One Day – Nyoman Sri Widianti, Indonesian Forum for Environment (WALHI)

Nyoman Sri Widianti, Indonesian Forum for Environment (WALHI)
Head of the Indonesian Forum for Environment (WALHI) in Bali Nyoman Sri Widianti battles to right what she calls Bali’s disastrous environmental problems, notably the island’s fast-disappearing forest areas. The 30-year-old Balinese, who with her husband Kadek has just had her first child, shared her day with The Bali Times’ Dewa Paramartha.

I’m a traditional Balinese woman so the first thing I do after I get up at 5:30 in the morning is leave the house and my sleeping husband and little girl and go to the market to buy the food we’ll need for the day. My mind is racing with what I have to do for the day as I’m choosing the items and haggling over the price.

When I get back home, I cook breakfast for myself and Kadek and we sit down and have it together, usually just nasi goreng (fried rice), talking about this and that and things that lie ahead in the future. Kadek is a lawyer and often discusses his cases with me.
I go to the office a bit later than Kadek as I need to spend time with our baby, Nirmala – she’s only six months old and at this age she requires special attention from her mother. I talk to her, even though she doesn’t understand a word I’m saying, and of course I bathe and feed her. I don’t have time to breast feed her, though, because I’m too busy at work.
My choice of vehicle for traveling to my office is a motorbike as the streets are so crowded and packed with traffic jams.
WALHI has been around for 26 years now, seven in Bali. Here we monitor what’s happening in the environment – for example, the government is building a geothermal project in Bedugul but it might be harmful to the environment so we’re monitoring its progress.
The environment in Bali right now is in a bad state. We only have 20 percent of our original forests left and each year its size gets smaller and smaller. We have got to do something to protect it, otherwise the coming generations will never see a forest in Bali.
We train and educate people – villagers and students – about their environment and how it’s so important to protect nature. We’re also involved in disaster areas, like the tsunami-affected areas of Aceh and around Yogyakarta, which was hit by the large earthquake earlier this year that also killed so many people and caused so much destruction.
Lunch is at midday at a warung (foodstall) near the office. I prefer Balinese food as it’s not too spicy, but generally I’ll eat most anything.
I’m actually trained as a lawyer and am active in the Indonesian Legal Aid and Human Rights Association, where I specialize in cases involving women.
I’m so happy when I get home in the evening, around 5pm, and pick up Nirmala and hug and kiss her – just being away from her for a few hours feels like days.
Then it’s down to the task of washing clothes and making dinner – or getting it from a warung if I’ve too much to do. As Balinese, and members of the banjar (community), we spend some evenings with the people of our neighborhood making offering. We don’t get paid for it, of course, but it’s a great way of keeping in touch with everyone and it makes me feel good. It’s also important as a way to maintain the unity of the people of Bali – and I believe it makes Bali different from any other place in the world.
Before dinner I have pray at the temple at our house and ask for blessings from God; I ask that we can stay healthy so we can keep working.
Kadek and I have dinner around 8pm, something like rice, vegetables and chicken or pork – it’s simple food, but we like it. Kadek put Nirmala to sleep while I wash up and then stretch out and relax for a couple of hours by watching television, usually the news.
Just before I fall into a deep sleep, I kiss Nirmala and Kadek and close my eyes and wait for the morning sun to welcome me to a new day

Midsection liftout:
We only have 20 percent of our original forests left.

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