Meet the Women Building Bali’s Luxury ‘Paradise’ for Dollars a Day
As dusk falls over Bali’s west coast another grueling day of hard labor draws to a close for the 60 or so women on this Singaporean-owned construction site. But their work isn’t finished yet. Back at their make shift camp, located a two-minute walk from Canggu—a hip seaside village, they are straight back on the tools, this time preparing meals for the husbands, and sometimes children, that share their single-room bamboo huts.
“The hardest [part] is I get so tired, sometimes I can’t handle it anymore. I just break down and cry. When that happens I get flashbacks of how sad my life is,” explains Made*, 35, who was orphaned as a three-year-old.
The days are long, hot and lowly paid. Made—a pseudonym—has worked seven days a week for the past three months, waking at 3:30 AM to begin preparing food for her husband, also a construction worker on site, and their children. They arrive at work together at 7 AM and spend the day lugging steel beams, shoveling cement, and hammering rods into concrete in stifling humidity and 80-degree heat.
“Sometimes it’s sad but there is nothing else I can do. If I don’t do this then my family can’t eat,” she says.