Yazminca Woodward

Jesus College, Oxford, 2014

Yazminca Woodward

Jesus College, Oxford, 2014

Hubud is a haven for the tech community in Bali, which lies just outside the Monkey Forest in Ubud. Hidden up a small stairway with an exterior similar to the many other small business, art studios and warungs that line Jalan Monkey Forest, for Yazminca Woodward, it immediately became clear Hubud was home to a unique community when she saw a sign on the front entrance saying ‘bitcoins accepted here’.

“On entering, Hubud quickly resonated with all that I had read about Bali’s emerging tech start-up community – a vibrant hub for tech entrepreneurs from Bali, Indonesia more widely and from various global locations, this incredible opportunity was perfectly set up to spur inspiration and creativity set looking over the luscious green forest.“

At the start of her trip, funded by Traverse Trust Travel Scholarship, Yazminca met the first of her contacts here. On the first day she met a young Indonesian entrepreneur who had recently graduated with a degree in computer studies. She spent a fascinating afternoon with Irma chatting about her experiences as a woman in Indonesia trying to break into the tech start-up industry and comparing these to her own experiences - learning to code and being in the minority as a woman in tech.

“ Despite our lives being miles apart it was incredible how many similarities of experience we had. For example, similar to the Code First programme I took part in, she spoke about some of the emerging programmes in Indonesia like Girls in Tech.” 

However, equally fascinating were the differences in tech cultures due to the nature of Indonesia as a developing country, for example she spoke a lot about how fast current technology use is changing in major settlements in Bali and how much interest in the tech industry in growing there – mentioning a lot about how many of her friends were increasingly idolising tech as a promising career as a result of the growing number of start-ups in Indonesia.

On the second day Yazminca met an overseas student studying Veterinary and taking time in Indonesia to research how tech could be used to help tackle Indonesia’s burgeoning ecological problems. She spoke of her experiences with several projects which she had spent time studying, most interestingly were her opinions on REDD project in Kalimantan (similar to REDD initiatives Yazminca had studied for her final exams). She similarly spoke highly of the opportunities that Indonesia had due to its growing tech community to be a leader in tech and environmental conservation. She also helped recommend some conservation projects where Yazminca could volunteer, one being the reef restoration program in Gili Trawangan.

“This incredible opportunity was perfectly set up to spur inspiration and creativity.”

                                               — Yazminca Woodward

“I came away from Hubud absolutely inspired as to how active these two young women and their wider communities were being in driving tech innovation and conservation efforts in Indonesia, so promising to see and hopefully a sign that as the tech community is still in its earlier stages that women are becoming so involved so early on. Both women were very keen to keep in contact so I hope that we can continue to share our experiences from opposite hemispheres!”

Leaving behind the expansive beaches and sea temples of Bali’s South Coast, Yazminca hired a driver to take her into the luscious green heart of Bali to Ubud. Ubud is said to be the cultural centre of Bali and after 2 hours driving and a stop off at the drivers favourite warung for lunch, she was dropped off on Jl Sukma, a street bustling with small art shops, shrines, and horse and carts stacked with everything from chickens and rice crops to children on the way to school.

Here she stayed at the Putu Putera Homestay which was recommended by my driver who knew the family running it. He also informed me that Ubud was one of the first places where homestays first began. Putu Putera and the family who ran it were an absolute delight. The house was accessed through an intricately carved arch way with koi ponds and small shrines along either side of the path leading up to the house and for 100,000 rp (about £6 per night).

“When I got chatting with the father on my first day he told me that I was incredibly lucky to be visiting Ubud at this time. He explained that recently the main priest in Ubud had died and that there was a parade and grand ceremony after which his cremation would take place that afternoon. He was absolutely right, that afternoon I joined crowds in the main square to witness the most spectacular parade.“

After a unique insight into the religious traditions and spirituality which is central to the daily lives of Ubud’s community, Yazminca woke up early the next morning and set off on the Campuhan Ridge trek. The trail wound through the luscious greenery of the rice paddies and royal Palm trees getting progressively higher away from the hustle bustle of Ubud town centre. After just over an hours walk they (Yazminca and another woman who she had met the previous evening also staying at Putu Putera) arrived at the top where there was a small village dotted with intricate shrines and surrounded by staged rice paddies being cultivated by pockets of local farmers. At the far side of the village they stumbled upon Karsa Kafe a beautiful spot with huts on stilts over koi ponds looking out across the rice paddies.

“The final highlight of my Ubud trip was a day spent exploring around the Sacred Monkey Forest and the traditional market surrounding it.“

After an initial change of plan due to her arrival date falling in Ramadan, Yazminca decided to take an internal flight from the Muslim area of Jakarta to the Hindu area of Bali to begin her travels here. She set up base in Kuta-Legion and spent her first three days there exploring the expansive beaches and impressive temples which make up Bali’s South Coast. The first temple she visited was Uluwatu, an 11th century temple set on the very tip of a cliff and one of 9 sea temples said to protect Bali from evil spirits.

 Contact Us

 If you would like more information about our initiatives please, do get in touch.