Halo everyone! As you may already know, we had just returned from our home-stay yesterday and I want to take the time to talk about the second full day we were there at Munduk Pakel.
It started off with a small walk up a hill and a beautiful sunrise early in the morning. Then, each of us returned to our designated homes where our lovely Bali Mothers awaited for us with out breakfast. Let me just say, it was the best food I’ve tasted so far!
Then, around eight o’clock, everyone met up at the “big classroom.” Right after we arrived, the local students had just gotten there too. Not soon after, our guru (teacher), Ibu Ari started her presentation about Balinese healing and medicine. It was a very detailed topic to discuss so I think I’ll leave that to the students upon our arrival home. However, I do want to mention the one thing that really fascinated me. The Balian. In the Balinese culture, the Balians are chosen healers who use mostly herbal medicine to cure mental illness, joint pain, headaches, and other minor sicknesses. There are also two kinds of Balians, the left-handed one (who practiced black magic) and the right-handed one (who practiced with goodness). This certain topic caught my eye because we have a similar kind of Balian in my culture. We just call them medicine men, though.
After this lesson, we went to collect different types of plants with Ibu Ari’s mother and another elderly man (Pa Gusti). We didn’t know what we were looking for but Aidan held the basket for medicine herbs, Dee held the basket for herb offerings, and I held the basket for cooking herbs. I can’t remember all the kinds of plant we collected altogether but I know it included a piece of bark, turmeric, and lemongrass.
After this, we returned to Ibu Ari’s mother’s house and we made Sambal with the plants that were categorized as “food” . I’m not sure what Sambal actually means but it was served on sticky rice and it was absolutely delicious. We even made our own plates out of banana leaves! It was a real homemade meal. Before we knew it, it was time to eat for lunch. More food!!
Eventually, it was time for a Balinese/English language session. This time we played games like telephone where you whisper a sentence in one person’s ear and you pass it on the next person on the other side of you. These sentences were in Indonesian so it was twice as hard. It ended with a game of Defenders & Attackers. The defenders would line up with enough space in front and in back of them for people to run through and basically, the defenders would try and not let the attackers pass them. It was fun but very tiring.
The day winded down with making coconut bowls. Most of us finished carving our coconut bowls out and those people went on and played volleyball with others. The ones who did not finished stayed back. Oh and guess what, it was raining! It had only started raining when we were playing games. So I’m not sure how muddy volleyball was but it was peaceful watching the rain while finishing my coconut bowl.
Finally, we all returned to our homes and ate a nice home cooked meal. By then, I called it a day! I hope every one is well! Sumpai jumpa lagi!
Collecting herbs and learning a little bit more with Ibu Ari
Making sambal and an herb topical ointment with herbs we collected
Time with new friends and carving coconut bowls