Wednesday, February 2, 2011

School trip, reports and holy water

Friday last week everybody at Sjaki-Tari-Us went together on a school trip to Pura Tirtha Empul, a Hindu temple in the Ubud area. The reason for the trip was that all the children and teenagers were getting their reports this day, and for this nice event we went to the temple. Pura Tirtha Empul is one of the important temples for the Balinese, because of the holy spring water and the public baths connected to the springs.

It was a sunny and nice day and we went with buses a 45 minutes drive to the temple. Teenagers, children, parents, teachers and volunteers, a group of almost 80 people were all dressed in their beautiful traditional clothing and we also brought an extra sarong to be able to swim/bath. We arrived happily with food, drinks and reports and headed for the entrance. But when the guard saw some of us were white people he stopped us immediately and he wanted us to pay…we had stopped at the local entrance, but he was not happy to see white people there too, in his eyes a bule (white person) is always a tourist I guess. So a big discussion later between the guard and our headmaster at Sjaki, the guard left angry and we continued and went inside.

After changing as discreet as we could in the unisex changing room we started the bathing experience. It was very refreshing in the burning sun but for sure also a special ritual, everybody goes in line to clean themselves under every spring with a certain kind of ritual. The grownups took all the children also under the springs, which was quit a challenge, many screaming kids for a moment there ;-) After a “trying to discreet change clothes session” again back to my kebaya we joined in with the prayer inside the temple.

After a welcoming meal for everybody made by our warung the day was ending with the children and teenagers getting their reports and a gift. It was such a beautiful moment, seeing them one by one proudly getting the reports from Guru Ibu Iluh.

I had a wonderful day with the children and teenagers this day!

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