A time for a long reflection end 2012, Kuta – Bali:

Born in 1951, means that I am now so what 61 years old. People say that if you have passed the 60th year, you can be still there for quite sometime. Indeed by the age between 57 – 60 years, any body will feel that their health become deteriorating, after those long years of labor, many parts of the 70 trillion cells become exhausted.

2 years ago while serving as the District Governor for Rotary International in Indonesia, I was badly hit by a macula hole on my eye, and if I didn’t get treated in Singapore on time, I could be blind now. At those ages I got news from many friends worldwide, they have a lot more serious damage like tumor, cancer and other deadly diseases.

Looking at my 3 grandchildren, Mario, Jasmine and Isabel now, I am looking back to my very early years living in the villages of Padangtawang and Gumrih. A lot of good time that I remember, but a lot of time that I felt hungry but no food to eat. My father was an elementary school teacher who was paid very minimal on the 50th and my mother is just a housewife who was very hard working at home.

I always had bad wound on my feet especially between the foot fingers, because I had no shoes and no sandals, and played a lot around the piglets stall, especially on the rainy seasons, it is always very bad. The road in my village was very muddy and in some part is mud to the knee.

My parents sent me to the Seminary school for secondary just because I could study there for free, but my call was not there at all. The most important thing I got at the seminary is how to be discipline.  Then I have chosen to go to high school in the City with a lot of challenges. God has blessed me all the ways; I am someone who don’t have to study hours and hours to know the lessons.

I could get a lot of helps from my classmates, they bought me food, and sometime shirts, but in return I let them borrow my home works. I have done very well in school that with the results I got, they took me easily at the University.

But the challenges were still the same, how can I fund my study? The University could not give anyone for free especially when I had to buy books and amenities to live.

They took away my hair when I entered the University, so when I work at night as a waiter in a restaurant I was embarrassed but using Balinese dress and typical hat, it helps me to work. So I go to university in the morning and work as a waiter in the evening.

Occasionally on Saturdays and Sundays there came tourist boats at the harbor, I always made my time to hunt for tourist and offer my service as a tour guide, and I did the same thing at the airport. With my ability to speak English above average, I have no problems in doing that job.

I did that hard life for 4 years and when I finished my bachelor degree, I went to try to work for one year in Germany, where I learn hard life, hard work, discipline and works ethos. I have become someone who is brave enough to try, and that is how my entrepreneurship blood flows. And because of that I have become a pioneer somehow. And that was the starting relationship with Marina who becomes my wife for 36 years now, and she has been supporting me all the ways.

I was one of the first person who started with tourism life in the Village of Seminyak in 1976, then I promoted Kedewatan with Ayung river back in 1982 and in 1985 I built my office now in the middle of rice field in Kuta, where between Kuta and Denpasar was still dark, and only took 9 minutes by scooter. What a life to remember.

In 1989 I was very brave to build simultaneously in 2 areas, one in Canggu and one at the village of Suradadi, Belimbing, Tabanan. Now both places have become a place people are looking for. And the Cempaka Belimbing Villas received Emerald Tri Hita Karana Awards; it is also because I brought my Rotary friends to encourage economy and community developments.

In the meantime on all those years, I have managed to become International SKAL President Bali chapter for 2 years, become PATA International Bali Chapter Chairman for 2 years, Vice Chairman of KADIN Bali, Vice Chairman of Bali Tourism Board and 6 years to Chair The Association of Indonesian Tours and Travel Agencies Bali Chapter.

On top of those activities, I have been also representing The Netherlands in Bali and NTB since 1990, for about 22 years now. Often my friends and colleagues asked me whether I have more than 24 hours a day to spend, but no, it is only mastering time management that makes it possible and that God blessed me with good health all these years

Then it is the time for me to make my life to be useful for other people, at the age of 38 I was appointed the Charter President of Rotary Club Bali Kuta. I learned so much about life and I received so much in life through my membership in Rotary.

Rotary International has given me a lot of trainings; a lot of good friends and feeling the real happiness is in helping other. We have unlimited opportunities and a lot of happiness when we go through life with Rotary International.

Marina and I have only 2 children Barbara and Simon, both are married, and the whole family is truly blessed by God. They both and all grandchildren are living in the neighborhood, and most of all, I am so happy that they are willing to continue whatever that I have started years ago.

One thing was with great decision was to buy a large plot of land in the middle of Kuta that mostly become our garden, it is fascinating everyday to see the grandchildren enjoy running up and down until they are really tired. And above them we have Manggo trees with full of fruits at the moment: Manalagi, Harum Manis, Golek and Madu

In between we also enjoy: Srikaya, Longans, Papaya and Super red dragon fruit. Land is so expensive in the Kuta area at the moment and the value of our home is so high, that is if sell it.

My Rotary world has brought me to bring aids to Aceh, Nias, Java, and the villages of Bali and to Sumba Island. Rotary also gave me friends all over the world, wherever I go I can meet good friends with the same idealism, peace and understanding to the world.

Starting with building a school, helping villages with water and sanitations in Sumba Barat Daya, now this will be my latest pioneering job I suppose. Since 3 years ago I tried to convince the government of SBD that we can grow tourism in Sumba Barat Daya, I draw them high dream and vision.

Initially I brought a few members of RC Bali Kuta to come and show possible investments everywhere because we really started with Zero. The Government reciprocally action and support our wish with great speed, and the central Government also sees the spirits and helped a lot.

Now developments are everywhere in Sumba Barat Daya, on the Beaches especially The Mananga Aba Beach (also called Pantai Kita), the city Tambolaka and Weeitabula, the roads, the airport, the harbor, bridges are built, Hotels are coming, restaurants are opened and the money is increased in circulations shown by 3 banks are open BNI, BNR and Bank NTT.

I can see that The Government and my vision are working, and I am feeling very happy. Looking back at what I have done, this life is only once, and I know I am only passing by. The only thing that I need to know and probably will hear, somehow – somewhere – someone will say:

“ Your live has meant to me”

 

Aloysius Purwa