NJT’s very own outreach coordinator Jeremy Landrytook a suitcase to Bali, making it one of the most memorable and meaningful parts of his trip, give his story a read
“Bali was incredible,
The warmth, the culture, the beauty, the art. I cant recommend Bali enough. Within the span of three days, I learned to surf, visited volcano and an incredible layered rice patty, experience the famous luwak coffee at one of the worlds few luwak coffee plantations, snorkeled in my first coral reef, and afterwards delivered my first NJT suitcase of humanitarian aid to a remote clinic.
Leading up to the delivery of my fist suitcase, I worried it would be underwhelming. I worried that I would be annoying to drag a large suitcase around Bali for the several days before I delivered it, that it would be difficult to find a clinic in need, that when I did find a clinic it would be expensive to get to, and that when I go to it the staff would be offended by the gesture.
As it turns out, I had nothing to worry about.
The suitcase was light and since all my things were in a backpack, it was not awkward moving from place to place.
It was easy to find local travel guides to gather information about poor remote areas that could use the supplies. There was no shortage of suggestions.
When we decided on an area, we were able to get a taxi for the full day for what equates to $30 Canadian, meaning we could fit in much more adventuring after the delivery.
When we told the taxi driver what we were doing, he was thrilled to help us. He acted as our translator the whole trip which was invaluable in hunting down a clinic when we got to the remote region. We quickly tracked down a small clinic in no time.
When we arrived at the clinic and entered, two nurses greeted us with surprise and curiosity. They did not speak english so our driver helped me convey to them that our suitcase was gift from a growing organization to provides relief to remote clinics around the world through travelers. As we explained we laid the suitcase on a chair and opened it so they could look through the supplies. The two nurses eagerly descended on the supplies, speaking excited Balanese to one another as the . Afterwards, we took group pictures and said our good-byes. But just as we were about to leave I remembered ask that their current supply looked like. They showed us a large cupboard that was empty except for a small handful of supplies neatly arranged in a corner of a lower shelf. This was all they had.
This was a sobering sight. One that left a somber silence in the car as our driver drove us away. Bali’s lack of basic medical supplies was not new to our driver, but for us travelers it brought into sharp focus the chasm between the happy, laid-back venire Bali projects to tourists and its hidden struggle to support the local population’s basic health needs.
I arrived in Bali worrying that taking a suitcase might burden my trip. Instead, it was one of my most meaningful and memorable experiences, adding meaning and purpose without a shred of inconvenience. It left me bolstered in my resolve to deliver again the next possible chance I get.
Thank you to all the amazing volunteers make this possible. Keep spreading your compassion.