Mar 31, 2012

Mar 28, 2012


"..we all have that heritage, no matter what land our fathers left.  all colors and blends of americans have somewhat the same tendencies.  it's a breed - selected out by accident.  and so we're overbrave and overfearful - we're kind and cruel as children.  we're overfriendly and at the same time frightened of strangers.  we boast and are impressed.  we're oversentimental and realistic.  we are mundane and materialistic - and do you know of any other nation that acts for ideals?  we eat too much.  we have no taste,  no sense of proportion.  we throw our energy about like waste.  in the old lands they say of us that we go from barbarism to decadence without an intervening culture.  can it be that our critics have not the key or the language of our culture?  that's how we are... - all of us.  you aren't very different."

it's good to be home in spite of it all.


Mar 25, 2012


                                           rice dream



happy silent day babies!nyepi is a very big deal in bali; one of their biggest holidays. it is the island-wide day of silence.  the day of nothing.  it is how they celebrate the new year.
no leaving the home, or talking, or using fire, or turning on lights, or using the phone, or music.
no one works, no one goes out into the streets, no one cooks, no cars drive by, no planes fly.
it is utterly, beautifully, peacefully quiet.
if i were a traditional balinese girl i would have spent this day in silent reflection and prayer, preparing for the year ahead of me.

i'm not though so i didn't.... but i was very quiet.

Mar 23, 2012


ogoh-ogohtonight was the start to the celebration of the balinese new year.  i have never ever been to a party like this one.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Ogoh-ogoh are statues built for the Ngrupuk parade, which takes place on the eve of Nyepi day in Bali, Indonesia. Ogoh-ogoh normally have form of mythological beings, mostly demons. As with many creative endeavours based on Balinese Hinduism, the creation of Ogoh-ogoh represents spiritual aims inspired by Hindu philosophy.[1][2]
The main purpose of the making of Ogoh-ogoh is the purification of the natural environment of any spiritual pollutants emitted from the activities of living beings (especially humans). The forms of Ogoh-ogoh represent the Bhuta-Kala (Bhuta: eternal energy, Kala: eternal time), according to Hindu teachings. The imperceptible potentials of nature cannot be thoroughly explored by anyone. Philosophically, civilized men are required to manage the natural resources without damaging the environment itself.
Aside from being the symbol of Bhuta-Kala, Ogoh-ogoh is considered a symbol of modes of nature that form the malicious characters of living beings. Ogoh-ogoh are usually made by the group of artists found in villages around Bali. After being paraded on a convoy around the town, finally it is burnt to ashes in a cemetery as a symbol of self-purification.
An Ogoh-ogoh is normally standing on a pad built of timber planks and bamboos. The pad is designed to sustain the Ogoh-ogoh while it is being lifted and carried around the village or the town square. There are normally eight or more men carrying the Ogoh-ogoh on their shoulders. This procession is accompanied by orchestral music performed by the youth. The use of flares is also a main part of the parade.
During the procession, the Ogoh-ogoh is rotated counter-clockwise three times. This act is done at every T-junction and crossroad of the village. Rotating the effigies during the cremational parade and the eve of Nyepi represents the contact of the bodies with the spirits. It is intended to bewilder the evil spirits so that they go away and cease harming human beings.

Mar 22, 2012


                                            selamat pagi ubud

Mar 20, 2012


this is jack.... he's my favorite bali dog.

Mar 16, 2012


padang bai
padang bai is hot, oppressively, lethargically, overwhelmingly hot.
i't pretty smelly - not always bad smells but it's consistently smelly.  it smells of incense. garbage. fish. cooking. diesel. the sea. laundry. rain. mildew. smoke. and that heavy, earthy smell of jungle.
it is fairly quiet.
most of the noise comes from day to day life in padang bai; loud engines on ancient trucks or motorbikes passing by, people yelling in the distance, children bouncing by on their way home from school, the automated tone of the ferry operator announcing something in indonesian (presumably departure info), dogs barking, roosters crowing, gamelon music floating through open windows, and a few times a day i can hear the eerie wailing of prayer over a loud speaker.  i think it's muslim.  it adds to the foreigness of everything and i find it beautiful.


Mar 15, 2012



                                           hidden beach

Mar 11, 2012


this is red.... he's a six time winner.

Mar 10, 2012


                                            lulur ayu

"...ayu is balinese word for deep beauty - both inner and outer - that can be perceived by others from one's behavior: a relaxed glow, good-will towards others, and a warm-hearted presence...

our lulur ayu is based on a javanese ritual that is the ultimate in pampering.  first enjoy a relaxing balinese massage, followed by herbal skin scrub to remove dead skin cells and to smooth and soften your skin.  following the javanese polish, indulge in a yogurt splash.  then relax by soaking in flower and ylang-ylang petal bath.  finish with a refreshing lotion and a jamu (herbal traditional drink) served to increase blood circulation. - rp. 140,000 (about $14)" that was my day.

Mar 9, 2012


today was pretty epic.  i explored temples, hiked through rice rields, villages and jungles on teeny tiny slippery trails i'd never have found on my own.  i bathed in holy water and drank out of the village spring (which was maybe kind of sketchy but whatever).  i was invited to a local balinese ceremony and ate lunch with a finnish couple in a torrential downpour.  but my favorite moment by far was when nyoman took me to his school.  i'm not sure what they were learning exactly because i didn't see a single teacher.  instead every classroom was filled with chattering, dancing, singing, jumping children.  as soon as we walked up they came swarming out of the classrooms and crowding around me.  dozens of them and more just kept coming, one after the other after the other out of the doorways. 
"what is your name?!"  
"marin. what is your name?"
"i am tui!"
"i am ketut!"
"i am kadu!"
and on and on and on.  today i was mobbed by bouncing balinese children.  (this isn't the "best" photo technically but i felt it goes pretty far in showing what was going on here.)

seriously.  these kids were all up in my grill.  


Mar 6, 2012


                                          gado gado

Mar 5, 2012


                                          family guest house

this conversation took place in the cab on my ride to ubud.

"what are these buildings with the walls around them?"
"there are alot!"
"yes, each house have temple.  each billage - big temple - but each house, temple also."
"i love that."
"art.  we have art here."

Mar 1, 2012


my last day at wharariki.....  i know i won't return for some time, or maybe ever, to this place that has affected me so much and it feels very bittersweet.
how has it changed me?  it will take me some time to even process that.  i know i am better now.  i know i am stronger.  and i think i am wiser.

also i have a cold and my hair has grown.

the other day the italian guy i was booking in asked me if i knew the weather report.
"no," i said, "i don't have tv, internet or a phone."
"you live in the wild!"

it's true..... but my time in this part of the wild is done.
this period of extreme isolation is over.  on to the next adventure.


this is arusha..... she's so awesome.


                                             my favorite feed

i missed the paua mission because i was too sick to go.  boo.


"anyone who has done seasonal work knows that as regular as the seasons themselves is the return of this feeling at the end of each season. "it's time to quit.  it's time to quit."
-norman mclean




it's fucking raining again.... hard.




                                            manuka study #4





this is bee...... she's a proper hobo.



you get an amazing amount of meal choices when booking a flight on korean air:

-child meal
-asian vegetarian
-fruit platter
-gluten free
-high fiber
-low calorie
-low fat/cholesterol
-low protein
-low purine
-low sodium
-no lactose
-pure vegetarian
-raw veggie/fruit

i was really pissed at myself when i realized i automatically chose no preference.