The Eyes I Will Always Remember
Updated: Aug 6, 2019
Bali changed me from the anxious, depressed, and stressed person I was before into a man I know God created me to be. Within about a month and a half, I learned more about myself than I would have ever imagined. It was the first time I ever booked a one-way flight to the other side of the world without having any particular plan in place. I was nervous, I was scared, but I knew I had to step out of my comfort zone, and this is how I did it.
I arrived in Ubud, Bali, the second week of January with two backpacks, a passport, a phone, a journal, and a fire within my soul. Immediately after getting off the plane, I made my way to get a sim card, money from the ATM, and a quick bite to eat. I would then meet my tour guide, which would take me to my villa. It was about an hour ride from Denpasar up to Ubud. We had a fantastic conversation on which I learned so much about the Indonesian culture.
Once I arrived, I immediately found my room threw my bags down and passed out. 36 hours… yes, 36 hours is how long it took for me to make it to Bali, so sleep was much needed. I woke up around 9 am met some of my roommates, and scheduled to have my scooter delivered to the villa. If you ever visit Bali, a scooter is a must-have and very convenient for adventures around town. My villa happened to be about 20 minutes outside of the central area, so I made sure ahead of time to have everything ready for transportation.
I would spend the next two days driving around, visiting the monkey forest, eating some fantastic food, going to a waterfall, attending a dance party, and playing some soccer in the park.
On my 3rd day of being in Bali, I decided to make a trek up to the Tegalalang rice terrace. I had some fear in me as I hadn’t been an experienced scooter driver just yet. You might think ahh it’s just a scooter, but driving scooters in Bali is a different experience. It’s stressful and overwhelming, to be honest, but also a fun adventure at well. I made it safe up to the rice terrace and witnessed the beauty of what I had previously seen in several Instagram shots. The rice terraces glowed that day. The sun beaming down in the early morning would be a fantastic experience for my first rice field visit. I spent about 2 hours taking pics, talking to locals, and learning about the process of growing rice. If you ever get the chance to visit Bali, these are a must-see during your journey.
The eyes I will always remember would be the ones I would see on my ride back from the rice terrace. I ended up taking the less attractive and touristy route home. It would take about an hour to get back even with a few pit stops to pick up some of my favorite local fruits! I started to see the challenge of driving long distances in places I hadn’t visited before. Mainly because google maps worked about…. 40% of the time if I was lucky. I was on the second to last road before my villa until everything stopped.
I looked ahead and saw cars and scooters all at a halted stop, but I couldn’t see why. It started to move slowly, and within a few minutes, I could see the reason why. A dump truck was depositing soil on the side of the road and with not enough workforce to get the job done in a timely manner. The problem was half of it was in the road, which was causing the traffic jam. As I got closer to the scene, I noticed 5 Indonesian women shoveling the soil in buckets.
I saw one local struggling, and immediately when I noticed this, I knew this was an opportunity I could help. This specific woman I could tell was older probably in her late 60’s. I pulled my scooter to the side, locked it up, and started to walk towards this massive pile of soil. The lady I’m speaking of had her back turned at the time until she noticed me grabbing one of the shovels. I wanted to help, and I couldn’t watch seeing her struggle any longer. Shovel in hand ready to make my first scoop and then I see her eyes stare right at me.
These would be the eyes I will always remember. I helped for about 10 minutes, moving all the soil on one side of the road to the front of the house. I 100% believed in these women, but I also remember something my mother always told me growing up. “Westley, if you get presented with an opportunity to help others do it!” I just did that with a massive smile on my face. As a team, we moved that soil quickly. After finishing, I was handed some water and a blessing from one of the locals before I would make my departure back home.
I put my shovel down and started to make my way to my scooter when a 10 second moment changed my life forever. The women turned looked at me, smiled, reached in for a hug, and said thank you. Her eyes shined like a full moon under a starless sky. Longingly they looked at me, and I felt the warmth of her soul and the passion she had within her. This woman’s smile could have healed a frozen heart, literally. She didn’t know me, but I could tell how appreciative she was of my assistance.
I hope one day I get to meet this woman again; her eyes and smile will be something I will always remember….
I share this message with you guys because for you it might not be in the middle of Ubud, Bali that you experience something like this. It could be on your way to work, in route to get coffee, on the way to the gym, in the grocery store, at dinner, who knows. One thing I do know is you will run into someone that puts a memory in your head that will last forever. Just know doesn’t matter how old you are, what you look like, or where you came from, each one of us has beauty within us. If you’re still reading this, you have that beauty as well!
Never stop loving! Never stop learning! Never stop growing