31 jan. 2015


Hopefully this little movie can summarize this beautiful and beyond fascinating day. A Balinese wedding for one of Ketut's nieces, Kadek and his wife Desak,
I am truly grateful for getting the opportunity to experience a true Balinese wedding and dressing up in gorgeous sarongs! Although it involved waking up at 3 in the morning and watching a massive pig get slaughtered!

( and please exceuse the quality....) 

26 jan. 2015

Mount Batur

Take off, 01.00 am. No use in sleeping tonight!
 After one and a half hour car ride throughout a night black jungle on something that was supposed to be a road, we arrived at our guids place where we casually got some banana pancakes as “breakfast”. All of a sudden, 30 minutes later, we was actually standing on the very bottom of this 1717 meters high, well-known volcano Mount Batur, extremely motivated to make it all the way to the top before sunset.

 Our hike began around 3.00 am, a hike like no other. With a flashlight balanced in our hands, we hiked on a narrow path behind our kindly guide. One moment stumbling over the volcano rocks, and the other sliding backwards in the black sand, as our guide advised us to run instead, to prevent sliding…
(Perhaps easy for someone who has been climbing this volcano every night for the past two years…. but it turned out to be a successful technique actually!)

It took its time, but sweaty and eager to see the view, we made it all the way to the top, even with some time to spear.
 Our guide came with breakfast number two, banana sandwich and an egg boiled in the hot springs of the volcano(!) and we started to see the sun hiding, behind the other massive volcanos facing Mount Batur. ( The highest, Mount Agun and Mount Abang.)  

  It was time for our reward! We were happy and fulfilled, as the sun started its journey. Even though all the clouds tried to trick us, the sunrise turned out not just as a typical magical sunrise, but with some Sci-fi clouds, which made an exceptionally fascinating effect.  

I will let the photos speak for the rest of this magnificent yet exhausting day! And to mention that if the hike uphill was a challenge, it’s nothing compared to the way down. Literally sandboard skating on my sore feet, while trying to keep both me and by cameras in balance…
But hey, what does some scratches and painful legs matter when you can say, climbing a Volcano.
 – Check.  

Next post I will really try to summarize a Balinese wedding which we we attended today! Stay tuned!

22 jan. 2015

My first Ceremony

The day had just begun and we were more than prepared for our morning D class with a tricky moral sinking boat exercise and the whiteboard was filled with descriptions neatly written down just in time.

9.05...  9.15 ... 9.25... No students... 
Then, about 30 minutes later, when Ketut showed up, all dressed up in his sarong, we realize no students will show up today.Conclusion, Big Ceremony day!

Apparently this day is called Siwaratri Day (20th) , and is often referred to as the 'night of Siwa'. This is a day for self-examination and meditation which the Hindus of Bali pray for forgiveness of their earthly sins, and for support and strength from Siwa in order to reach their higher selves. During this day it is preferred if you do not eat nor drink, apparently because of a man who thousands years ago climbed a tree and got stuck there all night…
At least that is the elementary school version…

  This ceremony goes on all night, and during the day there are a lot to prepare. So the students had no school at all. But the day went on anyway and we were also ready for the afternoon class, in case some people actually would show up, and indeed, we got to teach three peaceful preschoolers! Wow, they really know the body parts if they really try.

 As the time past, we started to get more and more curious of the nights happenings, because you could feel a slightly changed atmosphere in the relaxed Balinese air. So several curious questions later, we were told that we actually could attend the ceremony at the village temple. And of course we were allowed to leave whenever, a relief for the most of us! Nyoman and Leony found sarongs for everyone and in a minute we all looked like believable good Balinese Hindus. At least that’s what we thought.

 A two minute car ride and we were there, actually attending a real ceremony, as definitely the only non-locals. The rain had started to poor down, and we sat together with Nyoman under huge tents on bamboo rugs, caught up in the moment. Admiring all the beautiful people dressed in white, or colorful shirts. Observing all the girls hairdos, which must have taken hours. Carefully watching the village government officials who sat to our right on a type of staircase, and of course the enormous statue decorated with who knows how many flowers. 

While I was people watching, people were certainly watching us. And photographing. Too bad, just when I thought I was one in the team… 

The minutes became hours and people did not really do much, and so we just sat. Apparently it was the “leader”, the priest, everyone was waiting for. And what do you say, nice people show up late? 

Late is not really a ting here anyways, as for many countries I’ve experienced so far. The importance of time in these cases are more of living in the moment, rather than being in time. Taking times as it comes, so to speak. Which doesn’t really make sense according to half of my brain. While the other half just loves the way they think and live. Tricky situation indeed.

 However, the priest suddenly arrived and the process of making the air clean and holy started with spreading water and rice around all the people. Everyone sat like a big family in, what Americans calls, Indian position and just observed. Three different men walked to one and all and blessed every single one who loyally was joining the ceremony. The turn came to me and I simply copied Nyomans actions straight of, by cupping my hands and drinking two hands of the holy  water, and poring one cup on my head. Then taking some rice and placing it on my forehead, behind my ears and on my chest, while all the silent and peaceful people had there hand in praying positions by the incents and flower offerings.

 I was amazed, and everyone just kept praying, repeatedly. Then, when you least expected it, the wonderful Balinese music was performed by an orchestra of young kids, playing all of the traditional Balinese instruments, which I sadly do not now by name, yet. There was praying, there was music, there was young stunning girls who danced their characteristic dance. There was food, there was joy and there was loads of smiles and happiness. 

My first Hinduism ceremony had it all. And a remarkable feeling of everyone doing something together, sharing experiences, gods, spirits and beliefs. It was pure and unreal.And something which can’t be captured by photos or caught on tape. Simply a feeling I will preserve in my mind. 

Now – Sleep. Taking a walk on the beach tomorrow at sunrise, most likely accompanied by the rosters.

Good night! 

18 jan. 2015

January 18

Officaly crossed the one week line, in Tianyar, Yayasan the tiny, but oh so gorgeous, balinese village. 

 I am in this very moment of life, living together with a whole generation. Sharing kitchen,livingrooms and garden with all the family members as of the dogs,hens,ducks and cats.  I am waking up to the roosters 7 o\'clock crow, just like in the movies. Getting served local wonderful dishes from the greatest cook there is, putting on the comfiest (but sweaty) cloths you have and geting ready for your morning class which you teach a few meters from where you sleep. You havn\'t really woken up yet, but you  definitely get wide awake as soon as you see the happy and excited students, students who are thirsting for knowledge. You are so caught up in the moment, and suddenly the first class is already over. 
Togther with some more planning comes lunch, a balineese lunch that certainly is needed, since the afternoons contain teaching kindergarteners. And as for balineese kids, the energi that theese little munchkins have, nerver ends... 
Two hours and a bucket of sweat Later, the lesson is finished, and there is plenty of both space and time to simply enjoy the evenings with all of the other, sometimes up to 100 school kids . So really there is no other option than to get your ass out on the field and go bananas, with some basketball,fotball or some playing by the fisherman's boat on the beach.
Once every class is finished the kids start to re-group and eventually the silent hits Yayasun and a more peaceful evening starts, if of course, Montsi doesn't continue with her street dance lessons! Otherwise, the evenings here are very peaceful.
This was simply a typical day at this stage of my life, and even though you basicly know what the plans look like every day, there is always, always suprises.
I am trying to taking one day at the time over here, while im constantly struggeling with pushing my future thoughts aside. Because theese moments will never come again, and thats why you should really learn to live in the moment, and appreciate time as it comes.
Note to self.

I have officially passed my one week mark, and now I have to continue to adapt and get used to this new, exciting and extraordinary life.

11 jan. 2015

January 11

Finally here!
So my fellow people, yes I have arrived and yes I'm more then alive!
  Today we had the orientation day with the other new volunteers, and tomorrow morning I'm heading off to my real destination, 2,5 hour drive from Ubud. And as soon as I arrive, the real mission begins! Even though I'm already (after 24 hours!!) filled with millions of new impressions and information, I am looking forward to loads more!
   Im so excited , I connot really express myself more detailed at the moment, so I'll just put up some of the first captured moments of beautiful Ubud, which for example contained an amazing little meeting with a local rice farmer,at his rice farm!
 So far so good, folks

8 jan. 2015

9 januari

Bra. Bättre. Bali. Jajjemän det blir titeln på mitt nya äventyr som påbörjas om en sisådär 12 timmar.
   Under tre månader kommer jag att befinna mig några tidszoner åt öst, och så långt bort det bara går ifrån denna svenska vinter. Där kommer jag att tillbringa mina dygn 100 meter från havet med en dygnstemperatur som aldrig understiger 25 grader.
  Jag vet, det är som att hälla ett badkar med salt i ett blodigt köttsår för alla er thailandsälskande vinterruskhatande svenskar. För givetvis är det just detta ni vill höra en slaskig dag i början av januari.
 Men, jag säger det ändå. För äntligen ska jag iväg igen, iväg på ytterligare en resa som kommer sätta livet i nya, tänkvärda perspektiv.

Tänk att jag äntligen ska vara med och göra skillnad! Något som jag länge längtat efter. Det stod t.o.m. på min bucketlist från årskurs 7 som jag hittade häromdagen.
   Jag har fått chansen att bli en av de volontärer som ska undervisa underprivilegierade barn i en liten fiskeby på Nordöstra Bali. Barn från 5-15 år som lär sig engelska i tidig ålder för att ha chans att studera vidare och kunna få ett jobb när de växer upp, så de kan ha kvar, och nå sina framtidsvisioner.
  Detta har verkligen utvecklats från en spontan tanke, till en verklig dröm. En dröm som jag ska få chansen att uppleva. En dröm, och en helt olik verklighet, som jag även kommer att dela med många andra volontärer från bokstavligen hela världen.  Jag kommer få ta del av mängder av härliga och underbara kulturella utbyten mellan alla volontärer och alla fina barn och den balinesiska arbetsstyrkan. Något som kommer att ge ett antal historier som jag förhoppningsvis kommer vilja dela med mig av, till just er (läs; hela tjocka släkten) som slaviskt kommer följa detta lilla äventyr!  Givetvis i kombination med mängder av foton och filmer, från ett naturparadis som utan tvivel kommer leva upp till alla dess förväntningar!
Kan detta verkligen bli bättre än bra? Det får vi se, the countdown has started…
Häng på!

4 jan. 2015


Gott nytt år och god fortsättning!

Nytt år och nya äventyr och utmaningar, nu kör vi igång denna blogg på riktigt. 
  Välkommen till mitt egna cosmos i cyberspace världen.

Jag lämnar nog ett av de bästa åren bakom mig,ett 2014 fyllt med resor till de flesta av Europas fascinerande länder,en student som matchade alla skyhöga förväntningar, och en oförglömlig resa till China. Trots detta nästintill oslagbara år, ser jag verkligen fram emot ett nytt och oerhört spännande 2015. 
   Nya upplevelser som börjar redan nu, dagarna och timmarna tickar snabbt ned, imorgon är det måndag och nästintill en vanlig arbetsvecka för folk. Men jag kommer att befinna mig i någon slags absurd verklighet, där jag bara går omkring och packar fler och fler attiraljer i min förvånansvärt tomma resväska, samtidigt som jag mentalt försöker föreställa mig mitt liv under 2015. Något som helt klart är väldigt abstrakt. 
  Att åka iväg i tre månader, utan en returresa, är en herrans mix av känslor. Av nervositet, förundran och nyfikenhet, kombinerat av ständiga lyckorus och förväntan. Allt kan hända även detta år. 
För vi har ju ännu ett blankt papper som vi måste se till att fylla.
Då gör vi det.
 I år ska även en blogg fyllas för min del. Hur det går, vet bara den som lever.
Då var det sagt, det är bara att börja!
Hopps ni är med mig.
Polaroidgirlsen - Nyår 2015