Bali: Dinner at Dewa’s
We’ve been spending time with Dewa, Ayu, and Rama. One night, they invited us to dinner. Typical of many Balinese families, they live in a family compound with Dewa’s mom, dad, and aunty. Before Ayu was allowed to join the family in this community-centered society, Dewa needed permission from not only her family but also the Banjar committee to ensure his intentions were good. Every family must have a member representative attend Banjar meetings where much of the life of the community is decided from what to plant to when to celebrate holidays. Such control keeps the community and the culture strong. It ensures that those fields at the bottom of the irrigation system have the water they need just as those at the top do. There is no “trickle-down” philosophy here.
Aunty never married and so has always lived with her brother’s family and is in charge of making the daily offerings at the family temple in the compound. There are separate small buildings for sleeping and a kitchen. Eating and communal gatherings are done on covered, open-air hale types of buildings.
Dad and Mom still work growing rice and peanuts in the community allocated fields. Dad is also supervising the building of a new house and compound for Ayu’s sister Ari who has married Jerry, a Californian guy who teaches at the Green School here. Dewa and Ayu have been very involved in the project too. Jerry says he could never be getting what he has without the help of all of them. Ari is due to have their first child in about three weeks; everyone is excited.
Mom gets up at 4 a.m. to start the rice as she has been doing for over 40 years.
Yesterday we went for the afternoon and walked and rode bikes through the beautiful rice fields and long, windy pathways.
Our great news is that Johnny will land here on February 14 at 2 a.m. I need to leave on February 17 to return to China to teach for the spring term. Barry is hoping to get to stay at least a few days longer. We hope to have a good visit with him.
Also because we have had many computer challenges and so are not able to get the Internet regularly, you may have been frustrated about coming to our blog only to find that nothing new is up. If so, subscribe to our blog; you’ll then be notified of new postings. We hope everything is going well for all of you. Aloha, Renee & Barry