Rice Field Workers
Canvasing Bali, Indonesia
Sean explores the beaches and temples of Bali, dives through the ruins of the USS Liberty, and documents a water healing ceremony with a Balinese High Priestess. Along the way he finds painting inspiration from the traditions of the Balinese people and celebrates their centuries-old process of harvesting rice in his painting “Rice Field Workers.”
Balinese traditional beliefs are that physical and mental disabilities are a result of karma from a previous life. Wheelchair ramps and van lifts are non-existent. There is no accommodation of handicapped children in the schools and almost half of the handicapped children never go to any school. The foundation at Yayasan Cahaya Mutiara Ubud is working to make sure all their education program tries to overcome this. We want our members to fulfill their goals of attending school or university. If you are able to support one of us with a scholarship we would love to talk with you!
Ketut Budiarsa is one of three brothers from Kedewatan who was born with glass bone syndrome. He speaks English the best and helps to run the art and performance studio at Yayasan Cahaya Mutiara Ubud. The address is Jalan Sasibrata Banjar Kawan Tengah, Tampaksiring Gianyar, Bali.
You can purchase the three brother’s art at the gallery along with other members work. Sales from the gallery increases each artist’s self-esteem. Each piece is for sale with proceeds supporting the foundation and the artist earning a percentage for their work.
Volunteer, donate or visit here.
Donations of art supplies are always welcome :)
Some of our favorite Bali Beaches:
o Uluwatu Blue Point. dramatic cliffs and ocean views. Only suitable for swimming at very low tide. Can be very dangerous at high tide and best for enjoying food and drinks at one of the cliffside warungs.
o Finn’s Beach Club– luxury beach club catering to wealthy individuals. Great people-watching too. Scenery is unlike anywhere else, very dramatic cliff descent. Fun beach loungers and plenty of beach chairs. Good snorkeling in a protected bay. Very much western prices but so fun for an amenity-filled beach getaway. Also the only tennis courts on the island.
Uluwatu Temple has a great interactive storytelling performance in the evening, quite a dramatic interaction with fire and sunset cliff views.
o Bingin– surfer’s paradise and backpacker enclave. Pretty much the opposite of Finn’s beach club but beautiful in its own way. Hidden and remote and really difficult to get to. The stairs are steep and treacherous, so take your time. We like to do an overnight stay here, we stay at the local hostel called “sticky’s place” It is just up the hillside from Kelly’s Warung. None of these places have internet sites so its best to just show up early in the day and plan for some uncertainty. These are very basic rooms with no air conditioning and no hot water. Best part of Bingin beach is the beachside seafood grill the fisherman put out their best catch of the day and grill it over a flame. You get to pick your own catch from their cooler.
o Balangan– clear blue water and small waves over rocks. Beachside chairs and fresh coconuts!
o Padang Padang– sandy soft beach and warm water but expect lots of tour busses. Water can get dirty with the right currents bringing in trash from the ocean.
o Canggu– (pronounced Changu). Canggu is a hip young surf town. We like Old Man’s beach for surfing and be sure to eat at Echo Beach House for fresh seafood!
o Padang Bai– on the South East part of the island near the port town of Padang Bai. There is a nice little hidden beach and fantastic snorkeling around to the west of the marina. It is hard to find though, one must have an up to date GPS. Google maps marks this as “hidden beach” but also “white sand beach” sometimes. You have to go up the hill from the main bay and it is to the south and the west a little bit. Parking is limited.
o Amed– on East Bali this is a beautiful black sand beach and a sunken ship to explore while snorkeling. Good for divers and the gateway to the USS Liberty Dive.
o West Bali National Park– white sands and native deer roam the beach
Visit some of Bali’s mountain towns:
o Lake Batur
o Lake Baratan
o Munduk– — less touristy than Kintamani and the drive there you drive along a ridge where you see one side is Lake Baratan and Lake Danu and the other side is the north side ocean. Beautiful on a clear day but most often foggy.
o Kintamani— great little mountain town with fantastic views.
Hike Mt Batur
o Hike Mt Agung
o Tegnungan Waterfall
o Pura Ulun Danu Beratan, temple at the edge of a lake
Traditional Textile Tour
· Towns of Sideman– weaving tradition here, also dying and making fabrics. Incredibly interesting look into the life of traditional Balinese.
· The traditional Village of Tenganan. Only opened up to tourists in the past 2 years. Very nice and generous people. You can go through a tour or you can hire a private driver.
The Jatiluwih Rice Terraces in the heart of Tabanan Regency is the best example of Bali’s outstanding picturesque rice fields and represent the Subak system as Bali’s Cultural Landscape which has been inscribed a UNESCO’s World Heritage Site in June 2012.
The fields that make up this area are inseparable from the traditional Subak irrigation system – a traditional method preserved for centuries and passed down through generations. Here is local wisdom at its best. Indeed, Bali is blessed with 150 rivers and streams that provide water year round to irrigate this most important staple. Nonetheless, irrigation rice fields would not be successful unless man also has a hand in it.Uniquely, Bali’s complex irrigation system has its roots not by order of kings, but its management is very much in the hands of the villagers through village cooperatives. Since farmers depend on the successful irrigation of the fields, the different Subaks form an inseparable bond that unites into a single system.
Where to Stay
On the Uluwatu peninsula:
Lullaby bungalows was a lovely stay on the Uluwatu Peninsula
Uluwatu Surf Villas
You can’t beat the views from these surf bungalows.
On the East side:
Bali Dream House
Beautiful and traditional Balinese accommodations.