Today, we went to one of the biggest temples in Bali named Besakih. The religion in Bali is Hindu, but almost all the other islands in Indonesia are Muslim. One of the primary Gods in Hindu is Brahman, there are many other Gods, including Shiva and Vishnu that are together the Trimorte (three gods). Brahman is the creator of civilization in Hindu. Everyone that is Hindu puts a little woven bin with flowers and leaves as a small offering to the Gods.
Before we entered the Besakih Temple, we had to put on local clothing, which were not my idea of style, but I could live with it. It was a sarong, like a long skirt, and a woven headdress. The temple dated back to the eight century. Old! We took a ton of pictures, and then walked on to the next temple. This temple was only for locals who were going to worship or pray, so we weren’t allowed to enter. When people pray to the Gods, they put their hands together and put them above their head. When they are trying to communicate with a deceased ancestors spirit, they put their hands in front of their face. When they are saying hello, or welcoming someone, they put them over their heart. The temple was made of black volcanic rock and almost every square inch was covered with detailed stone carvings. Inside of the temple there were many statues and buildings that were all super detailed and awesome looking. To get to the temple, you had to go up about 100 stairs that were flanked with multicolored flowers. We walked by the side of the temple to another temple where we saw some people that were praying. When they finished praying, they got some holy water dumped on them. In the same temple we saw gamelan instruments that were in a small section under a thatched roof. Gamelan is the local type of music that they have in Bali. There are many gongs, drums that are made of bowls and many other instruments. We walked on to one of the highest temples on the mountain. Did I mention the temple was built on an active volcano? Once the volcano erupted, and somehow didn’t even touch the temples. I think the Gods gave a little helping hand that day. When we came to the very top temple, we all ran up the stairs to get to a small platform and looked at the spectacular view. After taking photos, we all walked back down to the entrance to the temple and piled into the car.
The next stop we made was at a coffee and tea farm that made a special type of coffee. We learned about an animal called a Luwak, that eats only the best coffee beans. The way that they make the coffee is by extracting the beans from the animals poo. Gross. I somehow ended up trying it, the coffee only tasted like really, I mean REALLY, bitter coffee. Thankfully, it didn’t taste like poo. We also tried some other teas that were really good and thankfully none of the teas were made from some animals poop.
At the end of the day, we went to the Bali Children’s Project, which provides sponsorship for uneducated poor children. Their sponsorship allows families to pay for school for their children. In the afternoon, we got to go in one of the classrooms and teach the kids English, and we also got to learn a little bit of the Indonesian language. We also got to play a fun game with them. They are all similar to kids in the US, they laugh if one of them makes a mistake, they all like to play games and they are very happy. It was fun being in the classrooms, because the teachers were also learning English, so we would help the teacher out too. I really enjoyed being with the kids at BCP (Bali Children’s Project). I personally think Bali Children’s Project is a great idea, and should be started in other countries with high poverty rates, so kids can grow up to be smart and can attend university.
Good Morning–Selamat Pagi
Good Afternoon–Selamat Siang
Good Evening–Selamat Malam
Good Night–Selamat Tidur
You’re Welcome–Sama Sama
Happy Birthday–Selamat Ulang Tahun
After that we went to the Monkey Forest that had a ton of monkeys. It isn’t a zoo, but just a huge forest filled with over 600 monkeys. When we walked in, we saw monkeys freely roaming around the area. We walked to a small stand and bought a few bananas for 20,000 rupees (that’s not much money). I held my banana up, and a monkey jumped on my shoulder! It was really fun and cool having the monkey on my shoulder just sitting there eating the banana right from my hand! We walked deeper into the forest, and saw many more monkeys. We also got to see somebody get peed on by a monkey that was sitting up in a tree over the road. Yuck! We saw a baby monkey that was so cute. The monkey forest was awesome.
We had an awesome day exploring Bali!