Bali Bali

19 10 2009

I have been lazy about blog updates and even worse about personal journal-writing, but I feel like I should share this while its fresh.

last night I took my first drive in Bali- at night, in Norm’s mini-SUV, with a random older American couple that I met minutes before, to a Balinese ‘Dance of the Virgin’ show in the village.  This show, in which a young woman in traditional costume and make-up dances seductively (with some decidedly modern hip gyrations and thrusts) and teases different young village men who give it a go on the dance floor- in honor, of course, of the naming of a Balinese baby.  Riggghhhhht.  I could never pass something so random up, and it was guaranteed to be shorter and easier to understand than the 4 hour marathon Balinese comedy show I tried to make it through a couple weeks ago.

Norm and Linda weren’t up for it, but said I should just take the car out, and invite the guests. At first I said I wasn’t comfortable taking strangers the first time I took their old manual out on f-ed up roads, but then I decided why not.  Before you call me brave, I have to concede that half my rationale was that in case I sucked horribly, someone else could take over.  That didn’t happen, though I did stall out several times…  And in typical American fashion, the couple took a video.

All that action took place after a pretty busy day.  I started at 6am this morning teaching yoga to the landowner’s wife and her daughter for an hour.  Then school for 4 hours.  My triumph was the creation of a newspaper hot air balloon.  The hair dryer failed at the mission to make the balloon fly, but it did succeed at blowing out the power to their bungalow temporarily.  This afternoon I taught some ESL to a couple of local women before sitting back with the Van’t Hoffs for a bbq of lamb, sweet potato, and corn.  Days like today make me feel pretty well settled in!

I had a nice weekend as well, snorkeling Saturday at Pemuteran on the NW coast and a mountain bike ride 2 hours down to the black sand beach on the West coast with Oska, a friend, and another Balinese staff member on Sunday.  In 2 days I saw quite a bit of the island.  It is incredibly gorgeous here – rice paddies in the tropical hillsides and the towns still decorated for the giant temple ceremony that took place last week.

The weather (overall) has been great as well.  There were 3 solid days during which it did nothing but pour terrential rain, but since then hardly a drop.  clear and hot mornings, some clouds in the pm, and foggy cool nights.

The weekend before last I went to Sanur and Nusa Lembongan on the SE coast.  I rode a bike around Nusa Lembongan and part of Nusa Cenningan, checking out the seaweed farms, temples, and beaches along the way.  I may be back to that area sooner than later to dive before the end of October.  This is the end of the season where the giant sunfish, or mola mola, come out of the deep water to reasonable depths, and I want to play!

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