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A Voice from Ukraine. A Voice from Beyond

I Wayan Sujana: Born Bali - 1989 Died Ukraine -2014

(7/21/2014) The criminal destruction of MH17 in the skies over Ukrainian and the resulting loss of 298 lives interrupted in mid-stream, each while in happy pursuit of their  individual dream quests.

CNN and other media are sharing many of these personal stories, each as poignant and heartbreaking as the next, describing the empty chairs and empty tables now affecting hundreds of families across the globe.

One such story from Bali is that of 25-year-old I Wayan Sujana.

Born in Pejarakan, North Bali to a impoverished family whose main source of income is derived from collecting sea salt.

Describe by his family and friends as a quiet and pleasant young man with a burning desire to succeed and help his family, Wayan once wrote on his curriculum vitae that his personal motto is “Wortk Hard, Dream High and Never Give Up.”

By working part time jobs and with the assistance of scholarships, Wayan had reached the final year of schooling for a college degree in from the Ganesha University in North Bali, majoring in hotel studies.

To supplement his family’s meager income Wayan set up a successful spa and still managed to find time to teach English to the children in his home village.

When Wayan died he was returning from a one-month grand tour of Europe paid for my a Belgium friend who had taught as a volunteer at a small school established by Wayan in his home town.

But Wayan’s story is best told in his own words, shown below taken from one of his Facebook pages and written before his journey to Europe.

A SON OF SALT FARMER PURSUEs HIS DREAM
by I Wayan Sujana

Like the above title, I am only a son of salt farmer, so you could say I have already tasted the salty side of life. My Father is Ketut Ginastra and my Mother is Wayan Sukri. I am from Pejarakan. I have high dreams of traveling around the world. I really want to know the world.

But how my father can support and pay for my high dream when his income is only Rp. 25 thousand per day (US$2.20)? With that small amount he must pay for everything. But, still, working as a salt farmer he has somehow succeeded in paying for my education, often by borrowing money.

After I finished vocational high school, my teacher offered me the chance to continue my studies at Ganesha University. I was so excited to join the Diploma 3 program of hotel work.

In many ways, my struggle for a successful future began here.

I have never waste my time. I took every chance for new opportunities available at school, knowing there are many scholarships available for poor student with records of strong achievement.

Each year, I worked to win scholarships to help lighten my family’s financial burden.

Due to the high cost of living in Singaraja (North Bali), I have tried to manage my money carefully and have become a small entrepreneur in order to supplement my income.

Using the knowledge obtained in my courses, I opened a small spa. As a result, I am now self-employed and earning an income from the spa.

Initial funding for the Spa came from the PMW program (Student Entrepreneurship Project). I prepared a business plan, and with the help of Ibu Dini, I was able to get start up funding for the spa. Also with Ibu Dini’s support, I opened Quality Spa in Edotel for a year. After some serious consideration, I moved my spa to Pejarakan where I live with my family. There, I also used my PMW funding to open “sekolah alam” or “Nature course.”. This program gives free education to poor students in English, Spa training and preserving nature.

I often asked myself how can I teach while I am always busy studying? But it is not big problem. I use my spare time to teach 3 times a week and I still have time for my campus academic activities.

My education at Ganesha University has taught me English and tourism while preparing my by Diploma as a Hotelier.

I have also invited overseas volunteers to stay in my village. While they are visiting Bali, they can live in my house with no charge for accommodation and meals, learning at the same time how the Balinese live.

As a result, there are many volunteers who support my school.

In fact, one volunteer was so impressed with my efforts that he invited me to come to his wedding in Belgium, sponsoring all the costs connected with my travel.

This is my wonderful chance to see the world. My dream is to see Paris and the rest of Europe. The son of salt farmer now is achieving this dream. Thank to God, my Father, my Mother, my sponsors, lecturers and all those who have assisted me.

I think that life is a game of survival. Nothing is impossible. If there is a will, there is a way. I must always keep fighting and do mu best.

Thank you D3 hotelier, Thank you to my university Undiksha Thank you all so much!

I Wayan Sujana

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