This was my third visit to Bali. The first was in the early nineties to visit my friend Claire,
she has lived here for years, the second was to visit the People Bridge Project we had funded and this time as the guest of the Bali BK’s. Sister Janaki,
the Coordinator for the Bali, Indonesia BK’s, was in Toronto, met me and called me a “World Citizen”, and invited me to Bali. That was her mistake because I always show up! (She was a perfect host)
I stayed at the very beautiful, very large Centre in Denpasar, and had a room at the top of the Centre, with air-con and fans (very comfortable). The Centre works like a well-oiled machine, over 100 people come for meditation every day and at least twice a week, major meals are prepared and served. Sister Janaki is from Australia, but has lived here for over 20 years and has built the Centre from scratch; she also does a regular TV show. When I was there it was Hindi Day
and the Indian Diplomatic community had a celebration at the Centre, with all kinds of music and dance, I think in some part out of respect to Sister Janaki and her contribution to the community. The BK’S are also involved in the construction of a new building which will house over 1000 people… I travelled on the back of a motor-scooter (much better than a car) the traffic is horrendous!!!
What did I do, I presented few programs, visited Penang, Sayubaya and Brother Frank’s Centre (also an Aussie). I spent time at swimming pools in various hotels, and saw the sights of Bali. I also reconnected with 2 old friends, Monica,
an artist, who has lived in Bali for years, and Peter, we used to work together when my kids were very young and I was doing volunteering at community activities, Peter now lives in Bali for half the year and Vancouver Island for the rest of the year, I visited 2 Healers for my finger, the first one prodded, massaged, pulled and said if it feels better in 3 days, come back and if not don’t, it didn’t, the second healer, said just have surgery!! So much for Eastern Medicine!!! And I had a wonderful massage, the best!!!
The Balinese people have very gentle spirits and Bali is mostly Hindu, while the rest of Indonesia is mostly ‘Muslim (largest Muslim population in the world). They work very hard and have ceremonies nearly everyday, usually prepared by the women, the families live together in compounds, all generations, grandparents, parents, brothers and sisters, etc., they cook, eat and pray together, all compounds have a temple.
There is wonderful love of family and commitment to preserving their heritage!
The only down side was the heat, it was sunny and 35 to 39 degrees celcius, very hot, it’s suppose to be the rainy season, but no rain, so the heat was very oppressive, for me anyhow!
I should also say a big thank to Sister Darma, she cooked for me every day, and made sure I had bread (which she baked), tomatoes, something green, fruit and COFFEE, none of which is a part of her regular diet.
Back in Toronto after spending 2 nights on planes! More later!! And believe it or not, the cold weather feels good!!
While in Bali, I was called a Flashpacker, I had no idea what it meant, had to Google. “Flashpacking” is term used for backpackers/nomads who upscale their travels. They travel with a backpack, but they stay in nicer digs, carry fancy electronics, have more money, and tend to be a bit older. They are backpackers with means! I not sure my luggage qualifies me for this, but I am getting better!