Posts Tagged ‘Aaron Marcelino’

Bali Journal 4: Detritus

Sunday, August 23rd, 2009
Sierra. Amber Dream.

Sierra. Amber Dream.

I am a dark shadowy form crouched at a smallish desktop in a palatial villa in Ubud Bali. The room is dark for the most part. It is Sunday night. My girlfriend Donna lies naked reading in a giant bed dressed in fresh white linen with pillows adorned with  fresh white and yellow plumeria which will serenade my senses in short order. She just snapped the reading light out and I hear her sweet voice whispering some pleasant inanity. The mosquito netting hangs suspended in grey relief from the light of my laptop.

Aaron Marcelino and I were roadside today filming in East Bali. “Hey Aaron, you know what it is about the Hindus? They believe that what they do will follow them. They do not get to confess their sins and get a do over. So for the most part, there really is not much crime. Instant accountability. It is why they all smile at you. They give what they want to receive.”

As always I am overwhelmed by the generosity of these people. My friend Ed Brenegar has a website called Say Thanks Every Day. I believe the Hindi do it every second. Today on the long drive out to East Bali, our friend and driver, Gusti Made Merta described grace from a Hindu point of view and the explanation changed my life. I looked up to see Aaron rolling camera on him. He had noticed. In the occupants of the car, I saw that Donna was listening rapt. Everyone else? Lost in Ipods, I phones and their own I worlds,¬† victims of the white noise that is self. They were robbed. We have all been there: a victim of self, life’s traesures having been slyly stolen in much the same manner as a pickpocket on a crowded subway platform.

We choose our own heaven. Many of us live our own Hell as well. Life is cyclical. So are our choices.

As the frogs croak outside, and I hear the chant from a distant ceremony and chortle of the river down the valley, I am so, very, absolutely,

grateful.

Sweet scent of plumeria and the soft breath of the woman I love beckon me to bed. I will grab a few hours sleep. I wish that you were with us tomorrow. I have something to show you, something for you to hear, and a vibrant, throbbing, many hued love for you to feel. You will enjoy it, I pray.

Choose wisely from what is before you. Your perspective eventually becomes you.

I heard this song someplace and at a time quite special here. Jack Johnson and Ben Harper are two guys who really always seem to just get it.

Hailey

Hailey

Aaron Marcelino: Respect

Aaron Marcelino: Respect

Badass: Balinese Special Forces, A diver. My friend.

Badass: Balinese Special Forces, A diver. My friend.

Vision

Vision

Mary

Mary

Jeanette: Phantasm

Jeanette: Phantasm

Donna: Hope, Bliss, Trust

Donna: Hope, Bliss, Trust

puu-7032

Bali Journal 3: A Day Apart….

Tuesday, August 18th, 2009

EBPP Celebration

Sometimes will drop into your life announced. But in our case we had plenty of advance warning.

A couple years back, Donna and I had met David Booth and learned of the work he had accomplished through his organization, East Bali Poverty Project. This morning, as we rolled down the gravel drive of Villa Gayatri in Ubud, with Gusti at the wheel, planning, hope and circumstance had four of Donna’s company icons-ambassadors and film maker Aaron Marcelino  aboard for the 2 hour drive into the mountains of East Bali.

We had been invited to attend a festival where most of the children who had been educated through the project would be participating in one great big party of sorts. That much we knew for sure.

In 1998 David Booth had found the tribe which had been cut off from Balinese society by circumstance and the simple fact that no one thought to ever look for them. No one is exactly sure where the tribe came from but suspected that maybe it had been Lombok, due to the people bearing a strong resemblance to those who reside on that island.

A volcano eruption, poor diet, a persistent problem with goiter and a few other environmentally related issues had combined to provide a lack of real history due to memory loss. In effect, these people are the tribe that the world had forgotten. Such was the poverty endemic to the area when David found them, that they themselves knew little of their ancestral past. In terms of Western understanding THAT is true loss and deprivation: not having a history. No connection to anything. The ability to smile which is such a part of Balinese culture: it was simply not there.

I will not attempt to communicate how EBPP exactly restored hope and at he same time implemented the tribe as a model of social and environmental restoration right now. I will simply say that the feat is of such scope, that as I met and interacted with the children this day I had a hard time keeping back the tears, because I understood that not only did these children have hope, but that a future now exists where only death and oblivion had loomed prior.

We are hard at it, and time is short for writing and imaging, but I hope that in future I will have more available, in order to tell the complete story.

So I will let the images do the talking. And later the motion picture may as well, document this day that occurred in a dry river wash in the lee of the volcano which had almost obliterated a tribe.

They are back. And in their return, David Booth has shown us a way that we can transform our own society potentially. It is a great story that will make the world smile. We all need hope. No matter what our lot in life.

At days end, at the home and in the temple of our friend Gusti Made Merta, prayers of thanksgiving went up, Christian with the Hindu. And you realized what the affect of a life could be, and for some maybe ought to be and for a few will be. Hate, division and separation are odd and common bedfellows. Love is a better way.  It is much stronger. We saw the affects of it today.

The Drive

The Drive

Pit Stop: The Road Up.

Pit Stop: The Road Up.

Children of EBPP

Children of EBPP

Must NOT Smile (She did)

Must NOT Smile (She did)

Beauty

Beauty

David Booth, a Child's View

David Booth, a Child's View

Sidelined for a Moment

Sidelined for a Moment

A few tents in sandy wash

A few tents in sandy wash

Weaving and Sowing Vetiver grass

Weaving and Sowing Vetiver grass

Games

Games

puu-0958puu-6098

Ready Set...

Ready Set...

What an Ambassador really does.

What an Ambassador really does.

Mary and David Booth and  a couple hundred friends

Mary and David Booth and a couple hundred friends

Dance

Dance

Ecoturin: Sustainable Culture

Ecoturin: Sustainable Culture

A Bali Journal: 2

Sunday, August 16th, 2009
Kuta Sunset

Kuta Sunset

Another amazing day here on Bali. Fashion and art imaging work followed by carefully choreographed motion picture work. So happy to have Aaron Marcelino on board. He worked his first stint ever as a Director today and did pretty darned well.

Spent several hours in Denpassar interviewing East Bali Poverty Project’s David Booth and learned more of the amazing story of redemption of a remote tribe in the mountains of East Bali. One of the more incredible tales I have ever heard, it was hard to keep a clear eye as tears kept wanting to come. I will save the story for the film. But tomorrow we all head over to participate in a celebration with a LOT of children and David’s staff. We will leave Ubud at about 5:30 am for the 2 hour drive.

Post interview Jeanette and Mary O arrived. We all streaked for Kuta at about 10 mph since rush hour in Denpassar is basically time to never be in a rush lest you go crazy. Motorbikes and every odd looking vehicle imaginable turn the two lane highway into three. It is pretty hilarious. If it were So Cal there would be bloodshed, but the dear Balinese take it all in good natured stride.

Finally at the beach we scrambled to unload and get a boat out to the 3-5  foot offshore lefts of Airports, which as the name implies is just off the runway. Sunset was a stunner replete with reds, purples and oranges and offshor spinning lefts.

So tonight back at our villa in Ubud I am surrounded by the people I love. I cannot believe we are all together and tomorrow we get to meet the children the world forgot, but David Booth found!

The images below are a few from today’s richly fulfilling take.

Sierra for Stewart and Brown and Betty B

Sierra for Stewart and Brown and Betty B

Hailey for Stewart and Brown and Betty B

Hailey for Stewart and Brown and Betty B

Betty B Girls Kuta Beach

Betty B Girls Kuta Beach

Sierra, Jeanette, Mary, Donna, Hailey

Sierra, Jeanette, Mary, Donna, Hailey

Mary at Airports, Kuta Beach

Mary at Airports, Kuta Beach

Baliripper

Baliripper

Kuta Sunset

Kuta Sunset

A Bali Journal: 1

Friday, August 14th, 2009
David Booth's Welcome To Bali Text

David Booth's Welcome To Bali Text

Uneventful smooth sky sailing into Bali, and here we are in one of the most beautiful locations I have ever seen.

David Booth and Sam Holcomb of East Bali Poverty project “get it” when “it” means hospitality apparently. The villa they arranged for us to rent in Ubud is far and away the most amazing location I have shot in. I will save the description for the images which hopefully I can scare up time to post.

Long days ahead. Colorful and bright, dark and pulsating, with a richness  that one from a society with less dimension, would appreciate and relish.

Fashion, Art, Design, Creativity Love and Perseverance. All capitalized with intent.

Bali has long been an inspiration to artists. Here is a link to what may be the greatest collection of stories and surf art ever. The book was compiled by Rob Havassey, whose love and inspiration we all wish we had along. Rob is amazing. I am so grateful he included me in this impressive project.

Aaron Marcelino lands tomorrow, to lend his considerable talents to this project. A talented young film maker Aaron defines the term savant in his unassuming mannerisms and high standards. Mary Osborne and Jeanette Ortiz will arrive three days hence.

The list of concerns we will produce work for is a bit lengthy. Multiple fashion lines, several art based projects, and a film that defines Donna’s strange life, dedicated to making a difference, one person at a time. Funny thing about altruism, when you¬† do what seems right, the blessing turns around and catches you. Same goes for Art. Art does not imitate life, it is life, and death, and rebirth.

Shot motion picture of a pig being slain in the family compound of our friend Gusti Made Merta. Part of two days preparations for a ceremony. Sierra came with me and met the large extended family. Me, I was just the guy with the Canon5D M2 on a steady cam mount with a migraine, using a wide angle and on camera mic, I had to get close. Interesting experience with the pig. He knew. Standing next to his trussed form he was all about communicating the knowledge of his fate.

I listened, held the lens steady and felt him go, as salty smelling blood splish splashed into a blue plastic bucket.  Watched the pain and struggle,  heard the last breath go, as his carotid drained bright crimson arterial flow and life.

You appreciate life when you experience death. Part of the circle. The Balinese embrace it with a bit more honesty than most. I have always thought it essential to the family centric nature of this society. Part of privilege and duty.

Sierra post experience, biting down into a fresh cake, green from the banana leaf if was wrapped in. Quite the amazing woman. It was out of respect she drank ginger tea with Gusti and ate the cake, probably the last thing she wanted to do. I declined the offer to watch the cleaning of the carcass. More due to the headache, than any sense of wanting to spare Sierra the experience. The cake was especially good. Life moving along in a tempo unique to us.

Sierra's Sacrificial Rice Cake

Sierra's Sacrificial Rice Cake

Life Spiral

Life Spiral

puu-0749puu-0741puu5449puu5631puu-5535

Donna Von Hoesslin

Donna Von Hoesslin

” My family helped make me who I am…and they join me in dedicating this book to our larger families, those countless millions around the world who lack money and security, but possess dignity and an indomitable spirit. For there time is coming and this story is for them. ” Dedication for “The Blue Sweater”.
The word family goes a long way here on Bali. If we were able to institute it in similar fashion in the US, a lot of social illness would expire.

© 2009 David Pu'u. All rights reserved.

home