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Virtual Love for Bali Endures

Melina Caruso and Agoes Mulyadi: Local Couple Who Put Their Love of Bali on Line.

(8/20/2005) The August 18, 2005 edition of The Jakarta Post featured the story "Virtual Love for Bali Endures," by staff reporter I Wayan Juniartha, relating the personal histories and work of the founders of the www.bali-paradise.com and www.baliforum.com - Agoes Mulyadi and Melina Caruso.

This is the story of an Australian Balinese romance that has defied the odds, flourished, given birth to two handsome sons Putu Andrew and Kadek Aron, and created the leading Internet travel portal for Bali.

Their travel portal records over three million unique visitors every year while their lively and informative travel forum has 4,393 registered members.

Friends and colleagues in Bali marvel endlesly at Agoes and Melina's ingenuity, generous spirits and their very unique union that has somehow brought together a mild-mannered, soft-spoken Balinese computer expert with a no-nonsense, tell-it-like-is Australian with tempestuous Sicilian roots. Plain-spoken and resolute, Melina, who doesn't hesitate to calls a spade a shovel, serves as the indisputable mater familias of a household where a sexual ratio of 3:1 still leaves the men at an distinct tactical disadvantage. Meanwhile, the steadfastly wise and reticent Agoes operates quietly in the background, offering the perfect ying to his spouse's yang; managing to intercept Melina en route to the armory - successfully directing a woman on the warpath towards the negotiation table.

Those of us who are their neighbors in Bali cherish both their friendship and their counsel.

The Jakarta Post article recounts the pivotal role Agoes and Melina have played in working for Bali's recovery and their efforts to spread hope and a positive message for Bali in the dark days following the October 2002 bombing, countering those urging boycotts of the island.

Describing their inestimable contribution to Bali's recovery, the article says:

"Caruso, Mulyadi and scores of other Internet administrators, including the renowned Jack Daniels, the host of Bali Update (www.balidiscovery.com), fought hard to convince the international community not to abandon the island and its people in a difficult period."