Bali resident Susan Stein does one of the better things a person can do for their unskilled domestic staff: she teaches them to become something else. It all began casually nine years ago, when the American spa trainer began showing her security guards and gardeners how to give massages to her house guests. She later realized that the skills she was imparting could create better futures for her staff by enabling them to enter the island's important resort industry. From this came Jari Menari (dancing fingers) part vocational-training enterprise, part massage center and something Stein calls "my way of giving back to Bali."
To date, Stein has put around 30 of her household staff through the program. They work in her home (and practice on Stein's lucky friends) while being trained for up to nine months. But upon graduation, they find work at resorts on the island, stay on at Jari Menari, or work overseas (some have been hired away to work in destinations as diverse as Bermuda and Italy). A few of the best join Stein's traveling entourage, helping her train staff at five-star resorts around the world.
Visitors are welcome at Jari Menari. Fully trained therapists offer four kinds of massage starting at a bargain $15.90 and there are massage-and-meal packages (one, the Tuesday Supper Club, features a 90-minute massage followed by dinner at Stein's villa for $100). There is also a daylong class for visitors that includes tuition, some yoga, lunch and a 90-minute knead at the end of the day all for $170. For more information, see www.jarimenari.com.
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