xmlns:og='http://ogp.me/ns#' World Toddler: Cockfights and Waterfalls

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Thursday, June 23, 2016

Cockfights and Waterfalls

On one of our first mornings in Bali, we hired a private tour guide, Wayan, to show us around. Over the course of an enthralling day, we waved hello to farmers slashing rice in the paddies; danced under a cool waterfall; and meditated at serene temples where plumes of incense circled around us.


But the best part of the day ended up being our new friendship with our tour guide. With two small children of his own, Wayan spent as much energy entertaining Sydney on the long drives between sites as introducing us to Hindu history.
 

Wayan escorted us around the island for the next five days of our stay. He seemed interested only in ensuring we fully enjoyed, understood, and appreciated Balinese culture and tradition. One of these days, we visited the Ubud Monkey Forest (www.monkeyforestubud.com), where cheeky monkeys nibbled bananas out of our hands.

Another afternoon, Wayan invited us to his house for lunch with his family. He invited our American friends, Wendy and Rob, who had just arrived for vacation, along as well. Although of only modest means, his wife put out an amazing spread of all the classic Balinese dishes.
We sat around a table outside where their 10 chickens clucked all around us. Why were only two of the chickens caged, while the others got to roam freely? "They're for cockfighting,” we were informed nonchalantly. I took another bite of mie goring, spicy chicken and rice, to keep my jaw draw from dropping.
 

After lunch, Wayan's wife took us on a tour of their home, a compound where all three generations of the family, including extended family, live together. In the front was a small temple where a rooster was pecking away at the daily offering. The family's bedrooms were in the middle of the complex: undecorated rooms where Wayan's kids lay on mattresses on the floor watching TV.
From here we entered the kitchen.
 
A mama hen and her 4-day old chicks waddled on the dirt ground under the kitchen sink. Dragonflies swarmed around the empty pans. We maneuvered past the children's bicycles leaning against the tin cabinets to the pig pen, where 4 piglets suckled on an enormous mama.

After lunch, we gave Wayan's boys bags brimming with classic American candies, which they ran off to hide in their room. We then all grouped together for a picture and, before leaving, promised to host Wayan and his family just as generously should their dream of seeing America come true.
If you ever make it to Bali, look up our friend Wayan at www.amansukatour.com for an incredible window into the local culture.

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