on yer bike, part two

by jo walker

(continued from part one...)

"There are two very poignant moments of the trip that made everything so very worthwhile. On the night ferry between Sumbawa and Flores we met the very humble and brave Pak Lorensius. Lorensius' facial deformity is very challenging to look at. Most people turn away from him in embarrassment, fear or disgust. When I spoke to him about the possibility of an operation he broke down saying that he had never imagined he could get help. Lorensius is now on the foundation's waiting list for an operation. The second image that I will remember is eating a simple meal of soup and rice in a poor area of Flores. There were old-fashioned floral curtains blowing in the breeze. I asked if I could take photo because the curtains reminded me so much of my niece and frankie magazine. After talking about our trek the owner asked me to give a photo of her son to the Australian doctors who had operated on him as a baby. Though she did not know who the doctors were she wanted me to make them aware of how thankful she was for her son's life-changing operation.

"So how much money did we raise on the trip? I am very proud to say that we raised IDR 1,259,000 (about $120). Every rupiah was donated by the very poor to help the poor. We have created not only awareness of the programme, but also a new and very long waiting list of patients. So as a dotty old aunty who is about to set out on the second leg of the journey through central Australia I am asking the readers of frankie to support Yayasan Senyum Bali and the Australian Cranio Maxillo Facial Foundation in any way that you can. Think of ways in which you can help these people to face the world with a smile!

"Oh and by the way, a very rickety old bus full of passengers, goats, pigs and market products eventually came along. They rescued us and stopped us and the bike from sliding over a very steep precipice to our doom. Sorry mum, I absolutely promise I will take the easy road next time."

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