What I love about staying in eco-lodges—and I do stay in them as much as I can in my travels—is the relationship the lodge has with the extended community.
Late this afternoon, when we went into the yoga room to see if it was all clean, we could see that the floor still needed to be swept and mopped. Then we noticed in the corner (although there really is no corner in that sacred room—it’s round) a small pile of boxing gloves. We didn’t know why they were there, and without thinking anymore about it, we went off to yet another delicious dinner. It was just the two of us in the big dining room.
After dinner, Karyn and I stayed in the dining room—just the two of us—and decided to wind down for the evening with another installment of our endless game of 500 Rummy.
Midway into our second hand, we saw a whole line of kids, 13 of them—mostly boys and few girls—tromping past the dining room up to the yoga room—and the mystery was solved. They were heading up there for their kick boxing class.
An hour and a half later, while I was slaughtering Karyn in the night’s point tally, they all came tumbling in through the dining room doors and sat at one of the long tables. and their teacher brought out bowls of a treat for them. We were across the room and couldn’t see what they were eating, but they were eating it with gusto, with lots of laughing and some shy glances over at us. Clearly, they were having a little celebration.
We watched them all wash their own dishes and finally go back to their homes. Afterwards we talked for a while to their coach/teacher and found out that they’re kids from the local school we’ll be visiting next week.
This is what I love about eco-lodges—they are a resource to the community in many ways. Sach’a Munay financially supports the school, they do projects to help the kids, they pay good wages to local people, and do what they can to improve the lives of the people in the neighborhood.
When we stay at my favorite place in Bali, in Munduk, another eco-lodge, we get to see the local kids taking their Balinese dance lessons. And here—kickboxing. It’s sweet to have local people enjoying and sharing the same space we’re living in.
Seeing those kids tonight made us happy. And we asked if we can watch their next lesson—if we happen to be free—and the answer from their teacher was a big smile and a yes.
Sorry I didn’t take a picture, but it felt intrusive on their special time. So my words will have to do. I hope they painted the picture for you.