Life With LaMoin

"A merry heart doeth good like a medicine." Proverbs 17:22

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A Visit to an Orphanage, Cremation Service and a Fish Market

Posted by LaMoin on January 29, 2013 at 8:15 PM

Yesterday was a full day.  We drove about one hour out of the city to visit an orphanage in a small village.  On our way we passed a funeral service.  Funeral services here in Bali are quite different than in the States.  When someone dies, the whole village helps to prepare for the cremation service - which is quite costly and elaborate.  The women dress in the same beautiful Balinese traditional dresses.  The men wear white clothes with a white hat that looks similiar to what the soldiers used to wear during World War II - that little pointed thing in front and back.

We had our driver to stop and my Chinese lady friend and I jumped out of the car and ran back to where the crowds were gathered on the side of the road.  They were preparing the bodies for cremation and as we watched, they draped white sheets over them, then people came and put different offerings on top.  One lady put an offering of some flowers in a little basket.  There was also some money folded and stuck inside the little basket.  Naturally, I was wondering if they would burn the money also.  Just then a man carefully removed the money.  He was one of the men who was preparing the body.  Now, I don't know what he did with that money, but it sure wasn't going to help the dead guy, so I was happy that he took it.  We watched - just at the end of the body - until all the offerings were placed and then watched as a man brought a butane bottle to the head of the body and ignited a torch and set fire to the platform which held the body. 

For the Hindus, the cremation is a joyous time because the burning releases the soul of the dead person so the soul will be free.

A funeral takes all day.  They eat food and have many activities while the body is being cremated.  Afterwards, the remains are gathered and they go to the ocean and the priests walk out into the water and dump the ashes.  The water cleanses the soul for the afterlife.

We were received very well and many were happy to have us to take their pictures.

We left and went on the orphanage.  The children gathered and heard a Bible story.  A little boy about 4 and a little girl about 3 held onto Bill and me.  It was so sad, but a blessing that they were in a place of safety with someone to care for them.  The lady in charge of the orphange said that they get many abandoned children.  They have a baby that was taken there one day after its birth.  There are thousands of abandoned children here on the island.

We drove back to the city and went to a large covered fish market on the beach.  We walked through aisle after aisle and viewed fresh fish of all kinds, squid, prawns, and smelly, awful scenes.  We chose a yellow tailed fish and paid $3.50 for two of them.  The man cleaned them and cut them into fillets for cooking.  He put them in a bag and we then took them to another area called "grilling stations."  We chose a station and paid 50 cents to have them grilled.  Then we sat down in the very undesireable little eating area to wait until they were done.  A young lady wiped the table, but then I took a Clorox wipe and finished the job.  Because of all the flu here, I also used a Clorox wipe on the fork and spoon.  The fish came on a little basket, we bought a bowl of rice and had our dinner.  It was good, even though most of you who are reading this would never consider eating your dinner there.  Such is the way of life in Bali.

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