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Tourist Welcome to View Bali's Rumbling Volcano, But Mountain Closed to Climbers Until Further Notice.
Bali's easily accessible Mt. Batur volcano has had its status raised from "normal" to "alert" (Waspada) due to elevated levels of hot gas emissions and increased seismic activity. Actually a "volcano within a volcano," Mt. Batur allows Bali visitors to Kintamani to drive along the lip of a massive ancient caldera that encompasses Kintamani's crater-lake and the still active Mr. Batur. The crater-lake can be accessed by road leading to several resorts, a hot water springs, excusrion boats to the ancient Bali Aga village and the departure point used by the thousands who climb Mt. Batur (1,717 meters) each year. The last significant eruption of Mt. Batur occurred in 2000, but government monitors have recorded more than 21 tremors emitting from the mountain since September of this year. These tremors, together with occasional black clouds of smoke from the mountain's apex, are seen by experts as signs that Mt. Batur may be awakening into a new phase of volcanic activity. The tremors are occurring as many as 60 times a day and are felt as far away as 2 kilometers from the mountain. Because of this renewed level of activity, the Department of Energy and Natural Resource (ESDM) changed the status of Mt. Batur to "Alert" (Waspada) on November 8, 2009. On a practical level, the enhanced warning level has closed Mt. Batur to mountain climbers and trekkers. Local officials have advised local residents to be prepared to follow any instructions issued by the government in regards to changes in the mountain's status. Townsfolks who have lived for generations in the shadow of the volcano appear to be carrying on with their normal lives. Between 1804 and 2000 Mt. Batur has exploded 28 times with the longest gap between eruptions of 39 years. Those explosions have, fortunately, been of the relatively low intensity Strombolian nature, characterized by flowing ash, rocks and volcanic clouds as opposed to the more devastating and cataclysmic Plinian, Surtseyan or Vesuvian forms of explosions. With a modicum of caution and in the hands of a local travel agent monitoring announcements from the government, now, may, in fact, be the perfect time for a tour to Mt. Kintamani and the chance for a relatively close-up view of a working volcano.
Who Owns Taman Festival?
Local Bali Businessman Challenges Governor Pastika's Efforts to Repossess Land Occupied by Defunct Entertainment Center.
In the mid-1990s, the Bali government of Bali entered into a joint-venture with Indonesian businessman Bambang Pengestu for the operation of what was promised to become a US$100 million entertainment complex in Sanur - Taman Festival Bali. A soft-opening in October of 1997 gave visitors a glimpse at the developing amusement park that, when completed, would have thrill rides, animal exhibits, dining venues, a micro-brewery, a man-made volcano erupting nightly and a US$5 million laser show. Eventually, a lightning strike put an end to the laser show and diminishing pyrotechnic supplies made the ersatz volcano extinct. But, on a more basic level, poor public attendance during the Asian economic crisis and the inability of Pangestu to financially complete the project caused the park to eventually close its doors completely in 2000. More recently, Bali's governor Made Mangku Pastika, keeping his pledge to reinvigorate underperforming provincial assets, declared his interest in finding a new investor to take over the park or to develop the 9.5 hectare site into some other profitable business. However, the governor's intentions have, at least for the interim, been put on hold by a local businessman, Hartono, who is trying to bring the Governor before a local procedural court (PTUN) for his refusal to turn the land over to him. Hartono, who owns a beachfront hotel in Kuta and the local Mercedes Benz dealership, is reportedly claiming that he purchased the lease on the land for Rp. 12 billion (US$1.2 million) in an auction conducted by the bank who held the original lease with Pangestu as collateral for money lent to develop the park. Citing the fact that the original lease is part of a non-performing joint operation and that the project has failed to pay a promised dividend to the people of Bali for more than a decade, the provincial government considers their agreement with Pangestu null and void and now wishes to reclaim the land now claimed by Hartono. Efforts by the local press to obtain a comment from Hartono in the matter have proven futile with his staff claiming the "boss" is out of town.
Rabies Now Present in 7 Bali Regencies
As Rabies Threat Widens, Only Two Regencies of Bali Remain Rabies Free.
Beritabali.com confirms that the spread of the potentially deadly rabies contagion has now spread to seven of Bali's nine regencies and municipalities. Rabies cases have now been confirmed in Badung, Denpasar, Tabanan, Bangli, Buleleng, Karangasem and Gianyar. The Head of Bali's Animal Husbandry Department, Ida Bagus Alit, told the press on November 11, 2009, that only the regencies of Klungkung and Jembrana can claim to still be without positively confirmed cases of the disease. Local authorities are undertaking an education program for local residents, vaccination of pets, and a controversial eradication program of stray dog populations in all areas of Bali in an effort to stem the further spread of rabies. At least 15 human fatalities in Bali have been linked to the illness since November 2008. Related Article [Bali Rabies Saga Continues]
Monumental Opportunity or Monumental Mistake?
Bali's Plans to Try to Salvage Garuda Wisnu Kencana Project Brings Spotlight on New Provincially Owned Company - PT Bali Mandara.
After laying in a state of suspended animation for nearly 20 years, the Provincial Government of Bali headed by Governor Made Mangku Pastika has restated its resolve to restart the Garuda Wisnu Kencana (GWK) project at an estimated cost that has increase from an estimated Rp. 400 billion (US$40 million) in the 1990s to a current figure of Rp. 2 trillion (US$200 million). IN its current state statue components comprising the bust of the Lord Wisnu and the head of a mythical Garuda bird that, should the final vision be realized, would be joined in a monument standing 300 meters above sea level atop a 70 meter high pedestal at the center of a 100-hectare site. On an island where many still live in poverty, the mega-project's completion with funds from the public coffers remains highly controversial, as demonstrated by various comments collected from community leaders by the Bali Post. Prof. Dr. Ida Bagus Raka Suardana, an economist from Undikas called for careful attention to be paid to laws governing the issuance of shares and the investment of capital, questioning if the investment is capable of creating a viable return on investment. Badung community and tourism leader, Nyoman Ruth Ady, questioned the commitment of Governor Pastika to his program of community betterment espoused in his Bali Mandara program during the 2008 campaign. Ady's says his misgivings are linked to several ideas put forth by the governor that appear not to be firmly linked to the public's welfare. Citing one example, Ady pointed to the formation of PT Bali Mandara - a company owned by the provincial government whose start-up capital has been financed from Rp. 200 billion (US$2 million) in "efficiencies" from the provincial budget. Following much public scrutiny and comment, plans have been put on hold by Bali's House of Representatives to hold discussions regarding plans for PT Bali Mandara to invest in a mall, hotel and a convention center at the GWK complex. Ady said: "Ideas that jump around like this indicate that the provincial government of Bali under Mangku Pastika lacks in being truly for the people. This is not in accordance with the campaign promises that have been made." In addition, Ady, the former chairman of the Badung Hotel and Restaurant Association (PHRI), claims that plans to invest in the GWK are a violation of legal procedure that mandate prior approval from the Bali House of Representatives. "I also question if the investment in the GWK will eventually profit the provincial government of Bali? Because, as far as I know, GWK loses money." Ady contends that if the government of Bali truly intends to build a conference center or trade center, they should first use one of the parcels of land they own around the city of Denpasar that is more accessible to the regencies of Badung, Ginayar and Denpasar. Bali Post point out that there are long standing efforts to salvage the GWK project. Former Telecommunications, Post and Tourism minister Joop Ave; Minister of Culture and Tourism Jero Wacik; and Governor Made Mangku Pastika have all lobbied the Central government to lend a hand in bringing the long-stalled park project to realization. In 2007, President Yudhoyono also issued a call for the monument to be inaugurated by May 10, 2008, the 100th anniversary of National Awakening Day - a deadline that has come and gone with GWK still far from completion. Meanwhile, the Chief Commissioner of the company that manages the complex, PT Garuda Adhimatra Indonesia (GAIN), Nyoman Nuarta, has welcomed indications from Bali's provincial government that they will invest funds in the project. Nuarta, who is also the sculptor-designer of the monument, said it has always been his hope that the government and people of Bali would jointly take possession of GWK. For this reason, he claims he has rejected approaches by a number of foreign investors, including Malaysia and Bahrain. Nuarta added, however, that if the provincial government of Bali did invest in GWK that the project should be managed professionally for the benefit of all the people of Bali. Nuarta said the current main focus for finishing the GWK project is the completion of the statue and its pedestal. Nurata estimated the cost of completing the statue phase of the GWK project will consume additional funds totaling around Rp. 750 billion (US$7.5 million).
Cooking Up Some Fun for Bali's Kids
Bali Culinary Professionals Host Over 100 Orphans to a Day at Bali's Safari & Marine Park.
Bali Culinary Professionals (BCP) - the professional organization for the island's chefs, joined forces with the Bali Safari and Marine Park on Nov 12, 2009, to host over 100 underprivileged kids in a dual celebration of International Chefs Day and the Second Anniversary of the Bali Safari & Marine Park. A day dedicated to professional chefs around the world, International Chefs Day is traditionally celebrated by chefs spending the day in service to their surrounding communities. "This year we decided to treat some local children to a day out at the Safari park. As the park was also planning an orphans' day to celebrate their second anniversary, we felt it would be great to combine the events and it turned out so well we are considering making it an annual event," said Darren Lauder, BCP's Vice President and Executive Chef of Nusa Dua Beach Hotel and Spa. Safari adventures, the park's famous elephant show, games, prizes and a wildly popular cake decorating competition provided the children from four of Bali's orphanages with some long overdue fun and laughs. The kid's day began with a Safari Adventure – a motorized trip through the park's extensive animal collection before bringing them to Kampung Gajah where an elephant show was staged while the children were treated to snacks and drinks. The kids were also given a chance to take to the stage to perform songs and dances for the other groups who joined the fun day out. Later, the kids put the finishing touches on a large birthday cake cooked by the Nusa Dua Beach Hotel and Spa that was presented to the Park on the occasion of its 2nd birthday. Before the day ended, all the children were given gifts donated by various sponsors including The Bali Safari and Marine Park and Travel Works Communications International. Other sponsors for the day included Sukanda Djaya who donated all the Diamond Ice Creams and juices, Bapak Bakery and Nusa Dua Beach Hotel and Spa. The more than 100 children invited to the Park came from the following Bali orphanages: Yappenatim Gianyar. Dharma jati Trenggeli, Elisama Seseatan and Tat Twam Asi of Renon. Book a Trip to Bali Safari & Marine Park [Bali Safari & Marine Park]
How Much is that Doggy on the Volcano?
Efforts are Underway to Earn International Recognition for Bali's Famed Kintamani Dogs.
If Bali's dog aficionados have their say, Bali's long-haired Kintamani breed from the cool mountain areas surrounding Lake Batur will soon become the first recognized breed of dog from Indonesia. Professor Dr. I Nyoman Sadra Sharmawan of Bali's Udayana Veterinary Faculty told the national news agency Antara, "socialization efforts to make the Kintamani dogs the preferred pet of the people have been performed, despite the current epidemic of rabies." Sadra says public awareness and support is needed to earn worldwide recognition for the Kintimani breed. Adding, local people in Bali must learn to care for and breed the Kintimani dogs. A breed of dog that superficially resembles a Samoyed or Chow-Chow, the Kintamani can be white, black or brown in color. The breed is essentially fearless in its bearing, cautious and highly territorial. The dogs are intensely loyal to their owner or his family. They will typically mark their territory by digging the ground and will attack any outside dog violating their domain. In 1994 the Indonesian Kennel Association officially acknowledged the Kintamani as a breed.
Garuda Shopping for More Aircraft
Indonesian National Carrier Sets Aside US$100 for New Planes in 2010.
The Jakarta Post reports that Garuda Indonesia has allocated US$100 million for expenditure in 2010 as the first of five yearly installments that will increase the airline's present fleet from 67 to 116 aircraft. Garuda's finance director Eddy Purwanto told the press, "We plan to spend $100 million in capital expenditure in 2010 to buy more planes as well as to fulfill Garuda's other operational expenditure." 2010 will be the third time Garuda has spent more than US$100 million is a single year. In 2009, Garuda has acquired new Airbus and Boeing aircraft. Garuda has ordered 10 new Boeing 777-300ERs and 50 Boeing 737-800s. Previously, the company took delivery of three new Airbus 330-200s and one Boeing 737-800. "We will increase our routes and increase the number of flights from 1,700 times per week in 2009 to 3,000 times per week in 2014," said Emirsyah Satar, the CEO of the airline. He said that the company was targeting to serve 27 million passengers by 2014, up from 10.1 million passengers recorded in 2008. Additional funds for the expansion of the airline's fleet will be aide by a 40% initial public offering of its shares in 2010 that is targeted to raise between US$300 to US$400 million in much-needed fresh capital.
St. Regis Bali Wines and Dines
Exclusive Chateau Lynch-Bages Grand Cru Classé Wine at December 1, 2009 Dinner at St. Regis Bali.
On Tuesday, December 1, 2009, St. Regis Bali will usher in the holiday season with a limited-seating 7-course dinner accompanied by fine wines from Chateau Lynch-Bages together with premier wines from other regions, including Cordeillian-Bages, Villa Bel-Air, L'Ostal Caez, Domaine des Senechaux (Chateauneuf du Pape) and Xisto.
The evening commences at 6:30 pm with cocktails at the King Cole Bar while witnessing the St. Regis Nightly Fire Ritual, sipping Billecart Salmon Champagne and samplimg delicious canapes. Dinner commences at 7:30 pm in the Astor Ballroom with the following menu:
Lynch-Bages - Grande Astor Gala Dinner Amuse Sweet deep-sea scallops and Ahi tuna tartar
Sphericals of passion fruit vinaigrette, avruga pearls organic greens and sweet basil oil - Chateau Villa Bel Air Blanc, Graves, Bordeaux 2004 - Sauvignon Blanc & Semillon- + + + Gently poached river lobster tail in a rich brown onion
consommé, Parmesan bread crouton, crispy prosciutto and onion jam - Domaines des Senechaux Chateauneuf du Pape, Cote Du Rhone 2006, Roussanne, Grenache blanc, Clairette & Bourboulenc- + + + Quick-seared red coral trout and Salmon roe served with pink peppercorn and citrus compote blossom honey and red wine reduction, cinnamon emulsion - Château Cordeillan Bages, Paulliac, Haut Medoc, Bordeaux 1998, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot & Cabernet Franc- + + + Cured and roasted duck breast pickled red beetroot, fresh horseradish parfait
red beetroot and orange reduction, lemon sea salt - Château L'Ostal Cazes, La Liviniere, Minervois, Langeduec-Roussilon 2004, Syrah, Mourvedre, Grenache & Carignan- + + + Wagyu beef tenderloin MB7+ done medium
shimeji mushrooms and edamame beans smoked bone marrow, black truffle scented port wine jus - Xisto Roquette E Cazes, Quinta Do Crasto, Douro Valley,
Portugal 2003, Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca & Tinta Roriz- + + + Selection of aged French cheese served with dried fig chutney, preserved lemon and apricot, candied walnuts, walnut bread - Château Lynch Bages 5iem Grand Cru Classé, Pauillac, Bordeaux 2002, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petite Verdot & Cabernet Franc- + + + Warm apple and nougat Douillon homemade vanilla bean ice cream and crunchy Nougatine armagnac and prune compote, sour cream and prune coulis - Warre's Otima 10 Year Old Tawny Port- + + + St. Regis chocolate truffles + + + Coffee or Tea + + + Digestif and Cigar
The cost for the 7-course menu, cocktail, and paired wines is Rp. 1,700,000 (US$170) net per person. Seating is strictly limited and reservations are a must. Telephone ++62-(0)361-300 6414.
A Bigger and Much Improved Airport for Bali
Details Emerge on Bali's Major Airport Renovation Revealed.
PT Angkasa Pura I (PAP), the State-owned company that manages Bali's Ngurah Rai International Airport, recently outlined the major renovation and upgrading work at Bali's only airport soon to get underway. Quoted in Beritabali.com, the General Manager of PAP, Heru Legowo, said the total cost of the planned modifications at Bali's airport is budgeted at Rp. 1.6 trillion (US$160 million). When completed, the new domestic and internaitonal passenger terminals will cover 120,000 square meters with the capacity to handle 20 million visitors each year. The current terminals cover only 15,000 square meters and must handle nearly 9 million visitors in a single year, According to Legowo, Bali's present airport is only suitable for handling 4 million visitors each year, meaning that in its present configuration Bali's airport is no longer viable. Legowo said the renovation program that will begin in early 2010 will require 30 months to complete and may well represent the final upgrade for Bali's airport which has run out of land for any future expansion. The present expansion will require the leveling of hundreds of housing units once used by airport staff, a post office and an animal quarrantine facility. "Of the 176 staff housing units we have, almost all will be demolished," explained the Deputy Technical Director of PAP, Ketut Reneng Armika. In addition to enlarging the terminal, the parking area at the airport will also be augmented to permit the parking of 5,000 vehicles. A separate parking area for motorcycles will also be constructed. In anticipation of the larger numbers to be handled by Bali's international and domestic air terminal over the coming 3 years, Heru said he hoped the provincial government of Bali will begin to consider upgrading road access to the airport in order to handle increased traffic flows.
Saving Bali's Serangan Island
Bali's Denpasar Government Pledging to Bring the Turtles Back to Bali's "Turtle Island."
The government of Denpasar is trageting to restore the badly damaged natural environment of Serangan island by establishing a turtle refuge as part of plans to create the island into a marine sports center. The Head of Denpasar's Environmental Agency, Anak Agung Sudarsana, told Beritabali.com that the turtle refuge would help restore both the environment of Serangan and help protect the turtle population. As a first step, some 500 baby green trutle from Banyuwangi in East Java will be brought to the island in order to enlarge the species base of turtles living in the island. According to Sudarsana, the Government for the City of Denpasar is in the process of planning how best to revitalize the natural habitat of Serangan island which was badly damaged by a developer in a beach reclamation project. "Step-by-step, we hope to rehabilitate (the island), until the point where the turtle population returns to normal levels. We are also hoping for the public's participation in this process," explaied Sudarsana. Current estimates place the turtle population of Serangan island at 200. In the '1970s the turtle population of the island was estimated to be at least one million, earning the island its name as "turtle island."
An Indonesian Welcome to the Island of Bali
Ayokebali.com - New Bali Travel Website Aimed at Indonesian Domestic market Launched by Bali Discovery Tours. Bookings During 3-month Lunch will Win Travel Bag or Tickets to Bali Taman Safari.
Bali by the Numbers: 2009 Q3 Bali Arrival Totals Pointing Way to a Record-Breaking 2.2 million Visitors by the End of the Year.
Total Foreign arrivals through the end of September 2009 totalled 208,185 - an increase of 15% over September 2008 when 181,033 foreign arrivals were recorded. On a cumulative January-September basis, total arivals to Bali hit 1,672,923 for the first three quarters of the year. This is equal to a 13.11% improvement over the same period in 2008 (1,479,079). Balidiscovery.com predicted in mid-2009 that total arrivals would exceed 2.2 million for the current year, a figure substantially higher than the official target of 1.8 million and a target openly questioned in the Bali press by the head of the Bali Association of Indonesian Travel Agents (ASITA). [See: Bali Tour Operators Association Expresses Doubts on Arrival Targets Despite Positive Tourism Numbers] However, based on results now in hand covering the first three quarters of 2009, Balidiscovery.com restates with ever greater certitude its earlier projection that total foreign tourist arrivals will surpass 2.2 million by the end of 2009. Shifting Market Leaders 2009 has been a year a musical chairs in terms of the ranking of main source markets for Bali: • Australia has staked a solid claim on the top position of source markets for Bali, at 315,389 Australians through the end of September, arrivals from Oz arrivals are up a whopping 39.06%. • Displaced from their previously sacrosanct top spot is Japan. Reflecting a troubled national economy, Japanese arrivals are down -11.31% at 249,724 through the end of September, relegating Japan to the unaccustomed number two spot in terms of Bali source markets. • The People's Republic of China now holds the #3 spot at 154,846 arrivals, up an astounding 65.13% when compared to the same period in 2009. These improvements were made possible by an easing of visa procedures and improved air access, clearing the way for the PRC to push Taiwan from its previous hold on the #3 slot. • Cheap flights from Malaysia have bolstered arrivals from that country with arrivals increasing 13.34% to 100,896 from last year's total of 89,018 through the end of September. Malaysia's move to the # 4 slot among key source markets for Bali displaces South Korea who once held that position. • Moving down one slot to %5, South Korea arrivals have decreased 1.12% during the first three quarters of 2009, standing at 95,765. The #5 slot was previously held by the PRC who has moved up to the #3 spot. • U.S.A. arrivals have improved 5.62% for the first three quarters of 2009 totaling 55,314. • France has become a star performer ex-Europe, improving 43.68% over 2008 totaling 85,602 through the end of September. • Travelers from the U.K. increased 10.01% during the first three quarters of 2009, achieving 68,428 visitors.
An Informative Evening with Minister Jero Wacik
Indonesia's Minister of Culture and Tourism Exchanges Ideas with Bali's Tourism Leaders. Pledges to Fight for More Flights for Singapore Airlines and Qatar Air.
Bali-born Minister for Culture and Tourism, Jero Wacik, who was just reappointed by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono for a second five year term to the cabinet gathered with more around 100 invitees from Bali's tourism culture circles for dinner and conversation on Sunday, November 15, 2009. The unique gathering, conducted entirely in Indonesian and Balinese, was held at the Puri Santrian Resort & Spa. Highlights from among the free-flowing and varied comments made by Minister Wacik: • Wacik outlined to the group his strong emotional commitment to developing Indonesian tourism and his core philosophy of always mantaining a positive mental attitude, even in difficult times. To underline these points, all who attended the dinner meeting were given copies of Waciks Biography themed on maintaining a positive outlook and another volume recording the achievements of his first 5-year term as Minister of Culture and Tourism. • The Minister used the evening to declare a "truce" with all those who may have challenged, opposed or criticized him during his first term of office and the recently concluded election. Dismissing such matters as signs of a thriving democracy at work in Indonesia, Wacik issued a call for everyone in tourism and culture circles to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with him during the coming 5 years. • The Minister spoke with pride of the fact that Indonesia's economy is only one of four (together with the PRC, PNG and Vietnam) participating in the current APEC conference that has recorded positive economic growth over the past year. Indonesia's economic success Wacik atributed to the wise leadership of President Yudhoyono and the national unity he has brought to the country. • The Minister spoke of the national commitment developing a film industry and the important role motion pictures can play in sharing with the world the story of Indonesia's rich cultures and traditions. To this end, Wacik told of his participation at the Cannes Film Festival in 2005 and meetings held with the producers of "Eat, Pray, Love" which only days ago finished shooting in Bali. • Jero Wacik explained the political mechanism at work that prompted his October resignation from the Presidential Cabinet in favor of a seat in the National House of Representatives (MPR) followed by his reappointment to the Cabinet. • The Minister shared his continuing vision for a North Bali airport as a means of leveling the economic imbalance that now exists between people living the the northern and southern regions of the island. • In response to urgings from Al Purwa, the Chairman of the Bali Chapter of the Indonesian Association of Travel Agents (ASITA), the Minister promised to immediately contact the Minister of Transportation and urge that both Singapore Airlines and Qatar Airways be given as many Bali flights as they want. The Minister said that any need to protect the interests of the national carrier Garuda were outweighed by the urgency of maximizing tourist flows to Bali and that Garuda's desire for a larger share of the market could be addressed later, when the national carrier acquires additional planes. The Minister was responding to complaints from the audience that both Singapore Ailrines and Qatar Airways were being thwarted by the Civil Aviation Department in their desire to increase flight frequencies to Bali. • Minister Wacik underlined the commitment of the current government to eliminating monopolies in Indonesia, including the past policies which allowed only "selected" agents to service specific markets, such as the mainland Chinese. He also promised to advise the Mainland Chinese government that efforts on their part to established "closed travel consortiums" what not in accordance with Indonesian law. • In response to a question form the Bupati of Gianyar who also serves as the Bali Chairman of the Indonesian Hotel and Restaurant Assocation (PHRI-Bali), "Cok Ace," Wacik promised to help mediate and facilitate the need for a better inter-regency road system in Bali in order to facilite the movement of tourists to and from Ubud. • Wacik promised the problem of long lines at visa-on-arrival counters in Bali would soon be resolved with more counters and computers. In addition, the government has intorduced visa issuance on board inbound flights from Japane and is seeking to make visas purchaseable on line to speed the immigration process in the future. • Minister Wacik told how how his Ministry which was once below the Coordinating Minister for the People's Welfare has now been moved to report to Hatta Rajasa, the Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs. Wacik's view is that this new positioning will clear the way for additional funding for culture and tourism projects in the future. • The Minister closed the gathering by looking ahead to 2014 when the next round of national elections will be held. Underlining President Yudhoyono's fim commitment to honor his two-term limited, he called on the next generation of Balinese leaders to begin grooming themselves to assume his job at the end of his current five year term when he will be 65-years-old.
Making a Bali Shopping List and Checking it Twice
A Christmas Gift Suggestion for the Person who Already Has Everything.
Consider this a "Dear Santa" letter from everyone at Balidiscovery.com. As you prepare for the coming holidays and reflect on life's many blessing and scatterted tribulations, we have a gift suggestion that will make a world of difference to the recipient and give to you, the giver, that wonderful fuzzy feeling of Chritsmas' past when you couldn't wait for Mom or Dad to open the present that you pondered over for ages before find your way to the store's cashier.
Reflecting over the years, it tuly was the thought that counted. If you try, you might still able to recall how you danced with glee when Mom or Day feigned delight and awe as ther opened the half-liter bottle of eau de toilette. Year pass and the special joy that is the preserve of children at Christmas gets tempered with the real knowledge that for many, Christmas day is merely another day in a life filled with challenges and disappointment. Our Christmas wish for 2009 is that many of those who subscribe to Bali Update or visit balidiscovery.com will set aside a small amount to make a tangible difference of the Balinese people assisted by The John Fawcett Foundation.Here's some practical suggestions we'd like you to add to your Christmas list: • For just Rp. 200,000 or less than US$20 you can make possible important medical treatment for the many families cared for by The John Fawcett Foundation. • For Rp. 450,000 or less than US$45 you can cover the cost of a sight-restoring cataract operation performed by the Foundations team of doctors who traverse Bali and Lombok in their fully equipped mobile eye hospital. • For Rp. 3.6 million or less than US$350 you can bestow the priceless gift of putting a smile on a small child's face by covering the cost of a cleft lip or cleft palate operation for a Balinese child. Remember, Santa's watching, remembering each of you who take the time to be nice! So, we hope you'll find the time to make a direct gift to The John Fawcett Foundation or make a donation as a gift in the name of someone special to you. Important Links [The John Fawcett Foundation] [A Bali Christmas Shopping List]
A Christmas You'll Always Remember
A Balidiscovery.com Exclusive: Celebrate Christmas Morning in a Balinese Christian Village.
Although not widely known, Balinese history tells of how remote Balinese villages populated only by Balinese Christians were established in the early decades of the '1900s to accommodate "outcasts" who had converted from Hinduism. Located in remote jungle areas of Northwest Bali thought to populated by evil spirits, these small enclaves of Christianity not only survived but prospered to become model communities. As part of an annual holiday tradition from Balidiscovery.com, we offer a unique Christmas morning pilgrimage certain to form part of a life-long memory for island visitors wishing to celebrate Christmas as a family and among the fellow Christians in Bali. Hidden away on the lush mountain slopes of Bali's westernmost mountains on the very border of the Bali Barat National Park are two picturesque communities - Belimbingsari and its near neighbor Palasari. These communities were established in the late '1930s by Balinese who had converted to Christianity and who no longer felt at ease or welcome in the traditional setting of a traditional Balinese banjar. In the intervening years these two villages have flourished with Belimbingsari becoming home to a large Protestant community and their central place of worship while, just a few kilometers away, Roman Catholic Balinese live in a community built encircling their dramatic and architecturally eclectic church at Palasari. O Come, O Come Emmanuel This exclusive Christmas morning offering includes a pre-dawn pick up at any hotel in Bali, the air conditioned transportation and the services of a licensed guide to and from either Belimbingsari or Palasari, morning worship services, a Christmas morning brunch at the magnificent Taman Wana Resort and a scenic drive back to your hotel along Bali's rugged western coast. While the ride to and from the services takes the better part of two hours each way, distance was never a problem for wise men (and women) seeking to honor the Child whose birthday we celebrate on Friday, December 25, 2009. Join members of the Bali Discovery team on what always proves to be a special Balinese celebration of the special day! [A Truly Balinese Christmas]
Garuda Invited to Resume Flights to the U.S.A.
F.A.A. Offers Technical Assistance to Indonesian Government and Garuda to Help Restart Flight Service to the U.S. West Coast.
Bisnis Indonesia reports that the U.S. Government has invited Garuda Indonesia to re-open its long-abandoned direct flights between the U.S.A. and Indonesia with assistance from the U.S. Federal Aviation Agency (FAA). Garuda terminated its flights to Los Angeles in mid-1998 that operated on a route that traveled in both directions between Jakarta - Bali - Biak - Honolulu - Los Angeles.
The Minister of Transportation for Indonesia Freddy Numberi told the press that the U.S. invitation was delivered by U.S. Ambassador to Indonesia Cameron R. Hume after Indonesian aviation was moved from a cautionary category II rating to a more exemplary category I rating. Said Numberi, "this offer looks to be a good opportunity for Garuda and all of Indonesia." Minister Numberi said the U.S. invitation will facilitate Garuda's possible return to U.S. airspace and fulfill the airline's desire to recommence long-haul services. The Minister said he hoped Garuda would use this opportunity in accordance with its overall strategic plan for route and business development. The CEO of Garuda, Emirsyah Satar told the press that his airline was prioritizing Europe in their plans to recommence long-haul flights. The Indonesian national carrier will resume service to Amsterdam in June 2010 and the earliest they might consider flying to the U.S.A. would be 2012. Despite the reluctance of Garuda's CEO to start flying again to the U.S.A., the Director General of Civil Aviation, Herry Bakti S. Gumay is urging the airline to start flying to the U.S.A. in 2011 and invite the F.A.A. technical team to undertake the needed audits that will permit an Indonesian flag carrier to land in Los Angeles.
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