it’s better to start from grassroots in building this. Of course if there’s an Organisation wanting to help this cause/vision i/we will look into it… but my focus really has to stay “on the ground” or else I’m conceptualising again and being in the “could be”. Essentially and Importantly I NEED the time now to be living my Vision… enabling others to see and be included?… I’m doing my best and the catch 22 is that i CAN’T Be in this Vision without co-contribtuon from others. But i need to take care of my self because I’ve been running around like a headless chicken trying to attend to all these different aspects… and getting myself totally exhausted in the process.
Back to the point: I’m “trying” to encapsulate everything and make it “presentable” to others who may be interested in joining this vision… But I go “out of myself” in this and end up “chasing my own tail”. And I’ve realised I can only really share from my own experience what life is like for me authentically and trust in God and the law of attraction to bring others to me who also wish to join this Vision… It’s time to let go, surrender to God, resubmit my dreams and await an opening… await the next miracle… and spend some time looking after ME. Having said that, i made this short video while Freyr and I were on a visa run in Kuala Lumpur (which was LOVELY for some “US” time but became a bit full-on after 7 days and i nearly lost my shit with her constant noise bombardment etc etc. But I did make this little clip … https://youtu.be/9HP3ia1Zsmg
- Interested in what I am doing? See HERE how you can contribute….