Start a new relationship with water. Learn about water, water resources, water conservation, water awareness, Water Planet online course at Ithaca College in this blog by Mara Alper. Visit www.MaraAlper.com for additional info about Mara's documentaries and video art.
What makes a perfect day? For me, it's one where my spirit leads
me where I need to go. I may have an agenda but it interlaces with the
present moment, until the plan becomes secondary and the river takes me where I
need to be.
It begins: I
come downstairs from my room, ready to find a motor scooter ride for a late breakfast at Kakiang, the best bakery in Ubud. Agung,
the hotel manager, stops his work to chat with me, offers a ride with his wife Made
and off we go with three helmets for her, their son Nanda and me.
Made (Ma-DAY) and Nanda
We take the long way round, uphills and down into the jungle
ravine and when we arrive, I ask what is her favorite cake, dash in and get it
in return for the favor.
My next ride is a short distance past the monkey forest to a bead
store. I search for a missing stone for my beautiful pendant.
They direct me up the block to a silver shop. The woman there is
friendly and offers to polish the
necklace for me and then we find a better clasp. It is a necklace made for tourists but the Balinese like it and
comment on its beauty. It is serene and prayerful.She sends me to a stone shop for the missing
Outside, a man offers me a taxi ride. I decline, but when he
reads my t-shirt from the Green School, he breaks out into a song and dance to
the words "Bye-bye plastic bags!" I laugh and add "bye bye
plastic water bottles" and ask him to do an encore performance for video--
he does! And I can't resist joining in.
This made my day! The other side of his sign said "Taxi"
(Not sure if this video will play- hope so)
The stone store is well stocked. I sift through the amethyst bin
and find none like the small teardrop stone I lost. I browse the other bins and
find a green peridot, so perfectly cut that when I put it in the necklace to
see if it fits, the shopkeeper cannot dislodge it -- clearly meant to stay
A short stroll -- passed orchid
seller on bicycle, tourist buses, lunch stand and workers -- to my friend Koni's
Today, Koni tells me how his destiny was shaped by
Bizet's opera "The Pearl Fisher," that it led him to live by the sea
in Sri Lanka for years when he was young, in search of this love story come
true. But that's another tale, much better than the film "Big Eyes"
that we watched afterwards.
A feast with Koni on an earlier visit
It is still light when I leave -- 5:30 p.m. It is dark every
night here all year at 7. Equatorial. I meander down Jalan Sukma and savor the
street life of this community as the day closes down to night.
I wander into a store with fabrics, see a beautiful old metal
Singer sewing machine. After I photograph it, the tailor asks me to take his photo too.
I will bring him a copy next week. So easy, so open, so friendly.
The tailor's wife
His wife gets up to help customers at their fried chicken stand.
Many stop to buy it so I get some too.
My perfect day of ends back at home, eating the chicken with the
evening star bright in my window, a candle, incense and this page.
What an intense and remarkable experience at this week-long event. It was truly international, with panels and presentations were from every continent-- except the coldest one. The stories that were strongest for me -- restoration of the the Upper Jordan River for Jordan, Israel and Palestine; ideas for the food-water-energy nexus; innovations in irrigation that use smart phones to control timing and flow of water.
OK, I have no photos to show yet because I'm posting from my iPod, so this doesn't have the "wow" effect of my usual posts but . . . Wow! I spent 5 days listening, talking, eating with 1000s of other people working for water. Very gratifying. And the range-- from indigenous rites and rights to the World Bank. A rare event.
More in a few days once I leave Korea and go "home" to Bali.