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Another Day at the Villa

Day 5 ~ The Mahalani Our Little Piece of Paradise

Yesterday was another day with no real plans. Here at the Mahalani time just floats on by and sitting relaxing is so easy to do. The day began with another sunrise that I felt privileged to witness. There is so much natural beauty around us that we sometimes take it for granted and close our hearts and minds to it in pursuit of the next adventure, the next thing or we get lost in the struggles of life. These days at the Mahalani have reminded me to stop and look.

To look with my eyes but to also look with my heart.

To really see and experience the beauty around. To stop doing, to stop pursuing, to sometimes stop planning and to just be.

What a gift the Mahalani has given me in that reminder.

My son said “Mum, don’t keep posting the sunrises they all look the same.” There are subtle differences though and each one is still beautiful and why not share that beauty.

For the family the day started like most others, a sleep in and a swim before breakfast is served on the veranda. Eggs, bacon, pancakes, toast, fruit, juice and Balinese cakes and sweets. It might be hard to return to corn flakes when we get home!!!!!

Just before we left to come to Bali I heard there was a local school very near the villa. I asked the villa manager to check if they needed any school supplies. She checked and reported back that any donation of books, pens or pencils would be welcomed.

The day before we left Lexi and I raced out and bought a variety of exercise books, scrap books, pens and pencils. I didn’t really know what to get so we just bought a random selection of what we thought we could fit in our suitcases.

Yesterday we visited the school.

We went to four or five specific classrooms handing out books and pens and pencils to each child. I so wish we had of brought more with us. It is a school of only 89 children. If I had known more I could have got each child a scrap book, exercise book, pen and pencil for under $50. Unfortunately what we could find here locally was 5 or 6 times more than that!

For $200 we could have probably given them each a set of coloured pencils and textas. I just wish I found out more specific details before hand!!!

The students and head master spoke no English, the teachers very limited, but you could tell they were pleased we visited. The look on the face of some of the students as you handed them something as simple as a pen certainly touched our hearts, especially the hearts of my children.

We are returning today with a few more books and specifically with a pencil for one little girl as we were on short and she missed out on a pencil that the rest of her class for. My heart broke for her as you could tell she looked around at her classmates and thought “what about me” even though all the while she smiled and graciously thanked us.

Simple things can be such incredible experiences that leave a imprint on your heart for a life time. I doubt my children will ever forget their visit to this local school.

This is all of us with the youngest class in the school. 6 of the cutest kids ever!!! Kadekie, The villa manager form the Mahalani came with us to translate. We are so glad she did!!!!

Us outside the school. Yes that is sweat all over my top. The classrooms were so hot!!!!!!

When we returned from the school Lillee wasn’t feeling well so went to lay down, the 5 of us sat with Kadekie to learn how to make the traditional ceremonial offerings and then we dressed in traditional clothes and placed our own offering.

I was a little worried about dressing in their traditional dress. Ketut, Kadekie’s Mum who is also the head housekeeper here brought a variety of her own clothes for us to use. They said they had a variety of sizes but these two woman are tiny!!!! So I was a little concerned that their big would still be quite small.

Sure enough we started to get ready and it was fairly clear that the tops weren’t going to fit Madi. “No no don’t worry this one is big” they kept saying but there was no way it was going to fit.

I know how honest they can be for example earlier in our stay madi and I booked a massage. When Kadekie was telling us who would be doing the massage she said her grandmother and another lady called Ketut, she said she is the fat one.

I said “that isn’t very nice.” She looked at me puzzled and said “what do you mean not nice, it is just truth.”

They mean no offence by it and there is no judgement it is just what they observe and they are honest. To them it is no different than saying the tall one or the one with blonde hair, but it really worried me as you know that westerners, especially teenagers, don’t take those comments quite so calmly!!!

All worked out, they were lovely, we had many laughs and Ketut raced off to her house and returned with another top, “big one this time” she said and all was well.

If I am honest I was the only one keen for this. The others weren’t overly thrilled when I told them we were doing it but they all still showed up and participated. In the end we all had a great time. Making the offerings is harder than it looks. Obviously they have had a lot of practice but I have a new found respect for them and how quickly and neatly they make them.

This was a really fun thing to do and as we worked on them Kadekie spoke to us about her culture and the various ceremonies. It strikes me how passionate they are about their beliefs. Their culture and religion comes above all else. This is still very evident and I’m not sure why, maybe it is living in Australia around teenagers and young adults and knowing what their priorities are, but I am still surprised by the commitment and passion in the younger generations here in regards to their religion. Kadekie is 23 and her religion and beliefs are the most important thing in her life. It is a privilege speaking to them about it.

Sorry the photos have loaded in a random order again.

The rest of the afternoon was fairly typical of our time here at the Mahalani..

Swimming, relaxing and a bit more swimming.

Madi and Mitch got a massage which they both enjoyed. Lillee was feeling better after a sleep. I think she just wants some ‘normal’ food. Lillee was on a two week mission trip with her school to Thailand before we came to Bali. She returned to Australia on Wednesday and we left for Bali on Thursday so other than plane or airport food she has had one western meal since she left for Thailand. I think she is really looking forward to the variety of food in Kuta.

Before dinner we walked down to the Bondalem Beach Club, it is only 5 minutes down the beach and I think we have gone there each afternoon. It is lovely to just sit there for an hour before heading back to the villa for another beautifullay prepared dinner.

I am about to walk through the garden and capture this mornings sunset and then enjoy my last day here.

Until tomorrow 💕

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