Nymue and I decided to go on a spontaneous world schooling trip to Bali for the month of May. World schooling is the idea that being in the world is an awesome way to learn. Kids, just like adults, learn from traveling, speaking new languages, visiting new places, and generally jumping outside of the box of a classroom or otherwise specially simulated environment dedicated to the concept of learning. This was our second trip to Bali together.
Here are some highlights.
Volcanos: We visited a volcano and Nymue got to touch cooled "hot lava" and gather some lava rocks. She had been in a sweat lodge the week before we left and had a fresh understanding of the sacredness of lava rocks. This also led to discussions of what's currently happening with the volcanic eruption in Hawaii.
Sacred Schooling: Nymue apprenticed with some of the women who make their daily ritual of blessing altars and sacred spots - and also did a class on how to make offerings from banana leaves (little ephemeral artworks.) These rituals offer a moment to connect to the divine and align with our prayer.
Kite Making: Nymue completed a kite making workshop and made a Balinese kite. (link at the end)
Animals We hung around lots of animals. Ducks, there was a duck coup right outside our villa. Nymue got to observe the ducks daily and eat duck eggs. Monkeys. We saw lots of monkeys, visited the monkey forrest, and fended monkeys off from stealing our stuff on multiple occasions. Chickens, lots of tiny little baby ones that would run across our path while driving her on the scooter.
Rice! We watched the rice field outside our villa be harvested and got a taste of the lifecycle of rice.
Balinese dancing. Besides the classes Nymue took we also stopped by in the evenings on our way home to our villa with the local women practicing dancing. They would scoop Nymue up, wrap her in a sarong and help her with hand movements.
Indigenous Cultures: We visited an indigenous celebration where she met Philius an an elder Dayak man from Kalimantan, Borneo. She said to me, "mamma, that man is magic, I can feel his magic all over my body, but especially in my heart." We had the opportunity to speak with him at one point later in the evening. When I told him what Nymue had said, he took off his head dress, plucked a tail feather of a hornbill from it, and handed it to Nymue as a medicine gift.
Visiting lots of temples and sacred waterfalls. Making water offerings, and constructing sacred mandalas. We also sat in a number of different kinds of ceremonies and learnt new medicine songs. These ceremonies included a balinese funeral, a fire ceremony, an all women's ceremony, and various temple happenings.
We're looking forward to returning to Bali next year in March for the Bali Spirit Festival. It was deeply resonant to be steeped in living ancient cultures, with daily rituals, the connection nature and honoring the sacred waters of Bali.
Our Ubud Recommendations
Pondok Pekak - Library and Education We found a fresh supply on english kids books here, and then stumbled upon their classes. Nymue loved the kite making, balinese dance and offering making classes.
Bali Indigenous Celebration
This amazing festival is happening in May and features incredible and authentic dances, stories and culture from the island.