Bali Beautiful Bali, Bali, Indonesia
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You know a place is great when you struggle whether to share it with others or to keep it to yourself– like a hidden treasure…
Our hotel was nestled in the middle of rolling lush green fields of flowing rice. Who knew rice was such a beautiful plant. The landscape was dotted by groupings of triangular shaped geometric hats worn by the local farmers. Men, women, children and elderly worked side by side. I sat many days outside our villa watching them and fantasizing about their lives. Living in the nearby village and waking to this lively field of nature, watching it grow day by day-spending their days tending to the land while literally and figuratively, enjoying the fruits of their labor. The village days were divided into three parts. Everyday 6:00am, 12:00noon and 6:00pm religious chanting and music filled the air throughout all of Bali from all the nearby temples. It was as though a soft silk spiritual cloth was draped over everything and everyone everyday reminding them regularly of this overall life’s purpose. The sun set over the fields at night glowing a kiss goodnight as the silver cool moon watched over until the great mother returned for another glorious day. How could this simple life seem so simply perfect? I found myself reflecting back to Los Angles and the fields of skyscrapers and the “busy”ness of business of everything and everyone… What is the point?!?!! Was I just loosing it sitting day after day surrounded by this simple existence that I had forgotten about what was really important in life? Or had I just had my veil lifted from that which has seemed to blind me for so long?
On one of many of our walks through the village to the beach -Ella found a stray kitten living under a pile of washed up sticks on the beach. Jason’s eyes filled with terror as he knew he held no power over three girls and a stray kitten. We were all entranced by this little guy and the girls named him “Tiger”. This entrancement lasted for about one week.. but after cleaning up one too many “kitten accidents”… We agreed we needed to find a better solution. One of the first sentences Jason learned to say in Indonesian language was “goodbye kitty”. : )
This was when we were introduced to Linda. As amazing as we found Bali to be, we found Linda and her husband to be!! They opened their home to rescuing animals and lived just on the other side of the rice field from us. Linda was Balinese and her husband was Dutch. They had started an after school program for the local village children and funded a Bali orphanage. Linda has been known to rescue all kinds of animals including monkeys, snakes, dogs, kittens and even camels once. And now she was going to give Tiger his new home… We all loved her–especially Jason : )
Her stories amazed all of us… She told us how she once nursed a kitten back to life with the help a nursing dog– she showed us video of the kitten nursing alongside the other puppies! She had stories of finding a rare lizard with a tail as long as a snake…But most exciting for the girls was her work with saving baby sea turtles. Her home was alongside the beach where she was able to work closely with helping to save the Bali sea turtles. We were fortunate enough to be visiting during a time when they were releasing the baby turtles back into the sea. The girls were each allowed to name and help a baby turtle find it’s way into the great blue Bali sea for the first time, only to return one day to the same beach to lay their eggs. It was an incredible experience!! We visited Linda many times and the girls were even able to watch some eggs hatch. As for Tiger– our fearless kitten –he had become friends Baby La La– the baby monkey. Only in Bali! We think baby La La was more fond of Tiger but they seemed to have a pretty good agreement– baby La La would eat all of Tiger’s fleas and keep him clean as long as Tiger allowed her to treat him like her own personal stuffed animal. It was pretty amazing to watch their relationship grow while our love of Bali continued to grow more and more each day.