Is it possible to become friends with someone within 2 weeks? Speaking different languages, living at two ends of the Earth, having different colour skin and different culture? I guess it’s possible and not that hard.
When we met Ibu Sri, Pak Jim and Pak Nate, the only thing we knew was that they work in Linda’s Beach House and that together we will try to show them some European food and teach them a bit of English, so they are prepared when the tourist will come.
When we left them we knew they are nice, friendly, and very funny people. Kevin spend many hours talking with them half English, half Indonesian, and I was always listening to their conversations. When there is a connection between people it’s not so hard to communicate, even if you speak different languages.
Besides working in the kitchen and teaching English in Sumber Sari we also had many nice activities.
1) Snorkeling. The first time we went snorkeling was with Norm, when he and Linda visited Sumber Sari. The weather was beautiful, the water was clear, but the current was too strong to enjoy this trip. We jumped into the water for a while and then let the current bring us back to the Beach House. It was nice, but not spectacular.
The second time we went snorkeling, Pak Nate took us almost to Gilimanuk to show us some beautiful corals. Wowowow! This was the best time even, the place was beautiful, colourful fish were playing around, and huge starfish were lying on the stones. Amazing! Pak Nate had a waterproof camera with him so we could take some photos (actually he took them all;p).
It was a bit cold that day and Kevin and I didn’t feel very well so we didn’t stay long in the water. On the way back I could feel strong wind on my face and I was shivering under the towel but I just couldn’t stop smiling.
2) Climbing a mountain. Next to the place where we stayed was a mountain. It was not so high and quite easy to climb so we wanted to go for a trip. Pak Nate was our guide. We started in the morning to avoid the heat, but after a few meters up we were all sweaty. The first part went through dry bushes, not so much up, but very, very hot. Somewhere on the way we saw some kind of a border or at least it looked like that – suddenly there was a green forest around us, between this and the dry bushes was almost a visible line. With the bigger, leaf containing trees around it was a bit cooler and the shadow covered us from the sun. It was still hot so slowly we were walking up, having a little break every now and then to catch a breath and give some rest to our legs. Pak Nate was telling us things about all the plants around: which ones you can eat, which ones are good for health, and which ones are a bit poisonous and it hurts when you touch them. Of course I touched the last one, and for the next few days my arm was covered with disgusting rash, so lovely.
Finally we arrived. On the top of mountain was an old, very high antenna, already abandoned for many years. Nate’s father used to work there 20 years ago and he had to go up and down this mountain every day(!!!). The view was beautiful!
We could see our beach and the mountains from Java. Kevin climbed on the antenna, but I was too scared. After a small rest on the top we went down to get some lunch, trekking in the mountain makes you crazy hungry!
3) Fresh fish BBQ. On Tuesday evening, a few days before we had to go, we decided to have fresh fish for dinner. Pak Jim, Pak Nate, and some of their friends prepared a big grill place with a huge fire in the middle to fry the fish.
They were just caught, so fresh and healthy. Ibu Sri prepared some rice and sambals (fresh from the garden) in the kitchen and when the fish was ready we could start the feast. Oh my dear Lord! It was the second time in my life when I tried a fish straight from the water and it was great! It was so delicious that I actually feel sorry for myself that I cannot have it for dinner tonight, right now! Everything was so fresh and good! Children from our friends were playing around (together with Kevin, he can’t help it, he has to play when there are kids around:D), we were having fun, and Manis, the cat, was almost smiling, waiting for his share. Everything was just perfect!
4) Gamelan concert. The next evening after our fish feast was also special. We went to visit Pak Jim’s house to see how his son, brothers, and the gamelan teacher play the gamelan. It is a traditional Balinese instrument, making a beautiful delicate? sound. The boy was very talented, he could play the notes the teacher sang to him and repeat the teacher’s moves in a moment. Jim’s brothers were sitting around, playing some other instruments, while their children were chasing each other around in the garden. We were drinking delicious Indonesian coffee and listening to the mini concert. On the side Jim’s mother was preparing decorations for the next morning ceremony.
Kevin also tried to play Gamelan for a moment and he was very good! I think I have to get used to the fact that he is good at everything and I’m always a groupie, but such a proud groupie! It was already quite late when we went home, we needed to get some rest.
The last night in Sumber Sari we spend (of course) together with Pak Jim, Pak Nate, and Ibu Sri with her husband and child. It was a sweet warm night, we were talking and laughing a lot, and taking photos together. We had to leave the next day so we were all a bit sad. Those two weeks were so great and we all loved it. We made promises to come back as soon as possible to visit our Sumber Sari friends again!