28 mars 2015


Scuba diving in Tulamben this friday morning with some Sting rays, turtles, beautiful coral and The USAT Liberty wreck from 1942.

25 mars 2015

Selamat Nyepi!

Happy Silent day everyone!

The year has officially turned 1937 and the streets are empty from all cars, motorbikes and stressed out people. Yet it is not really silent, today the streets of Tianyar is instead occupied by joyful children playing with their bikes and racing each other along the long curvy, usually busy, roads. A wonderful scene that really got me.

“Nyepi is a Balinese "Day of Silence" that is commemorated every Isakawarsa (Saka new year) according to the Balinese calendar. In 2015, Nyepi Day falls on March 21st . Nyepi is a day reserved for self-reflection, and as such, anything that might interfere with that purpose is restricted. The main restrictions - called Catur Berata Penyepian -are no lighting fires (amati gni) , no travelling (amati lelungan), no working (amati karya); no entertainment or pleasure (amati lelangunan).”

 - https://www.facebook.com/VolunteerProgramsBali?ref=ts&fref=ts

The day before Nyepi, called Pengerupukan,  is also a very special day. Huge OGOH-OGOH parades takes place all over Bali.
Ogoh-ogoh are statues built by Balinese Hindu people, in every single village. 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, to Hindu believe, the Bhuta-Kala, the eternal energy, Kala, eternal time.
Aside from being the symbol of eternal energy and time, Ogoh-ogoh is considered a symbol of modes of nature that form the malicious characters of living beings.  After being paraded on a convoy around the village on Pengerupukan, then the Ogoh Ogoh is usually burned to ashes as a symbol of self-purification.

One of Tianyars massive Ogoh Ogohs was created of our one and only manager Nyoman. He also designed the fabulous T-shirts people wore in the parade, our own village artist!

To summarize, If you ever plan on visiting Bali (which you definitely should once in your life) you should make sure your get to experience their new year. One of a kind for sure.
Dwi Citta Dharma

Welcome folks to 1937.

12 mars 2015

Extreame Make Over - Bali Edition

I started to join our little girls Balinese dancing classes every Saturday evening, and after several failed attempts, with little girls constantly correcting us, I nearly gave up. To be honest.
It was great fun, don’t get me wrong, but I thought I would rather enjoy this magnificent dance from the side from now on.

Yet, when Saturday finally came again, and the girls arrived punctually (!!) at three o’clock with enthusiastic smiles on their faces, I got so inspired to really give it one more go. Simply value all of the “Once in a lifetime experiences” to the absolute max.  

This really paid off, because liters of sweat and several cramped fingers later, the amazing teacher Made invited me and two other girls to her house to do a total make over from head to toe with traditional Balinese dancing clothes and make up. We would have a dress up and then dance together with her daughter, she explained with help of the English speaking girls.

What to answer to this sort of invitation? Well, thank you but I will think about it…
 No way, we literally jumped into her arms of happiness and used all of the Indonesian and Balinese ways of saying “yes yes yes” and “thank you soooo much. “

This day was unreal, quite impossible to grasp. I had a professional educated Balinese art and dance teacher doing a famous Balinese makeup on me, transforming my short weirdly colored damaged hair into the black but-long smooth Bali hair ( hair I’ve always been dreaming of having as a child)

She had her oldest daughter together with a bunch of her friends dressing us up, wrapping us into pieces of beautiful garment, making extraordinary dresses using only safety pins, while the youngest daughter and all of the neighbor’s kids was running around and searching for both bobby pins and flower decorations.

This transformations was incredible and after uncountable amount of pictures (thank you Leony) we got up on her “stage” and together with her talented 7 year old daughter, Diah, and preformed the well-known “Tan pendet” with basically the whole village watching behind the trees. We really copied her the best we could.

The dancing went on, and in our Balinese characters we even managed to dance like crazy to both some Bruno Mars and Avici classics, they simply made everything to make us feel like home….

This day will be one of many Bali days I always will remember, and not only because of the whole material make up transformation, but also because this day I truly got a new Balinese family as well. As Made herself said,
Me Ibu (Mother) You
Don’t forget me.

No Made, we will never forget you or your family, and don’t worry, we will come back.

Now, enjoy …

10 mars 2015

Fuzzy mindset tuesday

3 months is a long time in some perspectives and in other, it is simply a drop in the ocean.  Back in high school this period of time was the absolute longest and most unexciting months ever.  Who knew that this year would turn out to be the exact opposite?

As I repeatedly been writing and proving is that life here is astonishing, I really do want to point it out once again. I do appreciate every second that passes by, and I have finally managed to enjoy time, in the actual moment, and not in the future nor in the past. 

I admire every one of these amazing people and family members I meet.  I'm realizing how everyone makes an impact on my life. Meeting people, learning from then and hopefully leaving something valuable in return.

The adventure has reached a point where time passes rapidly, just too fast to handle. However I believe that this adventure will never spiritualty be over. The things I learn and adapt over here will constantly be present, wherever I end up.

A quick fuzzy summary of my mindset at the moment, since this blog really was in an urgent need of an update!
Go ahead and enjoy some of these captured moments of the most inspiring people!

Stay tuned, Total Makeover á la Balinese style coming up!