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Welcome to The Lombok Guide – Lombok’s complete tourism paper and your guide to the best that the island has to offer. The Lombok Guide is published on Lombok every two weeks and contains valuable information for all visitors to our magical island.

The island of Lombok has just successfully hosted its most important tourism promotion event of the year. The national TIME (Tourism Indonesia Mart & Expo), held in Lombok from 12 to 15 October, 2010, saw over 200 buyers and sellers attend the travel expo. Visitors from 22 countries toured the island, enjoying fantastic dinners and cultural shows, as well as attending presentations on the best Lombok travel deals.

In this issue we have a special editorial on the challenges facing Senggigi’s image. While the popular tourism resort has much to offer travellers, the TIME expo serves as a timely warning that image really is everything! We also have photos of a beautiful Lombok wedding, a feature on a Lombok dental revolution, an update on La Niña and more!

To find out more, pick up a copy of The Lombok Guide from the locations listed on http://www.thelombokguide.com/deadline_publishing.html or visit www.thelombokguide.com and discover the magic of Lombok for yourself… like thousands of others, you’ll be enchanted!

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The Gotong Royong (Community Cleanup Day) held on Friday, 8 October 2010 highlights one of the major problems facing Senggigi business operators: image.

As anyone in marketing will tell you, “image is everything” and the image presented by Senggigi these days is already having a negative impact on marketing the town as a tourism resort.

Often billed as “a tourism icon” and “the centre of tourism in Lombok” by the government and the Department of Culture and Tourism (Dinas Pariwisata), these government agencies need to come and have a good, long look at Senggigi’s street appeal.

Certainly the recent rains have done nothing to help the problem. Heavy downpours have proven too much for the outdated drainage systems. This is one of the first things the government should be addressing. New drainage is desperately needed (and perhaps when new drains are built, Senggigi will have some decent footpaths!)

However, even cleaning out the existing drains would help the current situation. Most of the drains we inspected were clogged with rubbish and soil washed down from previous rains. Weeds have grown up in the drainage ditches, blocking the flow of any water. Indonesians tend to see drains as places to throw rubbish and the number of street sellers and kaki lima (food carts) using the drains to dispose of their rubbish needs to be stopped.

In fact, the kaki lima and illegal warung (local cafés) that line the streets are major contributors to the rubbish problems in Senggigi. Moreover, their tacky constructions and poorly maintained equipment create an additional eyesore to the overall street image of the town.

While legitimate investors wishing to operate bars and restaurants in Senggigi must go through a bureaucratic hoop of building permits, licenses and tax regulations, it seems anyone can purchase a blue tent and set up a booming business on the side of the road; taking away customers from lawful operators who have invested considerable funds in their businesses.

Illegal traders compete with legitimate businesses, but pay no taxes, rarely provide employment or contribute to the local community, and take no responsibility for maintaining and upgrading their environment.
Last year, the government made a half-hearted attempt to get rid of many of the illegal warung and kaki lima operating in Senggigi and Batu Bolong but, with no one monitoring the situation on a regular basis, the previously ousted street vendors soon moved back into town and the problems continue.

Moreover, these kaki lima and warung set up on the side of the road, directly on top of the footpaths. They block any access for pedestrians, forcing people to walk on the road to pass around them.

The footpaths in Senggigi are another major problem. Made of local paving, most footpaths are now broken and in a sorry state of repair. Large sections of the paths have sunk, making walking a balancing act. Other parts have no paving at all, or broken pavers and holes, creating a dangerous situation for anyone not watching their step.

In a so called “tourism resort” such a situation is ridiculous! Surely the least tourists can expect is to have a safe place to walk from hotel to restaurants, shopping, etc.

Street lighting is another problem that has been discussed for years, without any change having been made by the PLN (state electricity company). Tourists are often forced to walk along dark stretches of road at night, trying to navigate the uneven and broken footpaths. More than one tourist has ended up in the drain!

From where we live in Senggigi, we can see the street lights come on shortly after dusk. Then, an hour or so later, they will suddenly be switched off. Shortly later, they are turned on again, only to be turned off again later. There seems to be no reason for this, unless there is a madman playing with the light switches?

Many years ago now, the PLN introduced a 20% levy on all consumers, ostensibly to pay for “street lighting” in our communities. Considering that we often have to endure no street lighting at all, or intermittent lighting at best, perhaps it is time to confront the PLN on this. Either the company must provide the street lighting we pay for, or deduct 20% from everyone’s electricity bill!

All these factors and more contribute to the negative street appeal and the poor image of Senggigi.
While most of these problems are obviously the responsibility of the local government, those of us who live and work here are realistic to know that if we wait for action by the government, we’ll be waiting forever.

We applaud the initiative shown by Sakinah and Iwan at Asmara Restaurant in trying to bring the Senggigi community together by organising regular cleanups and those generous people who turn out each month to lend a hand in cleaning up around their local area.

However, as our photos over these two pages show, there are many who continue to turn a blind eye to the problems, even when they are right outside their businesses. The worst offenders are those businesses who continue to treat the street as their personal junk yard.

Looking at the street appeal and image of Senggigi at the moment, we urge all people in the area to ask themselves: “are you part of the problem, or part of the solution?”

We encourage all investors and residents in Senggigi, local and western, to step forward and address some of these problems. Everyone should be complaining to local authorities about flooding, the state of the drains, the mud slides over the roads, the broken footpaths, and the lack of street lighting. Businesses should be complaining about illegal street vendors and the poor image of their town. While one voice may not be heard, many voices continuously saying the same things will eventually get attention!

Senggigi has some fabulous world-class resorts and hotels, good bars and nightclubs, is close to beautiful beaches and is the ideal base for exploring the rest of the island. The government must be made to realise that this area is a vital part of Lombok tourism and needs immediate solutions to these problems.

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• For all Aussies and those who love the Australian horse racing event of the year, don’t miss Melbourne Cup Day on Tuesday, 2 November at The Beach Club (on the beach near Café Alberto). The popular bar and restaurant celebrates the Melbourne Cup with the race televised on the big screen at the bar and followed by a delicious BBQ lunch. Join in the fun, with all traditional Melbourne Cup games and prizes and don’t forget your Cup attire! There are free cocktails for the ladies wearing Cup Day hats and for the best outfits on the day. The fun starts at 10am. Ph: 693637 www.thebeachclublombok.com

• The Berugaq Coffee House and Gallery, in the Griya Ellen Complex on the road from Kebon Roek Markets to the airport, is a great little place to stop in for a coffee and a snack on the way to and from Ampenan and the city. It’s one of the few places that makes authentic “western style” cakes and desserts, including cheese cakes, muffins and carrot cakes. They also serve a fantastic range of brewed coffees, teas, iced beverages and Italian sodas, together with a small snack menu. Relax in air conditioned comfort and view the lovely artwork on sale by local artists. Profits from the coffee shop go towards funding Lombok charity projects. This month, The Berugaq is offering one tall beverage of your choice free to The Lombok Guide readers. See the discount voucher on page 56 for details.

Lombok Training Centre has now opened on the main street in Senggigi (inside the Lombok Property and Villas office, just north of Happy Café) and offers personalised classes in a range of languages. If you’ve ever wanted to learn to speak Indonesian, this is the place! The professional language centre has modern equipment and computers, multi-lingual tutors and a comfortable environment. You can join a small personal class, or even have private tuition, and prices are very reasonable! Ph: 693 229 or 688 0033.

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Dear Editor

I am Indonesian and live in BTN Green Valley. I always like to read The Lombok Guide every issue for the interesting stories and news. Thank you for publishing the “Your Say” letters in Bahasa Indonesia as well as English, so that everyone can understand them. It would be great if all your stories could be in both languages too.

I wanted to say that it is not just tourists and westerners who are angry about the noise from the motorbikes. In Green Valley, we are sick of the teenager racing their noisy bikes through the streets, especially at night when groups of these idiots ride around making too much noise.

In the kampung where I used to live, this was never allowed and we would throw rocks at them if they did it. Everyone knows this is not considerate to their neighbours and these people are just ignorant! Everyone should get together and get these people out of Senggigi.

Green Valley


Kepada Penulis

Saya orang Indonesia yang tinggal di BTN Green Valley. Saya selalu suka membaca The Lombok Guide setiap edisi untuk berita-berita yang menarik. Terima kasih telah mempublikasikan surat-surat pada kolom “Your Say” dalam bahasa Indonesia dan bahasa Inggris juga, sehingga semua orang bisa mengerti isi surat-surat tersebut. Akan sangat lebih bagus lagi apabila semua artikel di koran anda dicetak dalam dua bahasa juga.

Saya ingin mengatakan bahwa tidak hanya turis dan bule yang marah tentang kebisingan yang ditimbulkan oleh sepeda motor. Di Green Valley, kami semua muak dengan para remaja yang melaju cepat dengan suara sepeda motor yang bising di sepanjang jalan, khususnya pada malam hari di saat orang-orang yang bodoh ini berkelompok mengendarai sepeda motor membuat kebisingan yang berlebihan.

Di dalam kampung dimana saya tinggal dulu, ini tidak pernah terjadi dan kami akan melemparkan batu kepada mereka bila mereka melakukan itu. Semua orang tahu bahwa ini adalah perbuatan yang tidak sopan kepada tetangga sekitarnya dan orang-orang ini sangatlah kurang ajar!

Semua orang seharusnya bersama-sama menentukan sikap dan mengeluarkan orang-orang semcam ini dari Senggigi.

Green Valley


Dear Editor - Lombok Guide,

Firstly, may I congratulate you on an excellent publication. It proved to be the most valuable source of information during my family’s recent stay on Lombok.

Your diving readers may like to be aware of the huge disparity in diving trips offered from the Senggigi-based dive operators.

I am an experienced diver with over 250 logged dives. On the advice of our hotel staff we were recommended to dive with a locally run dive centre (who shall remain nameless) and my family could join for a day’s snorkelling. They purported themselves to be affiliated with PADI, so I had no questions in diving with them.
The service was severely lacking in so many areas. The trip was delayed by over half an hour to start the day with no apology or explanation. Thankfully, I was travelling with my own diving equipment and, looking at the quality the other poor guests had to suffer, it looked downright dangerous.

I was offered no dive briefing - surely standard safe dive practice - and I felt uncomfortable despite confidence in my abilities. My wife and son were promised a guide for their snorkel day - no guide was present and they felt deserted and scared with the lack of supervision.

During the “lunch break” we were unceremoniously dumped on the Gilis and had to find our own arrangements. After a disorganised break, more guests joined our dive trip with eight divers and only one guide. I count myself lucky not to have experienced this shoddy service before. It was a shambles.
I had planned several more days of diving during my stay but, of course, would not dive with them again.
Thanks to your publication, we chose to move to Blue Marlin Dive. What a pleasant surprise to experience a professionally run dive centre at last!

It was a smooth pick up from our hotel and transfer to the islands. As soon as we boarded the boat, my wife and son were introduced to the always smiling and friendly snorkel guide, Dedy (if that's how you spell his name - apologies Dedy if not). They felt immediately comfortable with him - and he didn't let them down all day. They had a great day trip!

For myself, our Dive Master Epoel was amazing - professional, courteous and informative. He has a vision underwater second to none, and I managed to take some amazing photos and memories to take away with me. 

The break was excellent. A very comfortable venue where we could shower and enjoy a good lunch before our second tour of the islands.

I made a point of asking to meet the manager upon our return, and thank him personally for a totally different experience of what the Gilis has to offer.

My family were so impressed, we are already planning our Lombok return early next year, and my wife and son will take the PADI diving licence with Blue Marlin. Stuart, make sure you are free!!!

Whilst I do not expect you to publish this letter, I really feel The Lombok Guide should warn Senggigi diving guests of the varying standards of service offered. Not only from an experience point of view, but SAFETY too.
I wish you every success with your magazine. I will be on-line to keep up to date with Lombok news and events.

D Jones and family (Wales, UK)


Kepada Penulis

Pertama-tama, perkenankan saya mengucapkan selamat untuk publikasi anda yang sangat bagus. Telah terbukti menjadi sumber informasi yang paling berguna selama saya sekeluarga tinggal di Lombok baru-baru ini.

Para pembaca anda yang punya hobi menyelam mungkin akan tertarik untuk mengetahui tentang ketidak konsistenan yang sangat besar antara pelayanan dan tawaran pelayanan yang diberikan oleh beberapa operator selam di Senggigi.

Saya adalah penyelam yang berpengalaman dengan lebih dari 250 kali menyelam. Mengikuti saran staf hotel dimana kami tinggal, kami direkomendasikan untuk menyelam dengan perusahaan penyelaman lokal (yang tidak bisa kami sebutkan namanya) dan keluarga saya juga bisa bergabung untuk snorkelling sepanjang hari itu. Mereka mengasosiasikan diri mereka dalam standard PADI, sehingga saya tidak merasa ragu untuk menyelam bersama meraka.

Pelayanannya sangat kurang dalam beberapa hal. Hari kami dimulai dengan perjalanan yang terlambat lebih dari setengah jam tanpa permohonan maaf dan penjelasan. Untunglah, saya membawa peralatan menyelam saya sendiri, dan melihat dari kualitas yang rendah yang didapatkan oleh beberapa tamu yang lain, kelihatannya sangat berbahaya.

Saya tidak diberikan pengarahan sebelum menyelam -- yang semestinya adalah standar pelatihan menyelam -- saya merasa tidak nyaman dan tidak percaya diri dengan kemampuan saya. Istri dan anak saya dijanjikan akan ditemani seorang guide untuk perjalanan snorkel mereka -- tidak ada guide yang diberikan dan mereka ditinggalkan dan takut karena tidak ada pengawasan.

Pada saat jadwal “istirahat makan siang” kami ditinggalkan begitu saja di Gili dan harus mencari makan siang kami sendiri. Setelah istirahat yang tidak terorganisir ini, lebih banyak tamu lagi bergabung dalam perjalanan menyelam kami dengan delapan penyelam dan hanya satu guide. Saya berpikir saya masih lebih beruntung daripada mereka karena tidak harus mengalami pelayanan yang lebih parah lagi. Itu adalah pengalaman yang sangat kacau.

Saya telah berencana untuk menyelam lagi dalam beberapa hari kedepan selama saya tinggal disini, tetapi sudah pasti saya tidak akan menyelam bersama mereka lagi.

Terima kasih untuk koran anda, kami memilih Blue Marlin Dive. Sungguh kejutan yang sangat menyenangkan merasakan pelayanan yang professional dari operator selam, akhirnya!

Kami dijemput dari hotel tanpa ada gangguan sedikitpun langsung di antar ke pulau-pulau Gili, pada saat kami naik ke atas perahu, istri dan anak saya langsung diperkenalkan dengan guide snorkelling yang selalu tersenyum, Dedy (bila itu ejaan yang benar -  kalau salah mohon maaf Dedy). Mereka langsung merasa nyaman dengannya -- dan dia tidak pernah meninggalkan mereka sepanjang hari. Mereka mendapatkan perjalanan snorkelling yang menyenangkan!

Untuk saya sendiri, Pengarah Selam kami, Epoel sangat luar biasa -- professional, sopan dan penuh informasi. Pandangannya di bawah air adalah yang nomor satu, dan saya berhasil mengambil beberapa photo yang luar biasa dan memori untuk saya bawa pulang.

Saat-saat istirahatnya juga sangat bagus. Di suatu tempat yang sangat nyaman dimana kami bisa mandi dan menikmati makan siang yang enak sebelum perjalanan kedua ke pulau-pulau berikutnya.

Saya meminta untuk bertemu dengan menejer pada saat kembali dari perjalanan, dan berterima kasih secara pribadi untuk pengalaman yang sangat berbeda dari apa yang bisa ditawarkan oleh pulau-pulau Gili.
Keluarga saya sangat terkesan, kami sudah merencanakan untuk kembali ke Lombok lebih cepat lagi tahun depan, istri dan anak saya akan mengambil ijin menyelam dari PADI dengan Blue Marlin. Stuart, pastikan anda ada waktu untuk kami!!!

Saya tidak terlalu berharap penulis akan mencetak surat ini, saya hanya merasa The Lombok Guide harus memberikan peringatan kepada tamu-tamu penyelam di Senggigi tentang standar yang tidak sesuai dengan apa yang ditawarkan. Tidak hanya dari sudut pandang pengalaman, tapi dari segi KEAMANAN juga.
Saya mendoakan koran anda akan tetap sukses. Saya akan terus cek website anda untuk tetap mengetahui berita terkini tentang Lombok dan acara-acara di Lombok.

D Jones dan keluarga (Wales, UK)

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The rain stopped and the sun shone on the romantic wedding of Emma and Sean Diggeden (of The Beach Club, Lombok) before family and friends from Australia and the UK, held at the Sheraton.
Photos by Ferry at Vio Studio, Lombok.

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(Tongue-in-cheek answers to your personal building problems)

QUESTION: I have just spent the past year building my dream villa with swimming pool on the idyllic island of Lombok and I must say I am pleased with the results. The only disappointment, however, has been the management of the swimming pool. It is so difficult to get the PH balance just right. I decided to add a chlorinator to the system, as I was told it saves on expensive chemicals and is kinder on the skin. When it rains, I lose a lot of chemically treated water and have to add more chemicals in varying amounts according to the weather. I have bought one of those testing kits but still find it difficult to get it just right. What am I doing wrong?

MR FIXER: If you have a salt chlorine pool, I recommend you add roughly 400kgs of salt to your average 40 000 litre pool when first filled, (1 part per 100). Filter the pool for 24 hours until all sediment and debris has been removed, and perform a backwash and rinse on your filter. Use your test kit as per instructions (5 drops per capsule) and add soda ash or chlorine crystals as recommended. 

If your pool sample in the bromine test chamber shows up bright purple, add acid. If it shows up brown, add soda ash. If the chlorine chamber shows up brown, you have too much chlorine. If it shows up almost clear, you don’t have enough chlorine, so add some crystals or a couple of chlorine tablets. Keep adding chlorine in small amounts until your test chamber shows pale yellow. The ideal chlorine mix is 3 parts per million. My friend George has a good way of testing the temperature of his pool. He dips the end of his penis in and proudly announces 28 degrees. His African friend does the same to find out how deep it is.

QUESTION: I have recently moved to Senggigi and have purchased a delightful property with the help of an equally delightful estate agent. I have employed staff for many years and have also worked on many building projects. I do have a couple of queries, as I am not accustomed to some of the activities that are taking place at my home whilst doing some renovations. 

Some of my workers have started to do their weekly washing in my newly built toilet.  They then hang their wet smelly clothes to dry on nails hammered into my brand new doorframes.

Am I being culturally insensitive to request that my workers use the toilet provided instead of my garden? Men urinating and spitting in public is nothing new to me, but when there are so many of them performing their private bodily functions in such a small space as my garden, especially when they are supposed to be working, it is turning my house into a kampung and is more than I can stand. The place is more like a bomb site than a building site with discarded plastic bags and wrappers from their lunches littering every available space. I am half expecting one of them to rig up a rubber tyre on a rope and start swinging like the monkeys do in the zoo. It seems like it’s two steps forwards and one step backward. I just can’t seem to see an end to this project! What should I do?

MR FIXER: If you give enough monkeys enough typewriters, eventually one of them will write Shakespeare. “To be or not to be, that is the banana”, or something like that.  Welcome to Lombok! Either sack ‘em or whack ‘em. Don’t put up with it! If you make a doormat out of yourself, people will just walk all over you. It’s either that or get some tyres on ropes installed and sell tickets for the show. Good luck!

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More people than ever showed their community spirit at the Gotong Royong (Cleanup Day) held in Senggigi on Friday, 8 October 2010.

Local residents, employees and business people took to the streets to clean up their area of town. The Sheraton staff were out in force, unblocking drains and cleaning mud off the road to be loaded into a truck donated by Manna Kebun.

Once again, Asmara staff did more than their share, together with tenants from the Galeria and nearby shops, trying to clean up the poorly maintained shopping complex, which seems to have become a dumping area for a local hotel.

This month’s gotong royong even attracted the attention of the Camat (District Head) from Batu Layar and the Kepala Desa (Village Head) of Senggigi, who lent a hand in the cleanup and provided a truck to help with transporting the rubbish.

Iwan and Sakinah from Asmara Restaurant are responsible for starting the monthly gotong royong in Senggigi, although the cleanup days don’t personally benefit their business and all the costs are paid by them. Rather, they started the ball rolling out of frustration at the bad condition of the streets and the poor image of Senggigi.

Knowing that the government and local authorities wouldn’t do anything about it, they decided to take matters into their own hands by setting an example and encouraging neighbours to join them in cleaning up the town.
Their initiative has been very successful, with the main street being cleaned from the Galeria north to the Sheraton during this month’s cleanup. However, the south part of Senggigi is very poorly presented and we hope that more people in these areas will get involved next month. The Lombok Guide will publish the date of the next gotong royong prior to the event.

Congratulations to all those who joined in… you set a great example for others!

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As we go to print, the Lombok community is shocked by the sudden death of Gerd Bunte. Gerd passed away suddenly of a heart attack in the early hours of Sunday, 10 October 2010 while visiting Jakarta.

Gerd was a well-known and respected Lombok personality, who had lived in Lombok for the past 14 years. In 1996, together with his partner, Astrid Huber, he founded Dream Divers – the first German diving school in Lombok.

Today, Dream Divers is one of the most successful and professional dive operations in Lombok, with a head office in Senggigi, and dive centres at the Sheraton Senggigi, Gili Air and Gili Trawangan.

An active member of the Lombok community, Gerd was passionate about tourism development and promotion for Lombok, and outspoken in his criticism of the government. In 2004, he was a board member for the Senggigi Business Forum and often represented investors’ interests in meetings with the government. Gerd was also one of the founding members of “The Lombok Times” English-language newspaper in 2003.
At the time of his death, Gerd was still running his dive business and was an active member of SHAGS golf club in Lombok, where he regularly played golf with other expatriates.

He leaves behind a son, Simon, and will be greatly missed by many friends in Lombok.

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In two short years, a little lady with a big smile has quietly revolutionised dental care in Lombok.

Dr Farida Istiarini doesn’t look like a dentist. She’s petite, very beautiful and still looks quite young. But despite her softly spoken manner, the 36 year old Lombok lady has an air of confidence that underlies her focus and determination to lift the standards of dentistry on this developing island.

Born in Lombok, Dr Farida began her career in Jakarta where her parents were working at the time. She studied dentistry at Tri Sakti University in Jakarta for five years and, after gaining her degree, returned to Lombok where she worked in the Puskusmas (local health centres) here for three years.

During that time she developed a special interest in the science behind our teeth: skeletal issues and what creates the shape of a “good” mouth, as opposed to deformed or unhealthy teeth. Her passion became focused on correcting dental problems to make people look better.

Following this interest, she returned to Java where she studied for a doctorate in Orthodontics at Gajah Mada University in Jogyakarta for the next four years.

With nine years of dental study and three years of practical experience behind her, she returned to Lombok two years ago and has been making a name for herself ever since.

Orthodontics is the branch of dentistry that specialises in the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of dental and facial irregularities.

While the speciality is mainly concerned with the straightening of teeth to correct functional or cosmetic issues, orthodontic dentistry also looks at both the dental and skeletal structure that creates the shape of the mouth and teeth, the facial profile, tooth formation, issues such as “overbite” or “underbite”, and asymmetrical differences that create the shape of our faces.

The practice of orthodontics involves the design, application and control of corrective appliances (braces or retainers) to bring teeth, lips and jaws into proper alignment and achieve facial balance.

Currently, Dr Farida is the only orthodontist practicing in Lombok. At her clinics in Mataram, Dr Farida practices general dentistry and orthodontic specialties, as well as cosmetic dentistry.

Her work is in high demand and she is kept very busy. This dedicated mother of two works full time at the Rumah Sakit Umum (public hospital) in Gerung, West Lombok, where she assists the general dentist, as well as handling all orthodontic patients, including emergency and accident cases.

After hours, she operates her private clinic at the recently opened Permata Hati Hospital in Mataram every Monday to Thursday, and at Kimia Pharma Clinic in Mataram on Friday and Saturday evenings.

It’s a gruelling schedule, that leaves little time for a personal life, but this doesn’t seem to faze Dr Farida. She is a dedicated, career-driven and highly intelligent doctor who thrives on her work.

“I like correcting dental problems and making people look beautiful”, Dr Farida says, “There are many dental issues on an island like Lombok, where genetics and in-breeding play a large role in dental development.”
One of her major projects directed at Lombok’s special problems is working with the Mataram Rotary Club and Yayasan Kita Peduli (a local charity organisation) on their cleft lip and palate programme. Every year under this programme, international dentists from Australia, Japan and The Netherlands, together with Indonesian dentists, donate their time and expertise to carrying out free treatment for local people with cleft lip and cleft palate irregularities.

These operations are life-changing for the local people, many of whom come from desperately poor communities and have lived with facial deformities for years.

Dr Farida works closely with the teams at RSU Gerung and the visiting dentists, coordinating patients, operations and facilities. Sometimes she also assists in the operating theatre, which she says is both a moving experience and a valuable learning aid.

After the operations, it is her responsibility to carry out follow up care. Patients often have little understanding of dental care and hygiene, so many will need to be taught to take care of their healing wounds. Dr Farida teaches them to keep their wounds clean, treats infections, takes out the stitches and assesses their post-operative progress.

After the surgeries and healing takes place, many require ongoing care and reconstructive dentistry to correct their teeth problems. The work is challenging and rewarding… and vital for the people of Lombok.

At her practice at Permata Hati Hospital, it is a different world to the busy public hospital. The hospital itself is very modern and clean and Dr Farida’s clinic is highly professional. Fitted out with the latest, state-of-the-art equipment and assisted by two capable dental nurses, Dr Farida’s clinic has attracted a steady clientele of both western and local devotees who appreciate her skills and gentle expertise, as well as the clean and hygienic environment.

As part of her on-going training, Dr Farida attends regular conventions and seminars to update her skills and keep abreast of new techniques and technologies. At the recent congress of the World Orthodontic Federation in Sydney, Australian dentists were amazed to see that her equipment in Lombok was the equal of their own clinics.

“I have duplicated Sydney – the same equipment, the same material, the same methodology. But a big difference in the price, of course!” she laughs.

While many people come for fillings and “scale and cleans”, a growing number of people in Lombok are now sporting braces – and they are all fitted by Dr Farida.

“Indonesian facial structure tends to push outward at the mouth and jaw, creating an overbite and an unflattering profile. Many people are choosing to have this corrected with braces, which usually solves the problem in a year or so… making them more beautiful,” Farida laughs, as I kid her about what seems to have become the latest trend amongst Lombok’s wealthier classes.

Cosmetic dentistry, particularly tooth whitening, is also in high demand and Dr Farida possesses the latest technology to make the process as painless and fast as possible. Using high quality chemicals and a state-of-the-art halogen light machine, my teeth were whitened by 7 shades in just two easy visits. Amazing!

People seeking professional and high quality dental care can contact Dr Farida at her clinic at Permata Hati, by phoning 631 999.

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PATA Travel Mart is Asia Pacific’s most important and influential travel and tourism industry networking event. PATA Travel Mart 2010 was held in Macau from 14 – 17 September, 2010, at the Venetian Macau Resort Hotel.

Holiday Resort Lombok was represented by its General Manager, Mr Stefan Leu, who travelled to Macau to promote Lombok and the Holiday Resort.

This year industry and media delegates, including 530 sellers from 295 organisations and 38 source markets, and 303 buyers from 269 organisations and 53 source markets, together with 152 media delegates from 13 countries, attended the event.

During the Travel Mart, Stefan promoted the beautiful island of Lombok and was approached by plenty of buyers wanting more information about Lombok and TIME (Tourism Indonesia Mart & Expo) held in Lombok between 12 – 15 October.

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The Denpasar office of the National Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) has warned Bali and Lombok residents to be on watch for unusual La Niña weather phenomena that will peak in the November-December period.

Bali weather forecasters warn of rainfall coming down at an intensity of between 50-100 millimeters per hour and the potential consequences of these downpours.

Beritabali.com quoted the Bali chief of data and information at BKMG, Endro Tjahjono, saying that the effects of La Niña have already begun to be experienced in the region with periods of intense rainfall lasting more than two hours.

Endro warned that the most threatening La Niña situation occurs when rain falls at an intensity exceeding 100 millimeters per hour for periods of more than two hours. Typically, this condition quite literally “precipitates” flooding and landslides.

Endro Thahjono explained that areas with land slopes exceeding 35 degrees and devoid of tree cover are most susceptible to devastating land slides. Flooding occurs in low-lying areas and areas with poor drainage.

Tjahjono also said that the La Niña typically returns in patterns of 2 and 8 years, thus signifying that the La Niña weather pattern may return in April 2011.

La Niña is caused by unusually cold ocean temperatures in the Pacific equator region, while its counterpart El Niño results from warmer than normal ocean temperatures.

Lombok experienced a very dry El Niño late last year, which prevented the start of the usual monsoon or “rainy season”.  Higher than normal temperatures and lack of rainfall caused many crops to fail and put pressure on local food supplies for the island.

The La Niña weather pattern, which often follows an El Niño event, started in late August this year, bringing abnormally wet weather to the region.

The monsoon season generally starts around October each year and this, combined with the La Niña, is responsible for the heavier than normal rains we are experiencing. The rainy season generally continues to around April each year and, with a second La Niña predicted to begin in April 2011, it’s possible that we are in for a very extended wet season.

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The provincial government of Bali is targeting to be able to finally declare Bali “rabies-free” by 28 October, 2012. To reach this goal, the government will be undertaking mass vaccination programmes on the island’s dogs over the coming 5 months.

The head of Bali’s Animal Husbandry Department, Putu Sumantra, told Beritabali.com that the mass vaccination program will be undertaken in phases using vaccines with both long and short-term efficacy.

The government has set a target for 70% of Bali’s estimated 500,000 dog population to be inoculated over the course of the 5-month programme. Booster shots will also be given to dogs that have already received initial inoculation.

“Dogs that have already been inoculated will be given a ‘rabinet’ booster; dogs that are receiving an initial inoculation will be injected with ‘rabisin.’,” Sumantra said.

A total of 400,000 shots are being prepared for the coming mass inoculation drive.

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