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Hi,

I am all ready to go, bags are at the door, ate my last meal with my toothless furry friend by my side.  He started out very nervous of me but now he serenades me every night over supper.  He is just so funny cause when he meows, he has NO TEETH.

So my day in Ubud by mini motorcycle went well on the way down, but I miscalculated my time to return before night fall and in chatting with a Dutch woman, I lost track.  Getting there by bike in the day was a challenge, getting back in the night was impossible.

I was about 30 minutes on the road through challenging traffic when a car pulled out and I swerved to miss it and the girl infront of me hit the brakes... needless to say I lost control and had an accident.  Thank god I took the 2$ insurance on the bike incase of mishap!  Anyway, I consider, although I hurt my already bandaged leg, I was fortunate that the car following me didn't run over me.

This wonderful young girl quickly came and got me off the road and then insisted I go back to her home so her mom could explain me how to get home.  I was driving in the wrong direction so I decided the accident was to set me in the right direction.  Anyway, Tya's dad insisted on driving me back to the hotel, well he drove his bike and I followed on mine. 

He took all kinds of short cuts through the rice fields which I actually thought, "anywhere else and this would be dangerous but not here."  He didn't even want to accept money!

So today I am sore and my leg is roughed up again but who cares, it was worth it. 

Today, I drove to the Temple in the Sea and it is quite something to see.

I rested for a couple of hours this afternoon to prepare for my return.

So now it is back to hunkering down and becoming a real good Canadian citizen.  I am grateful for my time here and am grateful to have met a culture of the deepest sincerity and honesty on this planet.

When I grow up, I want to be like my Balinese friends.

One of the fascinating things about there language is there is only the present tense.  They never refer to the past or the future.  Everything is seen one day at a time.  Hardly anyone even wears a watch.

Gotta go,
Gail
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Good morning everyone,

Once again be WARNED:
the following carries controversial views that may be offensive to the offender:

Well this twisted ankle is proven to be a problem not to mention I caught a head cold.

Yesterday, I slept for 4 hours in the afternoon and had supper in my room and then right back to sleep until 11 A.M., I feel like I am a prisoner and missing out on all the fun, adventure, as well as wonderful conversations.  

I must admit, if I wasn't receiving enough gracious service and attention before I fell, now it is just completely over the top.  I almost began to wonder if it could be that they were worried of a  lawsuit or they are just naturally worried about me but they are incredibly caring by nature and I am convinced that this is their nature.  Mom, are you sure you didn't adopt me cause I am sure that I must be part Indonesian, part mother Theresa.

I can understand why employers in Quebec recognize the benefit of hiring immigrants recognizing their hard work, my only concern is the capacity for them to be abused. And I am sure that when other cultures come to our country, they must find us spoilt rotten and selfish.

I find in Canada, a huge level of jealousy for our neighbors success and accomplishments. If you are hard working and a visionary, you are not rewarded but made to follow a descript set of rules, showing political correctness, wasting so much time in hierarchy (archaic) policies than actually allowing and encouraging creative energy to flow. Customer service is but a pretty word used in a country that has no true value. In reality our version of customer service is all money oriented and not for the true well being of the client.

How hard you work is of little concern to our employers, (working extra hours is great when they don't have to pay you) they want instant results at all cost.  We are of a country where we have not yet hit the disgrace of America but we are well on our way, loosing our core values and prostituting ourself for monetary gain.

How many of us truly care what happens outside our own personal lives?  Be honest with yourself about this.  Do you know what is going on in Afghanistan with the "male dancing trade"?  Or in Cambodia with the "sex traffic trade"?  

Yes, we all read about it in the morning on the train to work.  And we may even discuss it over a meal when we actually share one.  But we are so absorbed in our new flat screen TV and its Ilico, pre-programing of shows that we fail to be touched by what we are actually seeing on the screen.  

When I was in my teens, I remember someone close to me wanting to do missionary work in Africa with World Vision.  I had heard that the money rarely gets to the children and people in need but ends up paying off the Government, and although this is true to a certain extent, what a wonderful vision when someone does actually go on the forfront and help the helpless.  If it were not for those who go out and sacrifice themselves for the good of others, how many more would be die daily.

Which brings me to another reflection...

I have been here in Indonesia 8 days now, I have written everyday.  I have shared this experience in my reflections sometimes just for "Shits and Giggles" or times with a message but to my amazement a mere 10 people of the average 45, have taken 2 seconds of there day to write back.  Oh course you will quickly make excuses of your all important busy lives, but one of the 10 who wrote is actually a VP of an international company and she is the one who has written the most.

I guess my point is, I have often been asked, "How could you leave your country, family and friends, to move far off?  Don't you find that selfish?"  

I ask you, what "family"?  We insist on Christmas presents, visits with wine and smiles, when in reality we have lost the core of connection to each other, putting the glory of our jobs and titles first.

Daniel used to always say to me, "one day a hero, next day a zero".  The day an employer thanks you for your services, no matter how much you have brought to the company, you are quickly replaced and forgotten.  So why is everyone killing themselves for a job?  

This is a culture here in Indonesia, where family (blood family, work family, extended family) carry such a high level of importance, maybe from a place of tradition, loyalty, respect and politeness, I believe it to be a wonderful example of the true benefit of caring.

I believe this is something we can all learn from:  Everything starts from within, Be kind and respectful to yourself, appreciate your neighbor and community, but extend beyond the borders and fill the gap, reach out to a higher level... 

Is the drop of water part of the ocean, is the ocean part of the same drop of water? Something to think about.  And if this hasn't got you thinking yet, then go to the bank, count your money, check how much service fees the bank is making on you... their customer", then you can check your income tax return and see how much your government is their for "YOU" their citizen, and then see your church and the history books with all the corruption and wars created in the name of "GOD" and then when you find yourself on your death bed,  you will look back and watch your whole life pass before your eyes and understand that it is the small things in life that warm our heart and carry meaning... the first kiss from the one you love, the scent of your baby's breath, the sound of your husband's (wife's) laughter as they play with your child, the sound of the ocean tide, the feel of the breeze caressing your skin...

It is the small things that bring warmth to the heart and the memories we carry within.

Hope you take a moment in your busy day to feel...

Gail


Denpasar
photo by: dm_nana