November, 28 2013
Limitless Possibility

A paraplegic woman went on a trip of lifetime from Jakarta to Bali on a motorcycle to inspire others.

by Magdalene
Wo/Men We Love
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Ever thought of doing a Jakarta-Bali trip on a motorcycle? About 1,200 kilometers (745 miles) of winding roads with cracks and potholes, muggy weather, blistering heat and the occasional heavy rain—the thought might just be enough to send to you to a low cost airline website.  
 
None of these deterred Sri Lestari, however. The 39-year-old woman from Klaten, Central Java was determined to reach Bali in three weeks on a motorcycle.
 
If that in itself is quite a feat already, consider this: Sri is paralyzed from the chest down after a motorcycle accident when she was 23.
 
For 10 years after the accident the wheelchair-bound Sri was too depressed to leave her home. Eventually she beat her depression, and when she did, she wanted to become mobile again.
 
“I planned, I saved and I borrowed, and four years ago I got my modified motorbike. It changed my life,” she said in the first of a four-part video documenting her trip. 



The brave woman rode on a modified motorcycle in an uplifting journey. A motorcycle accident made her paralyzed and ironically the same vehicle gave her life back.
 
She wanted to “show that people with disabilities in Indonesia can live free, independent, productive and happy lives” and encouraged other paraplegics to seek fulfillment despite their physical limitations.
 
And she sure looked like she had fun. In Bali, she went dolphin watching and learned to surf. It was her first experience swimming in the ocean. She describes the trip as the best days of her life.
 
Sri is an inspiration in country where people with disabilities are often neglected and face discrimination. Unable to find outlets to be productive and without infrastructure to allow them to be independent, many spend their lives confined to their homes.
 
She now works as a social worker at the United Cerebral Palsy, Wheels for Humanity, and enjoys a good life going out with friends.
 
“Have a dream and make them brave,” she said.
 
These four-part series was made possible by Singapore-based organization Our Better World (http://ourbetterworld.org/about-us).