November 22, 2017

Bring Your Santa Sack & Bag a Bargain

Well roundup the reindeer and call me Rudolph if Finns Food & Wine Festival isn’t going to be the best opportunity in Bali to get ahead of the game and make a dent in your Christmas shopping list!

That’s right socialites and shoppers, it’s on again, but while Friday December 8th at Finns Recreation Club may be the final Food & Wine Festival for 2017, it’s sure to see out the end of the year with some extra sparkle!

Perfectly timed to get a handle on your Christmas shopping, December’s event has even more in store for members and guests with over 60 market stalls bursting with festive season goodies. We all love a Christmas market as they’re the best time to buy with vendors usually adding some extra bling and tinsel to their handcrafted wares, so bring your santa sack and bag a bargain.

Finns Food & Wine Festival always presents a scrumptious array of fresh, locally produced foods to tempt your palate and Gold and Platinum members can whet their whistle with the usual 3 free drink vouchers to start the highballs rolling. No shortage of fun for the whole family either as Splash Water Park is open and free for everyone to enjoy from 3pm. Artists throughout the evening should keep the beat rolling as well as plenty of family friendly activities to keep your little elves out of your hair while you browse the market!

To mark the end of another school term and calendar year, December’s Food & Wine Festival goers are guaranteed a special treat as Miss Claire’s JSA Love to Dance troupe will perform their end of year dance recital on centre stage! From tots to teens, the concert is a chance to witness how far the students have progressed throughout the year. Performing a mixture of modern, classical, jazz and more, these talented dancers are sure to impress with many destined for success on the stage in the future.

Food & Wine Festival evenings commence from 3pm until 10pm on the lawn at Finns Recreation Club and everyone, (member or otherwise) is welcome to attend. Take time to wind down at the week’s end and chill out with friends while the younger members of the family are safe and secure to run, play and splash the evening away. With great drink specials available and a huge variety of irresistible gourmet offerings at very reasonable price tags, you can feed and entertain the family with ease.

Come along and join in some pre Christmas fun because the end of the year is fast approaching and….well….’tis the season so who needs an excuse! Mark December 8th on your social calendar and gather your friends together for a laid back evening of music, dance, liquid refreshment and some much needed retail therapy! Be sure to bring your shopping bag as you’re bound to find more than a few items you can cross off the Christmas list and maybe a bauble or two for you! On second thought….saddle up the ‘Bali sleigh’ (cue the Scoopy…) ‘cos your’e going to need something to carry home your Christmas stash!


Much More than Just a Decorative Doll

Pull up to a red light at almost any major intersection in Kuta and you’re likely to hear a soft tap at your window. Most people might look straight ahead and try not to notice the young, tousle haired figure at the window and continue to go about their day, attempting to put the welfare of this youngster out of their minds… but Putu Etiartini is not like ‘most people’.

After years of concern as to the plight of these impoverished children, Putu was determined to find out more and set about getting to know these kids and gain their trust. What began as a temporary school under a tarp soon evolved into Yayasan Kasih Peduli Anak (The Bali Street Kids Project) – a not-for-profit organisation with a mission to ‘give support, education, care and skills for disadvantaged children to have the opportunity of a satisfying and productive life’. Ten years on Putu’s efforts are paying off and YKPA is a well known, licensed charity offering care and lodging (on a casual or permanent basis), shelter, education and outreach schooling for the many kids who are still trying to make a living off the street.

Usually hailing from the poorest villages across Bali, these children are often sent by their families to the ‘city’ to beg for money on the streets. They are generally controlled by ‘bosses’ who regularly check on the children to collect what they have acquired thought the day. Sadly, as is often the case, little of the money makes it way back to the children or their families in the village, a factor that often deters many people from offering financial assistance.

These children have little or no opportunity or means to attend school or acquire a basic education, something that often continues this cycle of poverty as the kids grow up to become the ‘bosses’ and continue to perpetuate the exploitation of younger children. YKPA offers some hope for a better future.

Like many charities in Bali, YKPA relies heavily on much appreciated donations and the work volunteers to keep it up and running. To supplement these donations and at the same time, build a skill set and a sense of purpose, the children also sell their paintings and make dolls which are sold around numerous boutiques and venues across the island, many even making their way to retail outlets offshore!

There are numerous different dolls in various shapes and sizes and each is a one-of-a-kind-creation produced by the kids and the mums from the villages. The dolls are fashioned from a wooden frame covered in colourful cotton yarn and clothing – each with a different name, face and hairstyle! Every doll is different in some way, hand made and more than likely, in some way tell a story about their maker. Each doll has a name and you can choose to purchase a male or female in small, medium or large or even as a key ring!

Dolls are distributed for sale at various venues across the island including boutiques, holiday villas and restaurants or directly from the Yayasan shop in Denpasar. Finns Beach Club boutique and the Splash Shop at Finns Recreation Club also stock the dolls and monies raised from the sale go directly to support The Bali Street Kids Project. In addition to making great gifts, the revenue from your purchase goes to a worthy cause. This year, as you decide what to put in the Santa stocking for your loved ones, add a few extra YKPA dolls to the shopping list and make more than just one little angel smile.


Time to Play Santa and See the Kids Smile

Without a doubt, Christmas can be an exciting time of year! It’s the season where families come together to share gifts and enjoy invaluable time with loved ones. Weeks leading up to December 25th are tinged with anticipation and bubbling excitement as well as plans for festive get togethers, social engagements and shopping excursions to find the perfect present for those dear to your hearts.

This year, as you sit and ponder, ready to pen your family’s wish list, why not spare a thought for those youngsters who can’t be with their loved ones due to unfortunate circumstances beyond their control; those whose health, happiness and wellbeing depend largely on the generosity of others and whose current family consist of volunteer carers, visitors and roommates. This year, add an extra present or two to the shopping list and grant a wish for one of the children at Jodie O’Shea Orphanage.

Every year from December 1st, a traditional Christmas Tree takes pride of place in the foyer of Finns Recreation Club, but instead of shimmering with the usual tinsel and baubles, this tree boasts decorations of a different kind. More than just an ornament, it is a symbol of hope and generosity. Attached to the branches are tags bearing the names and details of each child from the Jodie O’Shea Orphanage in Denpasar, along with one item they would wish to receive on Christmas Day. You won’t find any requests for iPhones, laptops or big name brands here. Preferences are simple, day to day items, the likes that most of us (and our children) might take for granted such as T shirts, sports shoes, clothing, art materials and back packs.

Before you don your santa hat and head out on your trek to track down 2017’s presents and stocking fillers, simply grab a tag from the Jodie O’Shea Wishing Tree and register the name and details you find on the tag with the reception team at Finns Rec Club. Once you have purchased and wrapped your gift, drop it back to reception. The aim is to get the presents to Finns by December 20th at the latest so that staff have enough time to organise any extra gifts that may be required. Feel free to select as many tags from the tree as you like!

On Christmas Day, December 25th, Finns Recreation Club will host its annual Xmas Lunch and, as is the case every year, they will once again extend an invitation for the Jodie O’Shea Orphanage family to join the fun. All of the children are treated to lunch with the Finns family and guests, games and fun on the slides at Splash as well as a visit from ‘Santa’ when these generously donated gifts will be distributed to each and every child.

Most of us who celebrate the spirit of the season understand that the gift of giving can often be the most rewarding, but little more can put warmth in your heart and a tear in your eye than witnessing the smiles on the faces of these kids as they unwrap a gift that has been chosen just for them. Put a little extra for others in the stocking this Christmas…. Take a tag from the tree and some time to choose for someone who has less, ‘for it is in giving, that we receive’ (Francis of Assisi).

The Jodie O’Shea Wishing Tree will be in Finns Recreation Club foyer from December 1st, from which date you are welcome to drop by and select a tag from the tree.

Finns Recreation Club

Raya Pantai Berawa, Canggu