Yesterday, aside from looking at another home to rent, our driver, Sihol, took us to some places that are an important part of the Balinese culture. The first was Jambe Budaya to watch the Barong and Kris dance. The Balinese are Hiindu, and Barong is the name of the God who represents good,
and Rangda is the God who represents evil.
The play was about the fight between Barong and Rangda. Female dancers performed who were the servants of Rangda, and were searching for servants en route to the Pahti. Their movements were eerie yet beautiful.
Musicians played off to the side on rindiks, flutes, bells, drums and triangles.
A monkey appears, who is a friend of Barong, and helps him fight against Rangda.
After much turmoil, including being threatened to be eaten alive,
Barong’s followers appear and help him fight for good, and they conquer Rangda.
After the dance, we drove to the Monkey Forest which is a sacred area to the Hindu people. It is located in Ubud and the purpose of the forest is for those who enter to reach physical and spiritual well being.
The temple is in the center of the forest, where monkeys roam freely, and one can get permission to worship with them.
The monkeys are beautiful and gather together as families, cuddling and loving each other.
They are fed sweet potatoes three times a day, and those entering the forest have the opportunity to purchase bananas for them.
We walked up moss covered paths, surrounded by tall trees that seemed to have been around for centuries, each having their own story to tell.
Many statues stand representing the many God’s that the Hindu worship, and the monkeys perch on top watching the crowds walk by.
What an amazing place!
It’s interesting to be somewhere where one feels like the inferior race…the monkeys being the superior.
The town by the forest is busy with tourists, but that doesn’t stop the locals from continuing on with daily prayer rituals and offerings.
As soon as offerings are given, monkeys rush in and eat that which was offered to the Gods.
Once we left the Monkey Forest we drove to the Rice Terraces, which are layers of bright green steps of lush rice paddies.
Regardless of how the hills twist and turn, the rice terraces are molded to them. It seems unreal.
Water rushes into the top terrace then pools up and runs down to the ones below, filling each level then pouring into the next – all the way down to the very last level.
Once rice is harvested, new shoots are quickly planted and the process continues.
Every day that we are here in Bali, we seem to fall farther in love with the people, the culture and our surroundings. House hunting continues, and hopefully by Friday we will have a decision made. Danny will be leaving on a trip in about a week, and will be gone for a month – maybe two, so we want to be settled with a home and transportation before he flies off.
Speaking of transportation….we noticed that here in Bali, there’s even a McDonalds delivery service! We will most likely never use it, but it’s comical to see.
As far as our sweet Tanda Malaika goes, she is still sitting on the reef, holding tight. We get emails and texts every day from people making offers on parts of her that we salvaged. It’s good to know that she lives on in many sailboats. We are still not sure when she will be drug out and sunk. Thank you again to all of you that have been such an amazing support through this all – whether it be financially, emotionally or spiritually.