After just about two months in Indonesia, we’re now home in cold Sweden! Of course it was nice meeting family and friends again, but we both agree on the fact that we would love to have stayed longer.
So what did we do our last week in Bali? We lived! We went to Gili Trawangan to spend New Years Eve and Emmas birthday there. It’s this amazing island where the water is beautifully blue and it’s truly astonishing… When there is good wheather. We had pretty okay wheather the two first days, just a little cloudy. Then it started to rain, and wow it really rained. The streets were practically flooded in the evenings, but that was fun too! The day we were leaving, the sun decided to show up! So here’s a glimpse of the beauty of Gili T! (And us)
The day after we left Gili T, we had to head home. We went to the airport and after 16 hours in air, we landed and felt the cold scandinavian air. The next couple of days we finished off our essay and sent it in.
We’ve had the most amazing time in Indonesia and we’ve met so many wonderful people making the experience even better. The study has been so rewarding and educating in ways we couldn’t have imagined. We must thank Malmö University and SIDA for making this possible. We are so grateful! And thanks to Bali for giving us memories for a life time!
We’ve been to Ubud and experienced some Indonesian culture. We have visited waterfalls, rice terraces, the Holy Spring Temple and undergone a sacred cleansing ritual and visited the Monkey Forest! The Monkey Forest was full of (mostly) friendly and curious monkeys, we both enjoyed it very much, less so when a monkey decided to jump up on my shoulder and urinate…
But in spite of the unfortunate pee incident, the Monkey Forest was very nice! After a few days in Ubud we decided to move yet again! This time to Canggu which is near Sanur where we intend to spend Christmas! In Sanur we have made reservations at Café Smörgås who are going to serve a traditional Swedish Christmas table, something we both are looking forward to! As for our studies, we have begun to examine our gathered data and gotten some very exciting insights! The program Nvivo 12 has been particularly helpful in this process. We can’t wait until we’re finished with our Empirical Findings chapter, so we can begin to analyze the material.
Time flies and it’s really hard to realize when it’s time for blogging!
Last time we wrote, we had just planned our first interviews, well now we’ve done them all! Our first interviews were last Tuesday, and we interviewed two gay men who both gave really interesting stories about their life! Our next two interviews were scheduled on Thursday, but in the middle of it all Emma got really sick, so we only got one interview that day.
Yesterday, Monday, we had our final two interviews and we’re happy to say that we have gotten some variation in our interviews, regarding informants. From the beginning we knew that it was hard to find different people of the LGBT-spectra, especially women, but yesterday we met a trans woman who could give us an insight into that life, which was very eye-opening. From these meetings with these amazing people we have really come to understand the difference in LGBTQ- rights and the issues that LGBTQ- people face here compared to back home.
Besides that, on Friday we are planning to move (AGAIN)! We realized that since we’re done with the interviews and don’t really need to be close to Gaya Dewata anymore, we could travel around Bali while writing! So that’s what we’re going to do! Firstly, we’re going to Ubud, and we hope to get a lot of nice pictures there to share with you all! As for now, you’ll have to manage without since we haven’t been taking any (good) pictures lately!
What a great week and it’s only Monday! We’ve been very stressed out lately since none of our contacts answered us for a while and we were certain we would have to start moving on, finding new organizations and informants for our study… And even though one of them finally started contacting us again we thought they wanted to either get out of this or limit their efforts to the bare minimum… Until today!
So last week we got in contact with Arya, our contact from Gaya Dewata, an LGBTQ- activist group based here in Bali.
(You can read about them at: https://www.gayadewata.com/ )
We decided that we were going to go to them next Monday (the day I’m posting this). We didn’t have much hope for our visit, but we were determined to at least get something out of it. So we went there! When our taxi driver let us off at the address we had given him, we were confused. It was a very small street and no signs of there being an organization there. Finally, we went up to the nearest house and knocked on the door, we had come to the right place! We got to quickly meet Arya before we were seated to wait, since he still had some work to do. Then we got to meet an Australian volunteer who gave us a lot of useful information! He told us about other communities and organizations where we could get help, but maybe the best advice we received was; E-mailing is useless in Indonesia! If you want to contact someone, find them on social media!!
That explained a lot…!
So, after talking to the Aussie for a while we got to finally actually sit down with Arya. Before when we had discussed with him via WhatsApp, he had told us about how they might not have much time for us and that it would be difficult to get us what we wanted, such as helping us to find an interpreter, so we were definitely not hoping for much. Then it all just turned around! Firstly, we knew it would be hard to find informants part of the LGBTQ- community that were not only gay men, since the other parts of the community isn’t as open here, but Arya told us he would try to find a wider range of people so we got the bigger picture! Secondly, he found someone who can interpret for us and thirdly, we’re starting with the interviews TOMORROW already! (Arya invited us to come by every day for new interviews!)
It feels like we’ve gone from the bottom and right up to the top! Losing hope just to get all we could ever dream of!
Other than this, last week consisted of writing, writing, quite a lot of rain (and some sun too) and lastly more writing! Hopefully we’ll have more to tell you about when we get started with the interviews!
Second week in Bali!
Since the last post we have moved and started to work with the actual essay. Our new accommodation is nice and quiet with good work spaces but actually we are moving again! We’ve met and befriended a couple who have been here for 6 months and they recommended a hostel to us which would be cheaper! So we’re gonna try it and see if it’s good, if not we’ll just move back to the place we’re at now!
So about our work… Last week there were some miscommunication by e-mail between us and one of the organisations we’re in contact with. We thought we worked it out but now we haven’t heard from them for a while. They are the ones who are going to help us with an interpreter so we really don’t want to lose them. So, no interviews this week either. Meanwhile we’ve been working on the rest of the essay and gathered more information and we feel good about our process!
Other than this, our week has consisted of scooters, beaches and good company. So not too shabby!
Our first week in Bali is coming to an end and we’ve already experienced so much! We had decided to spend the first week to settle in and get used to our new home and sort out practical things such as getting sim-cards, figure out the transportation system and familiarising ourselves with our new surroundings and culture. Everything has been going fine so far expect for a few hick ups! When we first arrived at our apartment we found it perfect, we had our own room and a pool and the staff were very nice and helpful, although we soon discovered that it was located far away from the city centers. Meaning we would have take spend a lot of money on taxis quite often, and we soon realized that we had to relocate to a more central accommodation. So today we are moving to a new hostel with a lot of work spaces and good reviews, hopefully this will work out for the best!
As for the weather, the rainy season has begun but so far the weather has mostly been sunny and enjoyable, it has only been raining during the nights. We also had an earthquake! Although it was only a small one and we slept through it though some of our friends felt it and their toilets overflowed! Luckily that didn’t happen to us.
We haven’t met our contact persons yet but we have e-mailed with them and hopefully we will begin our interviews next week! They seem positive and excited to help us!