We had packed up our backpack and were headed to the co-working space in Singaraja this morning for some pre-dive plugging in when we heard laughter and yelling outside our fence. We opened the door to the street to find our host, Dayu, the man who runs the English school across the street, Torre, and about 15 other people (young children included) shoveling rocks and cement into wheel barrels.
Dayu had explained to us yesterday that the community is putting a cement road in where the old dirt path had previously been, but that rather than depend upon the government to do it or hire a contractor, every member of the village chipped in. Yesterday, that meant cooking meals for the men, but today, everyone was getting their hands dirty.
And as we passed the beautiful community development effort, we looked at each other, and without a word, turned back around and picked up a shovel and barrel ourselves. In two days time, a beautifully manicured road (except for a few chicken and dog tracks) emerged, and we can now be proud that we were a part of it.
I asked Torre why the government isn’t responsible for the road, and he said that they gave the village a small grant, but that was only enough money to pay for the supplies and mixing equipment rental, so the village had to figure out execution on their own. And execute they did.
We found ourselves so touched by this community outpouring, by the sense of responsibility that every villager feels innately, and we started talking about this being a lesson we hope to bring home with us.
How much better care would we take of our community (infrastructure and people) if we built it ourselves?