It’s the Little Things in Life
During our group hike with Augustin through the farm lands in Bali, we met an old man working in the fields, at least 80 or 90 years old. He was a thin man, but he was as strong as an ox; a hard worker in the fields everyday keeps his mind and body healthy. The old man had on a t-shirt and briefs (his pants were hanging up nearby, perhaps to dry). He welcomed us all into his hut with the biggest smile and I could tell he totally looked forward to Augustin bringing visitors by each day. He spoke no English, but loved having us.
The old man made us Bali coffee by gathering fresh water from the water running into the rice fields, and boiling it over a little fire set up. He washed out some reusable plastic cups that were filthy by American standards, but the offer of coffee was generous and welcoming and I couldn’t refuse it. I didn’t want to disrespect his kindness. I can’t tell you if it was good or not—because it was the only time I’ve ever drank coffee! The others in my group said it was very different than American coffee, super strong, and good. The old man put on his shorts and walked up with us to his family’s home, The fields are separated from the homes, but still a fairly short walk.
The homes tend to have a large outdoor gathering space. His family welcomed us all; they shared many laughs and stories with Augustin, although they did not speak English. Augustin spoke Balinese fairly fluently (along with French and English). He pulled a couple t-shirts and a can of cookies out of his backpack as a thank you gesture for allowing us into their home. The children of the family were delighted to receive the cookies, and like kids anywhere, were all gathered around, diving right into them with big smiles.