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Welcome to Yakeba

Welcome to Yakeba

Everywhere I travel for work, I ask people to tell me about culturally specific barriers to using condoms.  When I asked a group of the addicts at Yakeba the same question, I received two consistent answers:

1.  They thought that condoms resulted in less feeling during sexual activity (not always true, but a typical response)
2.  They felt that many condoms were just too big (an extremely atypical response)

Monday's Condom Art Pin workshop at Yakeba

Monday's Condom Art Pin workshop at Yakeba

Condom crown of Crown condoms

Condom crown of Crown condoms

Sutra, the preferred brand of condoms in Indonesia

Sutra, the preferred brand of condoms in Indonesia

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Today is the Balinese holiday in honor of Saraswati, the goddess of learning.  Paradoxically, no one is allowed to read or write on this day.

I landed safely in Bali yesterday afternoon and spent the rest of the day with Bob and Resa from Yakeba.  They took us to buy SIM cards, and Resa got bitten by a monkey sitting outside the roadside shop!  See the little bugger below…

Biting SIM card monkey in Bali

Biting SIM card monkey

On our way to the airport to pick up our Ethiopian colleague Nardos last night, we all went out to eat Masakan Padang, which is Indonesian fast food.  I ate calf brains!

Masakan Padang

Masakan Padang

Adrian, Resa and Joy Lynn (eating calf brains)

Adrian, Resa and Joy Lynn (eating calf brains)

According to the Indonesian Penal Code, any person attempting to bring drugs into the country is executed… so you can imagine how we panicked when a security officer at the airport informed us that Nardos was being questioned because he was carrying 23 kilos of Kolo, which is just an Ethiopian snack food that apparently looked like drugs to the customs agents.  After I convinced a security guard to let me inside the arrivals terminal (Franck was required to jump through hoops then buy an official pass, because he is not a girl in a short skirt) I ran up and down the lines of arriving passengers looking for Nardos.  We found that he had eventually been released with a warning “not to bring this food into Indonesia again.”

Arrivals at Denpasar International Airport

Arrivals at Denpasar International Airport

We are all now safe and sound here our Balinese apartment, eating breakfast, listening to music and getting some work done out on our balcony.  Check back to read about our first workshop with injecting drug users at Yakeba on Monday!

I love my work 🙂

Today I am preparing to leave for Bali to develop an interactive Condom Zone, which will be featured at the International Congress on AIDS in Asia and The Pacific.  I will be working with The Condom Project, the United Nations Population Fund and Yakeba, a local AIDS service organization that provides prevention and care for sex workers, injecting drug users and youth in Bali.

For those of you who are new to my work, I wanted to share some photos from my travel over the years…  Stay tuned for new pictures and more info on my developing projects in Indonesia in the coming weeks!

Minjar, Ethiopia

Minjar, Ethiopia

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Making a condom dress in Dakar, Senegal

Making a condom dress in Dakar, Senegal

... with sleeves the colors of the Senegalese flag

... with sleeves the colors of the Senegalese flag

TV show in Nigera

TV show in Nigera

Charmed crocodile in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso

Charmed crocodile in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso

Alden House in Bangkok, Thailand

Alden House in Bangkok, Thailand

Thai ladyboys and me

Thai ladyboys and me

Safer sex workshop in New Delhi, India

Safer sex workshop in New Delhi, India

Visual Voice screening at New Delhi trucking center

Visual Voice screening at New Delhi trucking center

Embracing Our Traditions, Values & Teachings in Anchorage, Alaska

Embracing Our Traditions, Values & Teachings in Anchorage, Alaska

Hatcher's Pass, Alaska

Hatcher's Pass, Alaska

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