Hello, it’s back to Aidan’s turn for writing this daily update. I’m fairly certain that this ranks as one of my favorite days here, as of yet. this is based of of the sheer volume of activity we did, which ill soon get too explaining extensiveIy. Let’s do this….
Today started from the get go as mildly unusual, as i was the a’ssistant for the day, and had to rise early to wake the others. This also entailed going to Gaylon’s door and saying “wakey wakey you’re in Bali”, something I’m fairly sure that previous assistants have mentioned. Almost immediately afterwards, Jean, Erik and I went on the morning walk. This time however, we did the route backwards. While I’m sure this doesn’t seem particularly mind blowing, it was a drastic change in perspective, causing me a feeling akin to vertigo. This was exacerbated by encountering Tonesha on the return journey, calmly eating breakfast with two Balinese men, and a couple from Hawaii. After being invited to join them, we spent the next 40 – odd minutes happily talking, eating fruit, and drinking coffee as the sun rose over the rice paddies behind us.
After breakfast, we went to our first class of the day, being gamelan. I’m fairly confident in saying I’ve grasped some of the nuance inherent in the Gong, a complex instrument used in traditional gamelan. To play the Gong is a difficult and sometimes dangerous activity, One must whack the hell out of a big metal bowl hanging on a stick. I am far from mastering this beast.
After lunch, I had my first shadow puppet class with Anom, a Braman Priest. The priesthood occupies one of the highest castes of the Balinese social structures, but what surprised me most was his serenity, humility, sincerity, and gentleness. He shoulders a rather ridicules amount of responsibility without complaint, while being a husband and father. He is passionate, and deeply spiritual. Something I particularly enjoyed was his vast collection of ancient shadow puppets, numbering in the several hundreds, some of which were over 600 years old. We also started making puppets, cutting out pieces of cured leather and outlining puppet designs.
The final event of the day occured about 2 hours ago, as of writing this. we went to an event in which a village worths of Balinese people performed a dance/music routine, it outlined a story of two lovers. Frankly, i can’t begin to describe it. Hopefully, I’ll have some pictures to add, but otherwise I’ll try to have them edited in later.
That about wraps it up. It was a crazy day, one of many (every) days here. Selemat malam, goodnight. Hope those who read this are having a good day/night.
Enroute to Gamelon class in our Bemo (old school public bus)
Aidan rocking it out in Gamelon class
Shadow puppet class with Anom
Group photo after the performance with the stars of Kecak at Junjungan Temple
(Check out more photos in Gallery 1!)