Donna Sue Robson is a freelance writer and essayist specialising in the arts, Latin dance; & natural & alternative therapies for people and pets. Check out her own energy-healing consultancy and boutique natural products at www.jamienatural.com
Published October 12th 2016
Buy Local, Go Global
The welcome sign says it all.The energy of Global Village Kafe is vibrant, 'village' and visionary.
The name itself — 'Global Village Kafe' — promises a far-reaching vision, and it delivers. In fact, it inspires, way beyond its 'real expresso coffee' and international cuisine.
First, the coffee. Not only does Global Village Kafe have real espresso coffee from 8am, they use Indonesian-grown Arabica beans, hand-roasted in Bali, and have cared enough to train staff to make coffee that satisfies Western expectations and tastes. Here, the coffee is a rich blend with a creamy caramel sweetness made with full-cream milk (or other varieties) that is never over-boiled. That alone should keep you coming back for more.
Global Village Kafe has, quite simply, the best 'real expresso coffee' at Lovina Beach.
This café has a menu that is everything that you would expect from a 'global village'. There is more to this menu than the usual 'International, Balinese and Indonesian' sections. Global is a café-bistro that details what 'international' means, with popular and classic choices from Spanish, South American, Middle Eastern and French traditions. You are in a Global Village: I saw before me a pizza generously topped with vegetables and spices packed ready to go in a cardboard pizza tray, and on our own table, an Indian samosa and a Spanish burrito-wrap. All meals were made in 'the way' that their original cooks had intended. The food is authentic in flavour and presentation and is completed with cuisine-appropriate side dishes, sauces and dips. Salads are nutritious and varied. There is an extensive drinks menu that includes Indian Chai, a range of coffees, herbal teas, fruit lassies, beers, wines and liquors.
However, the global village theme runs deeper than mere food choices: there are poignant political statements and declarations alongside dishes and drinks. Take the time to read the menu. Left-wing diners will settle comfortably into 'arm-chairs of ideological comfort' or at least be amused with some political home-truths and hilarious satire.
Food is varied, internationally inspired and presented with usual Balinese design flair. The pizza, for example satisfies cravings of tourists and travelers alike.
Global Village Kafe has a handicraft retail section to the side of the eatery, where various wooden, brass, metal, coconut, beaded products and artefacts from North Bali-surrounds are for sale at fixed prices. The sales-money goes back to the people and artists who make the products. Prices are reasonable and genuine and you get authentic crafts. For me, this is a prime reason to shop at Global Kafe: I want to know that artistry is honoured and that tourist dollars feed families and keep their hand-making art-forms alive.
Che Guevara shows the way: this is a place with heart, vision and a social mission to change people's lives in a real and sustainable way.
My real love is essential oils and Global Kafe stocks highly-sought-after and unusual oils, such as coffee, chocolate and vanilla. After a comprehensive island search, their oils are not only high-quality and locally produced, but are priced well below the specialist-stores in both Lovina and Ubud. The same can be said for their raw herbs and spices range (which are neatly packaged to keep Customs happy) that forms 'The General's Store'. Again, natural produce under Che Guevara's portrait was of high quality, priced on-par with what you would pay in fresh food primary producer's markets, and proceeds are either returned to village farmers or support the humanitarian work of Global Village Foundation.
The herbs and spices are high-quality and have fixed prices that are market-competitive. You won't get a better deal on essential oils.
Nestled in the corner is the Kafe's book and DVD exchange, which is a popular service among resident ex-pats and the 'have-time' first, second and third wave hippie travelers. This is an exchange which is a service rather than a money-making sideline and contributes to an education and networking commitment that is an important part of the global village ideal. The book-exchange program creates a drop-in vibe and nurtures friendships within Lovina communities. Keep an eye out for Global Village's classic and Art House movie nights. As you would expect, the cafe also has free Wi Fi.
Beyond the village vibrancy and laid-back vibe there is clear 'vision'. High on the walls is a very prominent portrait of Che Guevara, flanked by Mahatma Ghandi, the Dalai Lama and Nelson Mandela. They and other world leaders declare the guiding principles of Global Village Kafe: this is a not-for-profit social business that does grass-roots, life-changing work.
Global Village has plans to extend its social-business model to other parts of Indonesia, for example, to Sumatra where impoverishment is strong and support is lacking.
Global Village Foundation Bali (Yayasan Kampung Sedunia Bali) is the mission behind the cafe "to assist the disabled and the poor of north Bali and East Java to have a better quality of life". This means that the Foundation drives ongoing, one-on-one support in the fields of healthcare, housing, education and sanitation. The Foundation, supported by the café, meets the ongoing medical expenses of poor people who have no other means of support. They have, for example, built new bathrooms for families who need modern resources to care for a family member who is disabled or where lack of sanitation makes caring for those with health issues an impossible or Herculean task.
There are a few children and young people that the Foundation has helped who have the rare, genetic skin disease called Ichthyosis that excludes them from mainstream education. Poor, and with no access to education, prospects for these children are dim to say the least. The Foundation has paid for home-tutorship so that these children can gain skills for future employment.
The Foundation also works alongside Adopt a School Australia and Bali Hearts Lovina to provide far-reaching care and health-support to people who need it.
You can 'go Global' to enjoy the best coffee and what is perhaps the most varied menu in Lovina Beach. You can also go one step further and check out their retail sections and know that as you get quality, home-made wares you are also contributing to grass-roots family economies and artist colonies. Whatever you do, you will helping the Foundation to deliver its health and healing outreach program.
Global Village Kafe exudes an active, warm and vibrant buzz. It is a cafe business that genuinely changes people's lives and works across borders to create a global village.
Drop-in for a coffee, breakfast, a light lunch or dinner and become part of something bigger than yourself. You are entering a global village.