09 Jul A Merry “Bedly” Christmas in Bali
I have been spending my winter vacation in Bali for the last three years. You could definitely say it is my happy place. Bali is incredibly beautiful, its people are warm and welcoming and the culture is filled with art and a love of the details that is deeply inspiring to a creative like me. It is also a vortex that attracts like minded travelers so not only do I always meet amazing people when I am there, but a number of my friends from California have felt the pull and now call Bali their permanent home. One of those friends is Mike Russek, a brilliant Maker and artist who has been living in Bali for the past three years.
I had dinner with Mike a few days after my arrival and we discussed my Christmas plans. He asked if I would be interested in spending the day at a local orphanage that his friends Kevin and Edgar had been visiting in their free time. The Seeds of Hope Children’s Home was founded by a lovely Indonesian couple Reverend Tommy and his wife Sandra who were saddened to see so many children living in the streets and decided to do something about it. After the last major earthquake in Indonesia the orphanage was struggling and in major disrepair and most of their money had been spent on rebuilding. They desperately needed to replace some things that had been damaged and destroyed during the quake, most pressing were new mattresses and bed sets for the kids, many of whom were sharing small beds or sleeping on the floor out of necessity.
I couldn’t think of a more perfect way to spend the holiday, giving back to people that had always been generous hosts to me. I immediately thought of my friend Jason Mandl and The Wandering Samaritan and reached out to see if they would be willing to help. We were so grateful for the organization’s response which was an enthusiastic yes.
Upon arriving I was warmly greeted by a number of the curious children. We had scheduled the mattresses to arrive that day, Kevin was able to source them from Mitra Utama a small local store not far from the orphanage who gave us a great deal and agreed to deliver them on Christmas morning for us at no extra charge. The children and staff were so appreciative, they couldn’t stop thanking us and many of them were in tears. We spent the entire morning with them, got to hear some of their stories, learn about the orphanage, listen to them sing and even buy them ice cream.
There was no better way I could have spent my Christmas day than being of service and I can’t thank The Wandering Samaritan enough for making it all possible.
An addendum to the story…Mike had the idea to buy the kids some digital cameras with the suggestion that they take pictures of things they found beautiful. A few weeks later he picked up the cameras and discovered that they had taken incredible shots of what they found beautiful…each other. Here are some of the pictures
With love and appreciation,