The kids arrived one by one, sometimes two by two at the Denpasar airport, all managed to find each other for a joyous reunion and were packed into a giant van plus another smaller car and were carted off to the Villas.
My best moment of the whole trip was welcoming all those beautiful people one at a time, all in the same place…the first time ever without the grandkids, except Jonah and Aja’s newborn Ezra whom we were all overjoyed to meet and one in Kristi’s tummy, due in a month!
I wish I had pictures of that moment but since we had four pro photographers going at it, I got caught up in the moment and didn’t get any pics on my phone! However I did snap a picture of our breakfast the next morning at the two huge long tables the staff had pushed together so it seated eighteen.
The temperature every day was around 85 in the day and 75 at night so needless to say, they hit the water at the pool ASAP. What a sight with the big Daddy conducting the discussion from his easy chair!
Being at this beautiful spot on earth with those we love most……
along with a little yoga makes for a perfect morning! (Photo compliments of Charity’s new camera with lots more “real photos” on her blog here.)
A walk in the neighborhood proved to be totally fascinating!
Men were climbing coconut trees and sending coconuts flying to the ground and women were filling wheelbarrows with coconuts and loading them into a truck. It was quite an unusual walk. Also hot! It was about 88 degrees with 88% humidity most days!
Books and books and books have been written about the fascinating culture of Bali. I think it’s the most astonishing culture in the world! Since I don’t the ability to explain it all, it may pique your interest to know that in every village there are wild paper mache’ creations like this, usually being created in the village community centers, that are being prepared for the big New Year celebration which occurs every 210 days. The Balinese have a totally different calendar than the rest of the world.
These figures below will be finished and decorated to depict evil spirits. The heads will be added at the last minute because they believe that once the head is on, the spirit actually enters the paper mache’ body. They will have an enormous parade where all these wild figures will be a part of the festivities and then at the end they will be burned and the ashes thrown in the sea to symbolize the evil being cast out. It’s just pretty amazing! More about this incredible culture we go!
On to the walk through the neighborhood we saw the local school. The kids have these Banyan trees to swing on instead of a swing set. Pretty fun!
And here are girls resting in the shade of the bale’ at recess.
There is beauty all around!
When there isn’t room in the courtyard to build the three temples required in each home, you build them on the roof:
Roosters being prepared for the cock fights on “New Year’s Eve”:
The gates to the neighborhood:
That afternoon there was a ceremony at the Villa for The Full Moon. There are ceremonies almost every day for something or other. It was a delight to watch these wonderful people who were on the staff at The Villa be so dedicated to their religious beliefs and to take time from their busy schedule to worship together mid-day. Not because they had to but because they wanted to be blessed.
Here the Priest is preparing for the ceremony as he leads his co-workers through their religious services (he also doubles as a body guard for the villa).
Two of the girls on the staff walked us through a ceremony later in the day so we would know what was going on. It’s a beautiful ceremony with words that are moving and inspirational! We even got rice stuck on our foreheads. The longer it stays on, the longer you will be blessed. Mine fell off right away darn it!
This is just the beginning of all the marvelous things we would learn about the unique teachings of Balinese Hinduism. Absolutely fascinating!