The construction crew is an extended family, from Bali. They work seven days a week and camp out on the property in very modest conditions. They work incredibly hard and yet they do not complain. They require time to go back to their villages for ceremonies of various types, but otherwise they work reliably and formidably.
Shelly and I decided that since phase I is complete and the concrete floor slabs are in place, we would treat the crew to food from the vendors at the beach. On Sundays the locals come to relax and there’s a half-dozen or so food vendors to keep the crowds happy.
In general the client (myself) doesn’t interact with the building crew. And I am naturally limited because they don’t speak English. I talk to the builder, who talks with the crew foreman, and then the work gets done.
But Shelly and I do bring food treats and old clothes to the crew every now and again, and I’m the type of client who likes to visit the building site daily, to see the progress and learn the details.
So treating the crew like regular folk and appreciating their contributions was something that we wanted to formally acknowledge.
The heartwarming moment for me was when they told me to stop spending money on them. At that point I has spent about 300,000 rupiah ($20 USD) on bakso (meatball and noodle soup), grilled corn, martabak (veggie mini-pancakes), drinks, etc. The crew knew I wouldn’t say no if they kept eating and drinking. But they didn’t want to overdo it.