Grappling with Gratitude

In August 2018 my husband and I travelled to Bali / Indonesia. Then; we met a local who soon we would later become long time friends with. Fast forward 2 months to now November 2018 I flew back to Bali for only a few short days to spend some time in their village, with their children and document what is to me the most rewarding story yet.

Being grateful for things doesn't mean it will bring more great things into your life. It allows us to see, hear, listen, feel and be present for the greatness that surrounds us everyday, and in every moment. The Balinese people do not have much of what we tend to value in our lives. They don’t have the wants we do on this side of the ocean, they survive on their needs. They don't have high speed internet, they don’t have air-conditioning for all those hot humid days. AND for the most part, they do not earn enough to ever leave the country. They live in small, crowded quarters and they work really REALLY hard. YET they are the happiest, kindest people I have ever met.

As we drove into Tanah Lot into the village where Made & Komang reside we pulled up to their front gate, there stood staring through the railing was little Ketut (18 months old) His older brother Kadek (15yrs) stood back shy.

I remember walking through the gate, looking into their dark home. It was small only 70 sq metres. Komang was laying out peanuts, chippies and some coke. I don’t drink Coke but this time this day I did.

Little Ketut was playing so happily, and Kadek sat on the couch and began to play the guitar. As I walked around their small home my heart opened and I began to appreciate every little detail. Their bathroom was only a small corner to their kitchen and the shower was only a tiny room off that. The windows behind overlooked the most beautiful sunset & dried rice fields. The roof was raw and open. And there outside hung their washing.

Komang the third son was riding his bike around the village as we took a walk around. Little Ketut is still not yet toilet trained but they cannot afford nappies.

We laughed and shared stories as we spoke of each others culture, I learnt Made had worked 23 years 14 hours every day, to provide his family AUD$350 per month. He missed a lot of his children’s early life. His eldest Putu is 18 yrs old and now studying to be an electrician.

I am now more aware than ever that gratitude, health and happiness are the most precious commodities. Made said to me as we left, Nadia as long as my wife is happy I am happy.

This will always be a treasured friendship to hold close to our hearts. Made & Komang thank you for inviting me into your home, your village & your heart. I am forever grateful.

Nadia x

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Nadia Harrison