Star Date: April 2019
Hello Dear Family & Friends!
"Oh that magic feeling, Nowhere
Meandering along a side street in the sleepy town of Vinales, C*ba, I met a lovely Australian traveler who had just fallen off a horse and broken her wrist. She looked so upset and in pain. Poor thing. We discussed her medical treatment - which is good and free in C*ba, if not a bit outdated in some regards. We got to know each other around the kitchen table, with her family at her Casa Particular. Walking that afternoon I discovered a market and returned to her casa with flowers and a piece of pie, hoping it would ease the pain. She went on to have the wrist re-broken and a plate put in it back in Australia - but all turned out well. Thank goodness! I thought of her yesterday as I scanned our page for C*ba.
As these things happen over and over in our lives, this same traveler emailed us out of the 'clear blue' the next day; after a year of non communicating. She had become restless with the normal life expected of her in Australia. Selling most things she was taking the big leap into the unknown and traveling the world, without a return ticket. We may even meet up in Asia!
I thought of her because when climbing a mountain recently I slipped on a loose rock near the summit. Down I went, twisting my ankle in the process, narrowly escaping a 2000 ft fall into the abyss. After an agonizing couple of hours I had to be carried by Sherpas down to base camp.
with all our crazy stunts and hikes and adventures on most every
continent of the planet over the last 17 years, that could have been
the case. Could have happened when trekking up to Everest Base
Camp in Tibet, or tracking wild mountain gorillas into the mountains
of the Impenetrable Forest of Uganda or hiking into Machu Pichu in
Peru or across the desert to the hidden city of Petra in the
Jordanian Desert. But no, down I went slipping down
a step into a puddle of water. What a shock! Not quite
so romantic a story, but in the end the pain is the same and a
misdiagnosed break had me in excruciating pain for 2 weeks until
another set of x-rays showed a broken Fibula of the ankle.
Bonus chipped bone and torn tendon!
Once put in a half cast I settled down to discovering what I was
And so there I was in bed, in agony and upset. Just sleeping sent stabs of pain through my ankle, making for fitful nights. Days were filled with the realization that I couldn't do a damn thing! A pair of crutches from our friends at the local warung widened my territory from the bathroom to the bed and out to our lovely terrace. It was there that I accepted my new 'twist of fate' and ankle . If it had to be, how lucky I was to be in this beautiful little house with 12 windows in the bedroom and the front terrace looking out into the garden and over the brilliant green of the rice terraces. It was as if Nature was urging me on. Nature was reminding me to accept , let go, and heal.
I try to live a life of gratitude. I can honestly say my cup is half full, rather than half empty. A few days when I was discouraged and feeling like a caged animal, my cup was bone dry. You must understand we live 1/4 mile down a narrow 4 ft wide motorcycle path out in the middle of the rice fields, on the outskirts of Ubud, in the hills above the ocean, on the small Indonesian island of Bali, surrounded by the Pacific and Indian Oceans, which is in S.E. Asia, which is a 4 hour flight from Bangkok and 20 hours from Honolulu. That puts you in Hawaii, the most remote island in the world. I guess that is how we like it!!!
Four days after the injury I had to take a motorcycle to the road to hop into a van to get to the hospital. Not exactly handicap friendly, especially when a dog ran across the path and we ended up one inch from landing in the rice fields.
This chapter in our life was also hard on my companion and dear, helpful husband Joseph. Having a mate that is disabled is difficult. Most people aren't natural nurses. Acknowledging their help and any effort is important. Maybe we learned how to ask for help, without demanding. Maybe we learned to not have so many requests. Maybe we became less picky or critical. Maybe we learned a bit of what is really important in life - on that scale from 1 -100. It's a tough way to learn it but maybe our 'hard heads' needed just that!!
Friends. What can I say? When things got tough or pain unbearable there were 2 dear friends, angels in disguise, who always showed up for a visit. Brigitte and Sterling, your bright lights dimmed any shadows. Thank you. And Barb, your surprise visit from Sumatra put a big smile on my face. Love you all!
In Bali when an accident happens or a health issue arises, the first line of defense is a trip to the local village Balien, or Balinese medicine man. Some are better than others. Some are performing for tourists, riding on the shirttails of Ketut in "Eat, Pray, Love", while other obscure Baliens are genuine healers, as their grandfathers were before them. Most work on the principal of pain pointing to illness in the body and so they set off with their small pointed sticks to uncover the real underlying problem. One such healer is slender, sporting a long grey braid, 92 year old Chakoda Rai. A wonderful impish smile greats you, a total diversion for what is to come. Working on the pressure points of the body, he soon discovers what needs fixing and sets about doing just that. Acupressure is applied to sore points on the feet and hands and a second round with that dreaded little magic stick reveals less pain. (The leg was saved for after the bone healed /more later.) My sore back was the focal point and I believe to this day that my back pain was less after his treatment. True or not doesn't really matter. When it come to pain, even temporary relief is worth any effort. Experiencing this wonderful man and basking in the aura of Chakoda Rai, complete with the impish grin, made the trip worthwhile. Joseph enjoyed fooling around with him, a seemingly fun diversion for Chakoda Rai. Smiles do heal. Before giving us some homemade curcumin salve we were allowed to look at his sacred scripts, (lontars) in the temple. Containing detailed knowledge of astronomy, anatomy, phytotherapy, mantras (sacred healing prayers), mudras (sacred healing gestures) etc., these scripts are handed down from healer to healer for generations. The words are stenciled onto special paper and then rubbed with charcoal so you can read them. You cannot touch them; for their eyes only. The lontars are blessed by the Priest, bound into a Venetian blind-type scroll and kept in special boxes. And so the knowledge of the ancients is preserved.
Valetines Day, the 'giorno dell'amore' was a whole lot different this year as Feb 13th was the day of my accident. Needless to say there was no dancing this year! Though we don't always agree, (cough, cough) I owe my success in healing to him. Thanks Joseph, you are a great husband and I Love You! Through thick or thin. For your sake I hope I never have to repay the favor!
Picture yourself in bed, without warning, NOW, for six weeks, eventually 3 months ! Yeah, but, you would say... I have so much to do, places to go, people to meet. Once you get over the shock it's time to accept it and relax into one of those occasional rough places in life. And it could have been much worse! Finally I have time to read, meditate, and enjoy this day. Even though I have lived a busy life I have always taken time to listen to the silence. This is just an extended version.
One of my jokes with my helpful juice and raw food delivery boys was my little swollen hotdog toes - I called them cocktail weenies. He noticed, "No more hotdogs Ibu ". (Ibu is a term of endearment - for Mother figure.) so healing was happening. Early in the game I substituted "Doctor Google" for the lack of nearby professional care or physiotherapists. I realized the problems immobilization causes and I continued to exercise plus ate only Joseph's tasty breakfast of fruit salad and one meal of healthy raw foods and juices. Luckily in Ubud, the Yoga/Vegan capitol of Asia, I was able to have what I required to ensure quick healing delivered, with a smile, to my back terrace.
Dance with life - time for a slow dance! The Tao of Toad. Outside my kitchen window is my new pet, Toad. Every morning when I open the window, my trusty less than rambunctious friend is waiting. Like a dial on a compass his direction may have changed overnight but that's about it. Toad is as on schedule as gas after beans. He is a constant reminder of the reason we have chosen to take a break from our traveling to far off corners of the globe and to spend a few months every year in our little house in the rice fields of Bali. To simply be here. To enjoy the moments of each day. To soak in the Nature; the birds, flowers, insects, plants, trees, clouds and beautiful blue skies. To converse with the dragonfly who lands on me daily or George the tokay gecko who chirps his greeting. To play Mozart to our waiting audience of song birds in the trees, who sing along loudly or listen to the sweet dove who reminds us that no matter what we are faced with in life, "It's O.K.". To savor the ripening tomatoes on my salad, right off the vine from my garden, to drink the healing juices and turmeric 'jamu' delivered to my door, to play with watercolors, to listen to 'Mists of Avalon' or Jon Young's 'Nature Mentoring' while immersed in the glory of Nature. To have time to finally listen to documentaries or look at books or research health from Joseph's great library. To have time to enjoy the day together with my husband, "Oh that magic feeling, Nowhere to go!" To creatively explore the Kama Sutra of a broken ankle in a cast. To rejoice as the rain waters the rice fields and the rainbows paint the sky. To bask in the sun and marvel at the serenity of the full moon and fireflies or 'kunang kunang' in the rice fields by night. Although life has thrown a twist of fate or ankle into this year's stay, I was simply here, healing in more ways than I will ever realize. 'Santai', relax into life.
I was forced, with this challenge to re-explore TRUST, an old lesson of mine. There is a magic that comes from yielding to life, allowing life. Allowing yourself time in life, to just Be, is a true gift! And thus I quieted myself, listened, connected, and gave thanks. Blessings come in all forms.
Love, Light & Laughter,
1 US Dollar = 14,122 Indonesian Rupiah IDR
Contact Nyoman for help finding
a rental, or driver or getting fresh coconuts daily, a tour local or
island wide, or just about anything. He will take you on his
motorbike for the going rate or go get something for you. A
great guy, helpful, wonderful smile, and honest. Call or email
him for anything you need. Tell him Nancy & Joseph recommended
Beji Ayu Spa
Moksha Spa - total quiet seclusion and good massage at a great price. When coming off JL Bisma on Sunset Lane (Across from Guardian Pharmacy) you come to a T. Left is Guari's Restaurant; right is Moksha Spa and Villas.
Visa – Komang Suwini – Bali Budha (2-5 Mon-Fri.) Just
Good prices, reliable, must allow 10 full days to extend or renew a visa. Best for longer stays to get a 2 month visa before arrival - then you may extend 4 months before leaving. Or get a 6 month or yearly social visa. Best deal is a one year retirement (7.5 million p.p.) visa if appropriate.
Komang works out of Bali Buda
every afternoon. The little extra they charge is worth not
having to go to Denpasar 1-4 times. Only once per year.
Chakoda Rai - over 90, sees people once in a while. When seeking a healer please ask around. A few are great, a lot aren't authentic.
Indonesian Jamu is a unique system of traditional herbal medicine that can be consumed on a daily basis for both disease prevention and treatment of serious illness.
Jamu: bladder infection: kumis kucing leaf or beetle nut leaf tea. Turmeric jamu - great for the immune system and even Bali Belly.
Bali Royal Hospital in Denpasar. Dr Wein - good orthopedic surgeon.
Ubud Health Care
Jl Sukma 37
trustworthy clinic of a doctors in Ubud. If you call they will
pick you up.
Tirta Usada Homeopathic Clinic - At the Ibah Hotel right before the bridge. Tjok Gede - Prince of Ubud, great, talented homeopath. email@example.com
Sayan Aesthetic Institute
Just down the street: Warung
Siam for good Thai food
Fried crap. We saw this on a menu - I hope they meant fried crab.
Poopies Juice Bar on Jl Bisma. I think they meant to put Poppies on the sign. It's all about marketing. Didn't last long.........
Yoga Barn: (pet name the yogurt
Bali Buda: Restaurant and health food store. Great food and juices - most comprehensive store in town. Bali Buddha down the Main Road, turn right, across from the Post Office. Great organic menu and small bakery and health food store. Another wonderful place to chill and hang out with like minded people. They deliver.
Down to Earth: A bit more
pricey in the cafe and store but a good selection and may have what
the other stores do not.
Dewa's Warung -
The Elephant Restaurant - great food, spectacular grounds, just past the bridge on the right side, going out of town .
Down the path on Sunset Lane off of Jl Bisma. Kadek, Dewi and Gauri
are the young family who offer tasty food at a good price. Even
when I was cooking we would stop by there for coconuts on our
nightly walk through the rice fields.
Places to check out:
Don't miss Campuhan Ridge!!!. Get a taxi to the top of the hiking road then path.(50,000tp from town) Total hiking time down about half an hour but take your time, enjoy the view, stop for a coconut, have a relaxing lunch, check out the temple at the bottom.
Monkey Forest Sanctuary: a must see. Those monkeys are real characters. 30,000 r p.p.
When the taxi drivers or dance performance touts ask you to buy while walking down the street, just say: "Suda" - already They seem satisfied without further discussion.