A Boy's Dream
My name is Agus Arya Adhi Wijaya a.k.a Dede. Some of my best friends call me Dee or Gorra. I like the name....Gorra. It sounds simple and is easy to remember, especially for the western tongue. I was born on 1st of February, 1979, in a small village called Sidemen, in the eastern part of Bali.
As a village boy I used to play in farmland and rivers. My village is part of Karangasem regency, Bali province, Indonesia. It is famous for its beautiful view and creative people who produce the famous "Songket" sarongs. It is a place where the rice terraces still can be found surrounding the village, where the hills are green and clear water flows in the rivers.
The Balinese culture and traditions are still alive in my village which attracts many tourists. They have been coming to visit here for many years.
When I turned six, I became very interested in becoming a part of the tourism industry , This happened because I saw tourists from other countries walking down the road of my village, or sometimes in their rental cars, motorbikes or bicycles.
My friends and I would often try to attract them with childish antics on the way home after school. I have always dreamt of one day becoming a multilingual tour guide so I can communicate with people from all over the world.
Since then, I have always tried to learn to speak better English. I would do this by sometimes just talking a view words in really broken English to a tourist who came to take our pictures with my village as the background.
It was a great experience as a kid.
I remember a girl from United States whose name was Ms. Ness Preisler
( I remember her name, because I still have pieces of paper where she wrote her name and her address in US).
She was walking by herself one afternoon, and I ran to her from my house just to start a conversation with her, so I could practice my English. Talking to Ms. Preisler wa s one of my greatest experiences.
She encouraged me to learn because when we walked together, she was patient in trying to understand my broken English.
When I reached the age of eleven, I went to Junior High. We studied English. It was such a wonderful thing, finally learning the language in a formal way. I felt that I was getting closer to my dream of becoming a tour guide.
The Long Road
To make my dream seem closer, I attended Bali Hotel & Tourism Training Institute in Nusa Dua, throughout College. I majored in Tours, Travel Management and German.
Study was such a great experience for me as I felt that my dream was becoming closer. Finally I can speak with another language besides English. My tutor's name was Mrs. Simone who is from Germany. I learnt how to conduct guided tours, gained a greater understanding of Balinese culture and also of my own heritage.
Mr. Sukardi, my Guide Master was the man who helped me with this.
I graduated in 2000 and was then able to start preparing for my future. I applied to many companies for the position of a Tour Guide but did not get a job. I decided I would not give up, that maybe the direction of my dream would just have to change.
In 2001 I successfully applied for a job at the oldest dive center in Bali, BARUNA WATER SPORT. I started my career in Baruna Candidasa where the clients were mostly from Germany. I loved my new job and gained new and valuable experience in scuba diving. I had many wonderful times there...
Bali Black October 2002
On October 12th 2002, two Bombs blasted in the heart of Kuta. The tourism industry in Bali collapsed.
Terrorism became a new nightmare that Bali was not yet ready for. Every country,
all over the world issued travel warnings saying not to visit Bali.
No more tourists came to visit, and the dive shop where was I working is closed. I had to find another job.
I then become a Photographer for a local News Paper called the "Nusa Tenggara Daily". I had to take a couple of horrible shots involving bad politics and corruption , I felt very uncomfortable. After six months as photographer and having to act like someone I'm not , I decided to quit.
Back to Tourism Industry, and work as operational staff in a local Travel Bureau . After five years since in this industry, Now I starting to move forward, starting my own business.
Adi Melali is also a long discuss with my friend Komang Adi,
an experienced tour driver, a father of 3 years old wonderful daughter, he is my best friend,
a funny guy, my spirit and power in this business.
His spirit and optimism in facing life, no matter how hard it is fascinating me.
'Adi' is taken from our middle names, Komang Adi and my name, Adhi Wijaya. The word 'Adi' in Bali also means little brother or sister and 'Melali' is an ‘official’ past time for a Balinese, which basically means ‘going out somewhere’. This could be by yourself or with a friend; visiting someone or simply going nowhere in particular.
These often spontaneous adventures invariably involve a coffee and a snack somewhere on the way.
You are welcome to ‘melali’ with us or just jump on my motorbike and visit a friend in a village - the more remote the better.
Adi Melali, might just a simple name, but behind that there's a big dream.
A fair online travel that can trust by people all around the world as their travelling buddy in Bali.
Trust Adi Melali just like you trust your best buddy!
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