Meeting Julie

Another special day! About 2:00 I leave my key at the office, their signal that I’m ready for clean sheets, towels, and a light touch-up of the room, and head out. My mission: keep a 3:30 appointment with author, Julie Silvester. The directions she gave me take me along Monkey Forest Road lined with shops selling beautiful batiks, fine silver jewelry, wood carvings, musical instruments and art. I make note of several that require a return trip for serious shopping!

Around a long curve, up a hill, right at the 24 hour grocery to the reception desk, then another right along a narrow, walled walkway and I’m there. Julie sees me coming and welcomes me to her second floor bungalow. Sitting in the treetop balcony sipping Balinese coffee we chatter away. Then she suggests we walk over and see “the house” before the rain starts. This is what I’ve been waiting for. Julie has lived in Bali for two years and now she’s building her own home. I have read about its progress on her blog but I’m extremely eager to see it in person.

We walk to the building site, literally one house away. I make Julie stop on the path so I can snap a photo of her with the house in the background.

There are women sitting on bamboo scaffolding sanding the beams that support the roof over the balcony.

But the major work today is being done in the bathroom. She now has running water! Soon there will be a pond with fish, a rock wall with orchids growing from it, and a fountain.

As she leads me through the rooms, pointing out different features and reminding me to watch my step, her excitement is tangible. But when she shows me the giant sculpture crowning the intricately carved main door delight simply radiates from her face. Everything has been done by hand. The sculpture was just finished yesterday by a man, on bamboo scaffolding, carving the details into the plaster.


The tour is completed and as we leave she points out the detail at the end of each one of the roof tiles. They are frangipani blossoms, the crowning touch! I marvel at this labor intensive project. Everything has been done by hand. Imagine what that kind of work would cost in the U.S.

The tour completed we return to our coffee on the balcony. The sky has been a saturated gray all day and it looks as though it is getting ready to really pour. I have a bit of a walk home but before I leave I want to buy the book Julie co-authored with Steve Castley, A Taste of Bali. Julie has one signed and ready in no time. I tuck my autographed copy into my backpack and wave goodbye.

As I am nearing home I see the warm lights of Atman Cafe across the street. It looks so inviting and I feel a little hungry. About the time I step inside the heavens open and rain pours down in solid sheets. Curled up on a platform amid a profusion of pillows I engage in conversation with the woman next to me. She’s from Oregon and has been traveling for 3 months. I eat my tropical fruit with a sweet chili dressing (I can’t even tell you how delicious that is!) and sink into the deep sensation of contentment that envelopes me. About the time I finish eating the rain has slowed to a skin-moistening mist. I walk the three minutes home, retrieve my key from the office, and unlock the door to a fresh, clean room. Somebody pinch me!

3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Mary
    Mar 20, 2012 @ 15:19:07

    Sherry, I had goosebumps as I read this one! Are you getting recipes? Keep them coming!



  2. Jeni Ruuska
    Mar 20, 2012 @ 17:55:04

    I relish in living vicariously through your posts. They create such a phenomenal, fanciful escape from reality for me! I look forward to many, many more and continue to wish you safe travels in your journey. Thanks for the opportunity to come along with you.



  3. Diane Struble
    Mar 21, 2012 @ 02:26:38

    Sounds exciting and lovely. I really look forward to your messages. Love, Diane



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