Bula blog followers!! (Sorry I forgot how to say hi in Indonesian.) It’s your beloved leader, Remi, finishing up my first (& last) solo mission. The last two days here in East Bali have been fun-filled and jam-packed. We started yesterday morning with a 7:00 am breakfast full of our favorite granola & eggs. After binge eating an unhealthy amount of coconut milk & chocolate caramel cashew granola, we loaded into the cars & made our way to the temples. The car rides from Point A to Point B are always very eventful here. Sometimes it feels like a head-on collision is seconds away from happening, while other times Nicki Minaj mixtapes play for 20 minutes followed by a 40-minute long dance music festival recording. In other words, I suggest packing earbuds & maintaining a firm grasp on the “oh crap!” handle at all times.
We reached the first temple at around 9:30 & to say the least it was stunning. We ladies stepped out in our most fashionable attire, a fuchsia sarong paired with a yellow bow, an XL lacy top, & our oh-so-very-trendy chacos. The boys followed behind us looking nice, but not half as stylish as the girls. There’s no doubt we were runway ready. When we reached the outside of the temple, our minds were blown. The architecture was absolutely stunning and the rich scent of burning incense filled the air. We walked up the stairs & after every flight, we turned around to admire the view. It felt hard to believe that it looked more beautiful every time we looked at it. Finally, we set down on our shoes & sat down for prayer. After the prayer began, we were sprinkled with Holy Water, drank it three times, & then rice was placed on our foreheads & the center of our collarbones. Once the prayer wrapped up, we made our way back to the cars & loaded up to go to the next temple. Lucky for me, I was blessed with an AUX cord in the next car!
When we reached the second temple, we had no idea that we were in for such a treat. This prayer consisted of more Holy Water, except it was used to cleanse our bodies & mind. We lined up & then the water was dumped over our hands & eventually our heads. Overall, I am really happy that I experienced these rituals because I found them very interesting. Also, the incense smelled really good. I wish my mom would let me burn them at home, but she always gets the wrong idea. Anyway, we finished the day with a composting activity, then rested until dinner.
After dinner, I conducted my first evening circle by myself. We began it with a discussion on an article & then an activity that I must say was rather original. In most evening circles we play a game or ask a question, but I decided it would be fun to imagine what kind of dancer Patrick is at a music festival. Katie won, but I think we all can agree it is a sight we’d like to see in real life. Before closing the circle, we all shared silly stories & laughed over the fire that the staff made for us. These are the moments I treasure the most on this semester, but these are also the moments that will make it most difficult to say goodbye in a couple weeks. After laughing until we all had formed washboard abs, we decided to call it night.
Today we slept in & had an 8 o’clock breakfast, woohoo!! At 9:00 we all recuperated & walked to the garden to begin the second day of composting. It began to rain & there were a lot of flies, but we had each other. After digging up compost & doing some planting, we took a break before lunch. When the clock struck 12 we met up for lunch & discussed our plan for the rest of the day. Originally the plan was to go to the cashew factory at 2 & head to the beach, but the rain caused some minor setbacks. The truck ran about 45 minutes late due to a miscommunication & the weather didn’t really work with us in terms of going to the beach. We went to the cashew factory for about an hour where we split into groups of three & tackled different jobs. One group went to packaging, one went to peeling & my group went to splitting. It was fun, but the best part was the coconut bread we got for a snack.
Although it’s rained all day, we are still grateful for the opportunities we are presented with & also the fact that we are having mac & cheese for dinner tonight. The trip is finishing up, but I am so happy that all of these experiences will last forever in my heart. If it were up to me I’d give Bali several speeding tickets because the last weeks here are going by way too fast. I really could go on & on about how much I love everyone here, but this is meant to be a blog post & not a novel. Anyway, my mac & cheese will be done in 49 minutes so I am signing off now.