Today was our very first full day in Munduk Pakel; the village in which our homestay is located. So far staying here has been a bit challenging, yet it’s still pretty amazing. It has been interesting to truly experience the way of life in Bali and really get to know what it’s like to be engaged with the people here.
At 7:00 am my day started off eating breakfast at my new house, in my new room. First off, let me just start off by saying that I have never had so much food fed to me in my life! My mother, Ibu Puspa cooked me a nice bowl of rice and noodles with an egg on the side. For my desert, I had these really weird green square things; which names I can’t recall, or what it was made of for that matter. Either way, they were good and I’m still alive. Oh I also can’t forget to mention her amazing sweet tea.
After breakfast, I made my way over to the main building in the village were our classes take place. Immediately, when we arrived we were sent back to ask our parents for a hoe and a hat for the work to be done in the rice paddy fields later on in the morning. However, before we could actually experience hands on we had an introduction presentation on the irrigation/agricultural system here in Bali, and what it actually means to the people.
Finally, it was time to “work” and actually experience. In all honesty, this was one of the things I have been looking forward to in the trip. Why, well because I wanted to see the differences between working in my family field and working in a rice paddy field. I really enjoyed it here because the whole time you get to be in the water that fills the entire paddy. Our job was to make the ground flat in order to prepare it for the newly planted rice seeds. We did this by breaking up the big chunks of mud in the water, putting them into little pieces and then stepping on it with our feet. My favorite part of the whole experience, though it didn’t actually involve working, was when we had a mud race/fight with the local kids in the area.
Now that we were all muddy it was time to mundi (bathe) in the river. Before, we could actually get in though two local girls in the village had to give an offering at the temple next to the river. The purpose was to ask permission and to make sure it was okay for us to be in there, and after this was done we may enter.
It is now noon time, which means lunch time at Ibu Ari’s house. Ari, is our teacher and main host here in the village. She is also one of the best cooks in Bali. The food she prepared for us was always sooo good!
After eating, we headed back up to the class to learn more of the Indonesian language from the local students. This class was really enjoyable because it is where we really got to know more about the students themselves. All had very different names to remember at first and a friendly welcoming aura. All of them were pretty funny and smart. After getting to know everyone a bit we said our goodbyes so that way they could head back home at a decent time.
We then started to work on some some coconut bowls that were given to us by our families, that you soon will see. Working on the coconut bowls was quite challenge. Nevertheless, it was pretty cool to see the progress we made by the end of the class.
When we all got tired we moved on and headed to the villages local volleyball court were I watched a very funny and intense game between the locals and the rest of the group. My favorite part of watching the game was when Aidan joined me and we started making weird noises every time someone would hit the ball (don’t ask why). We stayed here for a good amount of time, and when we got back home we had ourselves a bit of downtime before dinner.
When I arrived to my house I was immediately greeted by my little sister Krista, her friend Kutu, as well as, another little girl who was way too shy to say her name. They all gave me flowers with a nice smile and continued to follow me around. I then thought to myself that this would be an appropriate time to give them my gifts I had brought which was; a box of crayons and some paper to draw on. Seeing their faces light up when they received their gifts instantly made me feel so happy inside. It really was a special moment for me that cannot be explained through words on a screen, it is something that I definitely won’t forget.
I then received my dinner from mother. While eating my dinner, I watched my little sisters color some amazing pictures that they ended by giving to me when I was all finished with my food. Each one had a message inside that I was very happy to read.
After dinner, me and my Ibu (mom) went into my room where she dressed me up in my sarong. I have never felt more comfortable in one! I then proceeded on going to the building were we to play gamelan and learn from new teachers in the village. Learning from them was a whole new experience, nevertheless they were the same from our other teachers in some aspects. I enjoyed learning from them because we now some new songs that are specifically tied to the village.
Now, it has been a full day of way more experiencing and learning and I’m ready to wrap this up so good night to us and good morning to you in New Mexico.
Welcome dinner with Ibu Ari (far left) and Ibu Ari’s mom (second from left) at Ibu Ari’s home
First glimpse of light and Mount Agung …
Enjoying the early morning together
Working in the rice paddy… sort of…
After a little bit of work… satu, dua, tigga!
The temple by the river where we offering is made before bathing
Afternoon volleyball game… a few minutes before it got serious!