February 04 2015

February 04, 2015

Ubud reggae man, Fredi Marley, will play on the same stage as four top Jakarta bands this week, at Bali’s second Reggae Star Festival on the beach near Sanur this Friday.

We miss Fredi Marley and friends, who we haven’t seen since Napi Orti, the late night venue, shifted from Jl Monkey Forest and stopped using live bands.

Organisers say all profits will go to Yayasan Manik Bumi Foundation (for environmental awareness and waste reduction in Bali) and Yayasan Sampahdi (supporting disabled children).

The festival starts at 2.45pm on Friday, February 6 on Pantai Padang Galak, Kesiman, just off Jl By Pass Sanur. Tickets and more information: Art Point Pregina, Phone 0361 284158. Ubud reggae fans, never fear. Kum and the Ubud 40 band still play at LOL on Jl Monkey Forest every Tuesday night.

Those glorious Kokokan herons are back in Petulu Village and having little babies by the hundred. Pop over at sunset to see thousands of them flying over the rice fields, or arrive quietly at any time during the day and wander along the road to watch the little fellas on their nests. The youngsters are all white and disheveled-looking, only developing their elegant gold crest and wings in their second year.

Local Petulu legend has it that the herons carry the souls of spirits from the great Communist party killings of the 1960’s. The villagers there will tell you that the birds appeared the day after their head priest a held a ceremony to cleanse the village of the evil energy that lingered after the massacre. People in my village say the birds used to be here in Junjungan, but all their favorite trees were cut down and the birds decided to move. Either way, Petulu is their home now.

I had a delicious fresh penne seafood at Paula’s Rice Terrace Cafe the other day, and a fascinating chat with Douglas, the owner’s husband, who showed me recent kid-friendly renovations including a completely safe play area for children, facing the rice fields on the lower level. Parents can enjoy the view and watch their kids at the same time!

Lots of simple “Kids Choices” on the menu, together with excellent salads (the Caesar salad lettuce crisp and fresh, lots of bacon and Parmesan cheese), pastas, hamburgers, a few well-prepared Indonesian favorites and four “family favorite” breakfasts, catering for light and hearty eaters.

Paula’s has one of the few sunset views in Ubud – not to the horizon, but over a sweeping view of rice fields and tropical forest – and I love a sunset! With some of my favorite traditional frozen cocktails on the list, I’ll certainly be back with friends very soon.

Located north of Ubud Palace on Jl Suweta. Facebook: Paula’s Rice Terrace Cafe.

Ubud’s local organic farmer and teacher, Hartono Lokodjoyo, now sells fresh virgin coconut oil and has started classes to teach you how to produce it yourself. Har does some of the prep work before class … “because with beginners it would be a very long day, ibu Jen” … but he assures me that the process is very simple once you have the knack.

Har’s Garden is opposite the NOT FOR SALE art installation near the top of Jl Sri Wedari, three kilometers north of Jl Raya Ubud.

For more info, search Har’s Garden on Facebook or call/ sms him on 081337 382 099.

Ubud is full of ex-pats who can tell a tall tale, and they come together very successfully each month – a different mix each time – hosted by gifted comedy performer, and former writer US radio DJ, Alexa Bauer.

Bar Luna’s Telling Tales and Open Mic is always an extraordinary evening, tossing humour, tragedy and occasionally some excellent music our way.

If you’re a writer, an affable raconteur or an old-fashioned storyteller, this is your opportunity to stand up and be heard in no more than seven minutes. Be hilarious or tragic, young or old, all are welcome. First Monday of every month, Casa Luna basement on Jl Raya Ubud.

Didn’t it rain, children! Oh my lordy, it’s really wet season at last, and time to haul out that grubby old poncho from last season. Or better still, invest in a Biowear Eco Poncho, made from all natural bio-materials.

The eco poncho is lightweight and keeps out rain like the old model, yet it’s “bioplastic”, or organic cellulose. Made of starches from corn and sunflower crops (produced on non-genetically engineered farms), the poncho is certified “biodegradable and compostable” under European, US and Australian standards.

No, it will not melt, fall apart or disintegrate after one or two rainfalls; with normal wear it will last an entire rainy season or longer. Yes, it will eventually get scratched and torn, however – unlike your old one – it will degrade within a year, becoming a protein for the eco-system. Decompose your poncho by tossing it into a compost bin or burying it in your garden. (If it gets as far as the ocean, it will degrade in the same way.) Buy for personal use from the little green Eco Shop on Jl Dewi Sita; or take from them on consignment to sell in your resto, shop, or hotel.

Planning for the 8th BaliSpirit Festival is gathering momentum; the day program is full to overflowing with another rich mix of yoga, dance and meditation classes and most international night concert headliners are already booked.

BSF fully funds two ongoing non-profit ventures – an HIV Aids education program in Balinese high schools, and a long-term reforestation (bamboo) project up in Bali’s arid northeast – with the support of corporate sponsors and individual donations.

A wide variety of sponsors support the festival, which is now known internationally as the world’s first “Spirit Festival”; yes, Ubud has created a whole new genre of festivals, with, Jamaica, California, Singapore, Byron Bay and Hawaii are all following our lead!

Successful local company Drum Factory (did you know that local craftsmen make 60% of the world’s djembes here in Ubud?) will support the festival this year, providing more than a hundred dundun, djembes and other percussion instruments for Javanese master drummer Catur Sang Klana Wijaya to lead “drum circle” events with participants at both day and night venues. www.balispiritfestival.com.

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Copyright © 2015 Wayan Jen
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