[News] The maid from Indonesia

 

She has sent back to her family 15 million rupiah in the three years she has been working in Bali.

Home for her is in the Canggu area down a narrow dirt lane.

Inside, a wedding photo takes pride of place on the wall above a refrigerator and television, opposite a couple of mattresses propped up against the wall. A small bathroom is the setting for Acha's favourite activity - bath time.

On the narrow, tiled porch outside there is a basket full of toys for Acha - many given by Ms Bones' employers - and some potted plants. A neighbour's chicken roams freely and Mr Lifu's sister, Imel Lifu, 22, lives in a unit a couple of doors down.

 

 
Ms Nova Erni Esiana Bones, 26, who had worked here for four years, is now a nanny and housekeeper for an Aussie family in Bali. She lives with her husband, Mr Dafy Lifu, 28, and daughter Acha, 18 months. Mr Shahabuddin 45, who had worked here for fou
 

A 10-minute motorcycle ride through alleys and rice fields, past spas, coffee houses and boutiques, takes her to her employer's house, a large bungalow.

She is there from 7am to 2pm six days a week, caring for the two children of her employer, taking them to the beach, preparing sandwiches for lunch, or sometimes glutinous rice. But she has not been able to find the right spices for mee siam.

On her day off, she teaches Sunday school in her church. Two weeks ago, the family celebrated her birthday with a swim at one of the sandy beaches Bali is renowned for, to Acha's delight.

She harbours hopes of coming back to Singapore.

It is where she "grew up", she said, explaining: "Last time I would think, 'Today I eat what, tomorrow I eat what'. I didn't think about how to save more money.

"In Singapore my eyes opened. It's difficult to find money, you must work hard. But I knew what life is, I felt like an adult. I could enjoy myself, buy new clothes and earn money."

There is a simple pride in her voice as she talks about the tangible help she has been able to give her family. "I could bring back a lot of money, and my parents can feel comfortable in the house."

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