My Bali Birthday
By Earnie Giles
While in Bali, I celebrated my birthday (I’m not going to tell you which one) on March 6th. Frances and I had planned to go to the Yayasan Widya Guna to meet all the children on Sunday, March 8th. Unbeknownst to me, Frances, our friend and driver Rai along with Nyoman and Ketut arranged a surprise birthday party for me.
When I walked through the door of the Yayasan, I was greeted by all the children singing Happy Birthday to me in Indonesian and showering me with flower petals. One of the children that I sponsor, Desak Ayu, put a lei of Gumitir, a local Balinese flower around my neck.
I spent quite a bit of time talking with many of the children, both those which are sponsored by The WINS Project USA and those sponsored by the other WINS affiliates. These children are a joy and inspiration and are happy even though they do not have much. Even the ones who do not speak any English try and communicate. There were over sixty people at the party and they all enjoyed cake and punch.
Frances, Rai and I took Desak Ayu, Komang Kariana and Kadek Joni, the three children we sponsor, to lunch. Only one of them had ever ridden in a car before and none of them had ever eaten in a restaurant. Kadek Joni ordered more than he could eat but generously shared with the other two children. Komang Kariana is a very shy child but started to come out of his shell. It was my most memorable birthday party ever.