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Where are you going next?

 Africa86 votes
76.11%
 South America3 votes
2.65%
 Europe3 votes
2.65%
 Eastern Asia5 votes
4.42%
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WheresCherie.COM Quote
"To be wronged is nothing unless you continue to remember it." -- Confucius

272--Bali: Life as a Rice Farmer
@ CherieSpotting     Jan 12 2005 - 09:43 PST
cherie writes: It’s time to take the pulse of a new country—Indonesia. Margaret and I are based out of Ubud, a magical mountain town where we wake up to the sweet scent of incense and dewy smell of rice fields in the morning. Our alarm is the coo of birds and babbling of fountains. But Margaret might say our alarm is the annoying howl of the local rooster.

Rice farmers bring splashes of color—orange, purple and yellow—to the brilliant green rice fields surrounding Ubud. There are many rewards in Bali for early risers. Watching Ubud come to life in the morning, is like watching an infant take her first breath. Ubud is like a sanctuary, and we have taken refuge here.

Margaret and I rented a bright yellow VW “Thing” with a Balinese man named Nyomen and took a glimpse of the magnificent temples surrounding Ubud. In the Hindu religion, statues often represent gods, and the stone works-of-art are treated as such. In fact, some statues are treated as if they were human. Every day the dedicated Balinese dress the statues in clothes, shade the stone-gods from the sun with parasols, and give them daily offerings of food.

On the way back to Ubud, Margaret and I stopped and met some local rice-farmers. I got a quick (but unforgettable) taste of what life would be like, had I been born a Balinese farmer.

Click on each picture to see it full size.

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Cherie and Margaret in the terraced rice fields near Ubud, Bali.

Cherie and Margaret in the terraced rice fields near Ubud, Bali.

Farming is back-breaking work.

Farming is back-breaking work.

Balinese rice-paddies.

Balinese rice-paddies.

Children huddle around Margaret.  They are drawn by her blonde hair and tourist dollars.

Children huddle around Margaret. They are drawn by her blonde hair and tourist dollars.

Cherie and Margaret.

Cherie and Margaret.

The farmers offer a splash of color to the fields of green.

The farmers offer a splash of color to the fields of green.

Rice-fields flow down the hill like a grassy waterfall.

Rice-fields flow down the hill like a grassy waterfall.

Margaret with Balinese children.

Margaret with Balinese children.

Cherie helps a boy lift the cattle-food. *Photo by Margaret.

Cherie helps a boy lift the cattle-food. *Photo by Margaret.

A darling Balinese girl. *Photo by Margaret.

A darling Balinese girl. *Photo by Margaret.

I'm a natural at this!

I'm a natural at this!

Being a farmer requires a lot of sweat.

Being a farmer requires a lot of sweat.

Margaret and Nyomen at the "Elephant Cave" or Goa Gajah.

Margaret and Nyomen at the "Elephant Cave" or Goa Gajah.

Our Balinese guide.

Our Balinese guide.

And you thought your local water delivery guy had it tough.

And you thought your local water delivery guy had it tough.

Cherie and Margaret in Ubud's version of the "Fountain of Youth."

Cherie and Margaret in Ubud's version of the "Fountain of Youth."

Margaret washing her face in the cleansing waters.

Margaret washing her face in the cleansing waters.

I feel younger already!

I feel younger already!

In just a few minutes we felt 10-years younger! *Photo by Margaret.

In just a few minutes we felt 10-years younger! *Photo by Margaret.

Traditional and non-traditional Balinese men.

Traditional and non-traditional Balinese men.

Making an offering.

Making an offering.

Cherie and Margaret at the Elephant Cave Temple.

Cherie and Margaret at the Elephant Cave Temple.

Praying.

Praying.

The Elephant Cave Temple dates to the 11th century.

The Elephant Cave Temple dates to the 11th century.

A welcoming Balinese smile is on almost every face in Ubud.

A welcoming Balinese smile is on almost every face in Ubud.

Making new friends.

Making new friends.

Taking the chickens out for a walk.

Taking the chickens out for a walk.

Taking the breakfast out for a walk?

Taking the breakfast out for a walk?

Who wants to try stinky-fruit?

Who wants to try stinky-fruit?

Nyomen can't wait to sink his teeth into that thing!

Nyomen can't wait to sink his teeth into that thing!

Look what's inside!  More funky fruit.

Look what's inside! More funky fruit.

Cruising around in our yellow VW Thing.

Cruising around in our yellow VW Thing.

Guys hanging out.

Guys hanging out.

The Temple Entrance Rules.

The Temple Entrance Rules.

The Temple.

The Temple.

Rice-paddy noise-maker.

Rice-paddy noise-maker.

Fields of green.

Fields of green.

Cherie and Margaret.

Cherie and Margaret.

Balinese shadow-puppets.

Balinese shadow-puppets.

Now that's balance.

Now that's balance.

One strong head.

One strong head.

Margaret effortlessly blends into the Balinese culture.

Margaret effortlessly blends into the Balinese culture.

Amazing temples.

Amazing temples.

Cherie and Margaret.

Cherie and Margaret.

Beauty everywhere we turn.

Beauty everywhere we turn.

I have an agreement with spiders.  I don't come in their webs; they don't come in my house.

I have an agreement with spiders. I don't come in their webs; they don't come in my house.

Margaret on a bridge.

Margaret on a bridge.

Crazy guy.

Crazy guy.

Who is your dentist?

Who is your dentist?

I'm almost ready, I just have to brush my hair.

I'm almost ready, I just have to brush my hair.

Terraced rice-paddy near Ubud.

Terraced rice-paddy near Ubud.

Children scampering home.

Children scampering home.

Nyomen and Margaret.

Nyomen and Margaret.

Cherie in the rice fields.

Cherie in the rice fields.

Excuse me, are you aware that you have a live pig on your head?

Excuse me, are you aware that you have a live pig on your head?

That's one way to bring home the bacon. *Photo by Margaret.

That's one way to bring home the bacon. *Photo by Margaret.

A darling Balinese baby.

A darling Balinese baby.

The holy springs of Tirta Empul.

The holy springs of Tirta Empul.

Taking a bath here is a family affair.

Taking a bath here is a family affair.

The Balinese stop under each spout to bathe.

The Balinese stop under each spout to bathe.

The water at the temple is believed to have magical powers.

The water at the temple is believed to have magical powers.

An interesting statue.  Is that sunscreen he has on?

An interesting statue. Is that sunscreen he has on?

Praying at the temple.

Praying at the temple.

Kneeling in prayer.

Kneeling in prayer.

The pure spring water flows straight from the earth. *Photo by Margaret.

The pure spring water flows straight from the earth. *Photo by Margaret.

The water looks clean enough to drink. *Photo by Margaret.

The water looks clean enough to drink. *Photo by Margaret.

Cherie and Margaret.

Cherie and Margaret.

The volcano.

The volcano.

You can't ask for a better view than that.

You can't ask for a better view than that.

Did someone loose his hat?

Did someone loose his hat?

Nyomen collects pins...how did you guess?

Nyomen collects pins...how did you guess?

Cherie and Margaret by the volcano.

Cherie and Margaret by the volcano.