Sunday, September 18, 2011

INDO DIARIES 2010 - Wednesday 14th July - GOODBYE P-WEC! (2)

So, the four of us headed into Malang on the scooters. The ride was awesome. not only was it refreshing to leave P wec, but it was the first time for Ian to see true Indonesian countryside.

Indonesia is one of my favourite countries to visit, it is so magical, so beautiful....but sadly, so corrupt as well.
There were mountains all around us. it was a lovely day too (It always is in Indonesia!).

We went straight to the Pro Fauna offices where we had to explain and wait and explain more our situation. Finally, Butet said we could leave the programme. Yatta! ....So long as we paid them the missing money....! back to square one.

We were even offering security, phones, anything. We just wanted to leave P wec, not even leave Malang.  utet said she would let us stop at P wec today, and then, if we popped back into the office on Thursday, we could sort it out again. It would give me the chance to send some emails back to Japan at least. I emailed a really good friend, who happened to be online and who is a miracle worker. She was able to make some calls, but without being being, I am not sure how much she could find out.

Back to  P wec? I was keen to put al this behind me. My bags were ready (thank goodness as it was now late).  ES DEGAN!!! There was a solution! That dreamily deliciously refreshing drink able to right so many wrongs!

With Wi-Wi, asti's mum
We hit the road again, but not to return to P wec. Actually, we went back to Asti's parent's house! She wanted to see me again and to meet Ian. She had heard about what had happened and wanted to make sure we didn't have a bad impression of Indonesia from all this.

She had a little batik gift for me as she had seen me with a baby carrier the other day (traditional Javanese material wraps around the body to carry a baby. She had an even nice one to give me and showed me the proper way to use it.

We ate crackers - she had a huge selection, tembe crackers, gassava crackers, sweet potato chips and cakes, yummy cakes, but we were too polite to finish them all off, so we shared one.

We were so happy to receive such lovely hospitality from Asti's mum. She even fed us with black bean soup, so we were ready for the journey back to P wec.

Local children came to say 'Hello'.
Asti's cats

We also stopped by a hotel recommended by Butet, where we thought we could at least stay for the first night 'post-escape'.

As we drove back, I contemplated my ten days at P wec. They would have been very dull indeed had it not been for the wonderful characters of Harry, Wi-Wi & Asti. Without them, I would not have experienced a more real and genuine side to this part of the Javanese countryside.

Back at P wec, we were good to go. Asti had found a number for a taxi firm (40 40 40 - so simple!), so I wasn't really sure why everyone was faffing with the yellow pages pretending to not find the number for over ten minutes.

We were told to go and get ready. It was 2.20pm. We kindly asked for the taxi to arrive at 3pm, giving us more than enough time. We scuttled back to Mess parrot. I was still convinced something was amiss. why hadn't they ordered the cab straight away? I had a niggling feeling something would still stop us leaving at 3pm, despite our arrangement with Butet etc.

We got the bags, checked the room was empty and made our way back to the information centre. As we swapped email addresses with Asti, Irul, the main organiser said something in Indonesian to Asti. She translated it very formally to us, thanking us for coming to P wec, and apologising profusely for things not having worked out.

Then, out of the blue, he suggested that we call Butet back t confirm everything. I agreed to it, but not really sure why I did, as things had been arranged face to face. But, it was not the case. Clearly word had come down from a higher source since Butet and I had spoken.

When I spoke with her, she was very aloof and asked to speak to Irul. goodness only knows what was said, but after Irul put the phone down, he was expecting a payment....!

Basically, Butet had suggested that we pay for the time we had slept and eaten at the P wec compund, so in other words, pay twice as Rosek had wanted us to. It was all about MONEY...It was appalling.

Thinking about P wec and money, I suddenly realised a few things. The massage I had for 50,000IDR, I had paid directly to P wec and not to the little old lady from the village. A genuine massage at a hotel in Bali is 60,000IDR and that is by the pool! I think I had been ripped off, so had the little old lady.

Somehow we had the American dollars on us to pay for the stay so far, but this was money supposed to keep us going till the end of the month. Now we were without P wec, we were on our own in Java.
Irul, Ian, Lee, Asti

The taxi came at 3pm! A miracle. We were out of there. Poor Irul was genuinely upset. He was a really nice guy. 

P wec and Rosek are at fault here for bad, bad, bad organisation of their volunteers.

- no volunteer co ordinator to co ordinate with
- no schools to go and teach children at 
- no fixed schedules, plans constantly changing
- no real work planned
- volunteers ignored, not brought in to interact and help
- no materials to make anything, despite out main job being to make stuff
- no wildlife learning / teaching 

On the plus side, we had a great counterpart. Thank you Asti! Now it was just Ian and I and the rest of Indonesia!

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