Saturday, October 27, 2012

Jangkahan Village

October 28, 2012

After a busy morning in Janur's village, you might consider us all to be on siesta here at his family's home in the village of Jangkahan.  They are currently celebrating a 50 year cleanse with processions, ceremonies, and offerings at temple all month long.  I decided the best way to describe these events is to post a collection of photographs.  It's not such a bad way to spend the afternoon sitting on the stone tiled floor of the open air home redesigned by Hillary and Janur listening to the two toned cadence of a Tokay.  Not too long ago I watched a snake, not larger than the diameter of my finger, squirm through the ceiling before dropping down on a small frog in the brush beyond the roof line.  The calls of the frog could be heard even while it descended down the throat of the snake.  What a trip!  Poor little frog, happy snake!

The photos from the past few days include some of the work I prepared for the new kiln built by Gyan Hall.  Gyan is a wood fire ceramic artist and kiln designer here from Australia to help out at the Ceramic Arts Center while Hillary raises her little ones. 
 The double walled bottle shape is designed with a Middle Eastern brick laying technique and layered to move the heat through the kiln evenly and efficiently. 
 Here the kiln is being prepared for a small Balinese blessing to invite the gods to dwell with the structure.  A more elaborate blessing is planned for Monday on the more auspicious occasion of the full moon.
 From the room I'm staying in I have a beautiful view of Hillary's paintings and her sewing table.
 Snails on the leaves outside.
 The Ceramic Arts Center building is called a Joglo, an open air architectural structure based around a central rectangle.  Glass blocks were scattered in the roof tiles to allow for better light.
 The farm just beyond the edge of the Yoga Barn.
 Colorful dinner salads with sterilized drying baby bottles close at hand.
 The entrance to Janur's home in the village.
 The morning procession began as the sun was breaking the horizon.
 Offerings are piled high with fruit and sweets and carried by the women to the village's Temple to Shiva.
 The long line of women in matching costume flowed along at a good clip like a river of white and orange.
 We traveled along with the procession for a good stretch while the Bali version of a marching band followed close behind.
 So many of the pictures turned out so beautifully, I could not resist posting!
 An example of the elegant script of Balinese writing.  I don't know what it says.
 Papaya's growing in Janur's father's garden.
Each home displays a sanggah, an impermanent alter at the front of every home including the high arching penjor where only the base is visible here.
 A simple walkway on the property leading to an alter.
 Janur, Hillary, Koko, Yoda, Kaylas, Nena, and Tio pose in the beautiful bed I got to sleep in last night!  The three babies are all just around four months old now.
 The procession past Janur's house returns to the next village with multiple Barong and Randa, Lion and Dragon figures possessed with magic.

 The procession heads off through the penjors.
 Pudja, Paksari, Nena, Yoda, Janur, Koko, Kaylas, Hillary, and Me!
 Koko and Hillary pose with Janur's sister Sari.
 Koko and Kaylas pose with their cousin and body guard Yoda.
 The diapers dry on a rock in the garden.
 A meeting of the minds.
 Let's put our heads together!
 A luxuriating bath in the stone tub/kitchen sink!
 The three tiered roof line of Janur's parents house.
 Twins in their dresses from India.
 Jam session with Tio and Gede.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Back to Bali

What a stretch of traveling to get here!  Troopers that my parents are, they drove me to Newark airport leaving at 6:30am on October 16th.  I had to be there extra early for that international flight into.... Minneapolis!  well then Tokyo, then Manila by 11:30pm on the 17th.  I spent 7 1/2 hours with my mom's brother and family before heading back to the airport heading to Indonesia by way of Malaysia.  The homestretch was a cozy 2 hour drive into Ubud to meet dear Hillary, her husband Janur, and their amazing twin girls, three month old, Koru and Kaylas!

Their home is an amazing open air kitchen and living space with two bedrooms and two baths.  Each bath with two showers. . . one inside and one out!  A house with twin rooms, twin showers, and now twin baby girls!  It's cozy and familiar.  I stayed here with Hillary on my first visit to Bali four years ago before I helped her move closer to town.

Admittedly, I bragged to friends and family state side that I was on a whirlwind schedule so that I would be able to attend the traditional coming of age three months ceremony for the girls.  The ceremony signifies when Balinese babies are first considered to be human, transformed from gods when their feet touch the earth for the first time.  My arrival on the 18th would be just in time for the ceremony on the 19th.  Apparently the date was changed, and I missed the October 15th transformation.  I was pretty bummed.  It's not every day that you miss watching gods transform into humans!  Decidedly, it is still amazing to be here, in paradise, with two new, smiling, gurgling little miracles.

So far it's been baby care and eating.  Them more than us.  Mom is asked for food every hour or so by one of the little ones and while the nanny is great with the babies, I have had a lot of time to cuddle, coddle, and entertain the little ones while they entertain me.  I do have to say my first concert... solo singing to an audience of one, resulted in putting her to sleep.  I don't think I'll ever have a lucrative career in music, but if you need me to put your little one to bed, I might be your girl!

We did make it to yoga this morning at the specacular Yoga Barn, and toured the exquisite Five Elements Healing Spa and Resort where Hillary and Janur were married, taking the opportunity to sample some of the delicious raw cuisine.  I haven't had a chance to load those photos yet, so until next time.  Sampai Jumpa Lagi!