Sanity is Green

I didn’t sleep well last night. There was one mosquito…. But it wasn’t just the annoying buzz around my ears. I was waiting for another sound that didn’t come until after sunrise, after I’d shampooed, showered, and dressed, after I’d had coffee and my morning bowl of fresh papaya. I was waiting for voices, the workers who would come en mass today to pour my first floor terrace. I didn’t know how many to expect. Pasek said “Many.” How many is many? He didn’t know. But he brought extra glasses, more Bali coffee and sugar, and  watermelon and kue from the market. Pouring a floor is a big, big deal here in Bali. So I was on high alert knowing that the whole thing has to be finished the same day it starts and knowing also that they would begin early and stay as late as necessary. I was a little apprehensive in an excited sort of way.

P1060120Yesterday morning the floor looked like this.

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By the end of the day there were identical boxes perched on 2 x 4s at either end of the structure.

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And at 8:00 this morning…!

A crew of ten workers arrive. They come in the back of a pickup truck from a village in the district of Bangli. A breakfast of rice and vegetables, sometimes chicken, is packed early when food is made for the whole family. They unpack it and laugh and joke over their morning meal. I bring out the plates of kue, Balinese cakes, and Ketut heats the water for coffee. They love to joke with me and I know just enough Indonesian now to be dangerous. I’m not always certain what I’ve said or what I may have agreed to. They’re a raunchy bunch!

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The big guns arrive. Pasek, the project manager is in the forefront and Dewa, the contractor, is next to him. They’re here to make sure everything gets off to a good start. Sudi, my neighbor, is the third in the line-up, and Ketut in red takes it all in. By 8:45 the place is like an anthill. Everyone moves at once and knows what to do. Water flows into the big square boxes. Bags of cement come in carried atop the women’s heads. Stones are dumped in with the concrete mix. Scraping and mixing and commotion ramp up to full volume.

By 9:00 a.m. I’m in search of sanity. Which, as it turns out, is green.

Lucky for me, my friend wants me to go with her to Denpasar today to buy fabric. So at 9 a.m. Sudi and Ketut pull up on their motorbikes and we escape.

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Flooded paddies with new plantings reflect the sky

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Older growth yields layers and layers of green

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A small temple posts watch

For miles we roll through serenity. My nerves calm. My mind clears. We pass a small temple at the edge of a paddy and I remember that on the other side of the world today is Easter Sunday. It doesn’t take much, I realize, to ground me, to restore balance in my mind. Sanity is green, just a few miles of small road through acres of natural beauty.

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 Tonight my new floor looks like this.

The concrete is poured. The thunderous piles of black cloud that surrounded Ubud all afternoon didn’t leak a drop. The work was uninterrupted. All that remains of my diligent crew are these soggy gloves, hanging on the skeleton of a pillar to dry. Until tomorrow, that is. P1060151

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11 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Diane Struble
    Apr 21, 2014 @ 19:44:48

    Looks great. Thanks again for the great photos. Appreciate them even more since you explained downloading time involved. Nice to see your friends lined up to make sure all goes well.

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    • writingforselfdiscovery
      Apr 21, 2014 @ 20:11:53

      The attention to detail is thrilling. Dewa has already been here this morning to check on the overnight curing…I can walk on my new floor already…and to tell me that tomorrow they will box in the 8 columns and pour the concrete for the 2nd floor supporting pillars. He’s still saying it will take eight months to complete. Oh my! One day at a time!

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  2. sageblessings
    Apr 21, 2014 @ 22:43:03

    What a wonderful balance of excitement and peacefulness. I cannot wait for the next installment. I am loving the photos…thanks!

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  3. Lottie Nevin
    Apr 26, 2014 @ 16:30:47

    8 months to finish?! Sherry, you must have the patience of a saint but I’m sure the wait will be worth it.

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    Reply

  4. Nathanael Walters
    May 07, 2014 @ 13:16:12

    Sherry,

    Met a guy who runs a travel website called http://www.travelgumbo.com They might be interested in your blog. Check it out.  I showed him your website.

    Nate

    Like

    Reply

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