Duara circle consists of different people with different roles. In addition to the hosts and the developing team, those who do really important work for Duara are our local contact persons. They work as key persons between travellers and hosts, but also between the hosts and the Duara team in Finland.
We have previously presented some of the Duara contacts from our different destinations here. To continue with the theme, we are now introducing you to Adi (29) and Suri (28), a married couple working as Duara contacts for three villages in Bali.
Adi and Suri have worked with Duara Travels since we first started operating in Bali, in 2016. They heard about Duara through a friend and got immediately interested. When asking the couple why they wanted to join Duara, Suri explains that it was a great opportunity to work towards her dream of helping poor communities and people in need, as well as introduce her home village for travellers.
Adi, instead, says that he joined the company because of his wife. It was obviously so important for her that he almost didn’t have a choice. Luckily the work appeared to be interesting!
Suri is from the small rural village of Munti Gunung, where her mother and two of her four brothers still live. She moved out of the village for her studies and is now studying English at the University of Denpasar, in the capital of Bali. She met Adi about five years ago through his family, and the couple got married.
Adi is originally from Gadungan and studies tourism at the University of Denpasar as well. If Suri is the local contact for Muntigunung village, Adi is working for Perasi and Gadungan, as he has friends and family in both villages. Today the couple is living together in Denpasar, with Adi’s parents and one of Suri’s brothers. “My brother moved here to study as there are no schools for studying automotive in Munti Gunung”, says Suri.
Adi is very committed to his studies and work. He writes his thesis. He also travels a lot to the villages when there are new travellers coming, and tries to spend as much time with them as he can. Suri tries to balance her daily life between the couple’s two small children, the university classes which can sometimes last until late on the evening, and with Duara Travels. Obviously, and luckily, family members are very close and important part of daily life in Indonesia and they brings plenty of help in taking care of the house and children.
It is quite incredible from a Western point of view that a mother of a 2-3 months old baby can go to study and work several days a week and leave the baby to her parents in law or her brother! Despite a life which might sound busy, the couple meets daily in their house in Denpasar and spends a lot of time with the whole family.
Improved English and the encounters with people around the world has let the couple to dream about having their own tourism business or working for hotels in Bali. They have also got many new friends through Duara, and some of the previous travellers have even visited them when they have returned to the island.
Suri and Adi have enjoyed working for Duara because of different reasons. In addition to the fact that they are able to save money for their children’s education, both of them have learned more English and gained a lot of confidence in speaking English. “Before we were shy to speak English, but now with the travellers we don’t have the choice - we just have to speak!”
“Before we were shy to speak English, but now with the travellers we don’t have the choice – we just have to speak!”
In the future, Adi would like to focus on these new tourism segments by giving lectures at the university and managing his own business. Adi and Suri are both also interested in working with other new Duara villages in Bali or close-by islands, and working with sustainable tourism and community development. In addition, Suri is planning to teach English to children once she graduates from university.
Bali is the beloved home for Suri and Adi and they do not have plans of leaving the island. Instead, they dream of having their own house and a garden in one of the villages, once they are retired.
When asking about Duara’s negative impact or bad experiences, Suri can’t find any. Adi is thinking for a moment and says that sometimes there are travellers which are more demanding than others. But according to him, it just helps him to learn about different people in around the World and to improve his work and services. “Travellers who have been surprised about something in the village or the house are sometimes complaining, but that is also teaching patience and problem-solving skills”, says Adi.
Through his work and studies, Adi also sees how the tourism scene in Bali is changing. Many travellers are looking for more authentic, local experiences, as well as a more natural environment.
WHO ARE DUARA CONTACTS?
Duara contacts are locals, who work as a link between travellers, host and the Duara core team. Thanks to their English skills and the possibility to be connected through social media and emails, the contact persons make sure the travellers arrive well to the village and are reachable in case the travellers have important requests or questions. The contact persons transfer all the requests or questions from the community and the hosts to the Duara team in Finland and help maintaining communication between all the parties.
However, Duara contact persons are not guides and are not required to stay in the village the whole time the travellers are staying there. It depends about the destination and the person how much he or she can stay in the village and spend time with travellers. Others have the possibility to find more time than others, but all of them receive 10 % of each booking.
Read more about our other contacts in this story.