Simple life questions we never think about
I’ve seen snow on TV, but can you tell me how it really looks like? What does it feel like when you touch it? What does it taste? Can you bring some snow to Bali? What do you eat during winter if you cannot do any farming?
Simple, basic life questions that Kan reminded us of! Kan is a 22 years old Balinese guy having a childish face, already married and having one baby boy. His father is a fisherman and his mother is selling the fish caught during the day. Kan is a trekking guide to Mount Batur (a 1717 m active volcano), has a goodish English and loves his job. You can see it in his eyes, attitude, happy face and playful eyes. He could have had a job in an office as he was “lucky” and could finish senior high school. “Why work in an office? It’s boring! I like being outside, meeting new people, learning from them.”
And he does learn! He asks dozens of questions about anything and everything, from history of Roma (or Romania…he was very confused) to national dishes, words, school system and so on. He is trying to remember things he’s learnt in school and when he has difficulties he asks permission from the customers to stop from the trekking and starts searching on Google or Wikipedia answers to his questions.
His job as a guide starts each morning at 3 am when he meets his customers at the start point and finishes at about 8 – 9 am at the finish point. It consists of accompanying tourists up to the summit, cooking eggs and banana bread for them up there and bringing them back safely. On the way up, he asks permission to stop at a small temple and prays for few minutes.
If he finds any garbage on the way up or down, he takes it and puts it in a plastic bag that he carries: “we should take care of our mountain, it is part of my job”. And he smiles and makes jokes continuously!
When he finishes work he goes home, sleeps for few hours, eats rice, rice and rice again for breakfast, lunch and dinner (he cannot imagine a meal without rice), takes care of his wife and baby and…practices his favorite hobby – gaming on a PS2.
And he restarts the following day.
Kan made me reflect on things I had forgotten about and showed that one does not really need much to be happy and enjoy life, respect the others and mother earth. And… one thing is sure: the lesson about “do a work that you love” is the same indubitable truth be it from Steve Jobs or Kan, the volcano guide.
Kan was our guide on this adventurous trekking at 3 am one Balinese morning. Unfortunately we did not take any picture with him, so if you ever go there and want to find him you can try asking for Kan, but you’d better ask Ganesh to help you out.