Peace be with you!

My name is Nader Ata. I am a Conventual Franciscan Friar of the Our Lady of Angels Province, USA. I am a transitional deacon preparing for Priesthood Ordination in the fall.

Seeking to live with Franciscan Joy each and every day!

*All of photos on this blog were taken by me unless noted otherwise. Please ask permission before using them. Thank You!*

*Also I am not the greatest speller or writer in the world, so please let me know if something is misspelled. Thank you!"


Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Indonesia Part 2 - Bali

On Wednesday July 2nd for three days and two nights we went to Bali, Indonesia.  Oma's brother own's the Meliã Bali - Villas & Spa Resort in Bali and that is where we staying.  It is originally a Spanish hotel so you often heard English, Spanish, Indonesia and one time French spoken by the hotel staff.  When one first arrives in Bali and begins to walk around there is one thing he/she cannot miss: these square shaped palm branches with stuff inside of them.  These things are more than things but are offerings to the gods of Hinduism, over 93% of Bali's population adheres to Balinese Hinduism.  To the right is an example of an offering.  This offering is pretty simple but they can also be more elaborate.  Some of them have money on it, others have incense, and still others have simple flowers on it.  They were all over, so it was important not to step on them for that would be disrespectful.  You also saw many Hindu altars, to the left is an example of one with mango trees behind it.  This altar here has many offerings around as well as beautiful clothes draping it.

Our first big adventure in Bali was going to a Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary.  Upon entering the Sanctuary you can purchase tiny bananas to give to the monkeys to eat.  In this picture I am 
trying to feed one of them.  Me being ee tried to talk to the monkey, but as expected he or she did not listen.  Mike said that every time he was going to take a picture of me with the monkeys he waited for them to look at the camera, but they never did - I figure talking to them works then huh!   Essentially the Sanctuary is a huge tropical forest type place with walkways and tons of monkeys.  You saw them eating, carrying their babies, trying to make more babies, and oddly scrapping the cement floor with rocks as they rocked back and forth themselves.  They may seem cuddly and cute, but a monkey stole my sister's water bottle from her purse - luckily it was not her wallet.

Next are pictures involving the hotel. First is the view from one of our rooms.  Second is Pete and I on the hammocks. The
hammocks are not like the ones I am used to from America, when you are in these hammocks you feel as though you are in a cocoon or like you being wrapped like an ear of 
corn.  Third is a picture of the beach. I have to say it was nice to be on the beach and to relax.  There really where no waves though and I honestly expected the water to be this clear blue color like I see in commercials, but the water was not like that.  Overall it is cool that I can now way that I swan in the Indian Ocean.
On one of the nights we were in Bali we ate at this great
 restaurant on the edge of the beach watching the sunset.  On the right is a picture of us as we walked to the restaurant.  I just like that picture because you can see each person of our group.  The
next picture is one of my favorite pictures of the whole trip and is probably in the top ten of my favorite pictures that I have taken.  It is obviously right at sunset - with the Hindu altar in the foreground and the sky has this great orange color to it.  And of course here is a picture of my dinner, grilled salmon, with  asparagus, and some pretty good mashed potatoes.

Lastly Here is a picture of traditional Balinese Dancers.  They are dancers who resemble the belly dancers of Egypt.  I tried to take a video of them dancing, but every time anyone in our group picked up their camera the dancers stopped dancing and posed as you see.  It was great to watch them dance - the little that they did - it really demonstrated how dancing is art.

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