This past spring, I had the honor of meeting a wonderful tour guide named Yande who introduced me to the beauty of Bali. Yande helped me develop a greater respect for other cultures and demonstrated genuine kindness and compassion that can only come from generations of practice.
During my visit, Yande had taken me to a little shop owned by friends of his where the whole family participates in the production of batik fabric. It’s an intricate, time-consuming, and sometimes painful process to create and draw the designs on the fabric, outline the design with hot wax, and dye the fabric to make garments and other items. In the picture above, Yande and the shop-owner are very respectfully enjoying the result of my first attempt at batik-making.
When I returned home, I had no idea what to do with this truly terrible example of the batik-making process. So I hung the ragged little 12-inch square fabric on my refrigerator with a magnet, and there it has stayed since April of 2014, just hanging there. But every time I see it, I am reminded of Yande and Bali, and the examples of kindness, compassion, and generosity that he modeled so consistently for me, as an ambassador to his culture, and I am still so grateful that I had a chance to meet him.