I’m home now, but I wanted to write about some of my experiences during my last week in Bali. The highlight of my month-long stay was my series of interviews with victims from the Bali bombing in 2002. Thanks to an extraordinary organization, YKIP, http://www.ykip.org/, I was able to meet with three women who lost their husbands during the bombing and two people who were seriously injured then. The bombing is an important part of my novel and I needed a deeper understanding of what happened in Bali. But I never expected to get this experience! An intelligent young Balinese woman organized these meetings and served as my interpreter. She also helped answer my many questions before and after each interview. The people I met with were extraordinarily open and honest about their traumatic experiences. I was so touched that they were willing to share so much with me. I am very grateful to them and to the folks at YKIP.
After those two days, the “vacation” part of my trip began. Neal arrived, and we met at Desa Seni, my favorite resort in Bali. We spent three days there and four days back in Ubud. We explored the island with a guide — visiting the temple at Uluwatu, the beach at Jimbaran, the East Coast of Bali, including the Bat Temple and the Floating Palace. All gorgeous and fascinating.
And then we made the long trek home — two travel days, 20 hours of flight time. I am very glad to be home — and yet I’m already missing Bali.
So I’ll find Bali again as I write about it. I have so much more to bring to the page.