My night in Bali with a Brazilian man
What do you do when a Brazilian man comes up to you and invites you for an experience you will never forget? Well….
I am in Bali for the month and like all the other times I travel, I meet some amazing people with amazing stories and who are ready to give back to a community the way they were given to them.
I got on the back of a scooter with this man and found myself far away from the tourist location of Canggu and right in the middle of a local area where the only foreigners that could be seen were him and I.
We were witnessing a busy park where many families were enjoying the afternoon being together and doing a variety of fun activities – flying kites, rollerblading and playing on the monkey bars, to name a few.
We walked to the other side of this park with him carrying a huge backpack as curious onlookers stared at us and pointed excitedly at what he was pushing alongside him.
It was a unicycle…a really tall one…and the children started following along, obviously curious as to what this thing was. But then I also noticed a few of these children that seemed like they knew him.
And they did. He had been here before. As a one-man performer with his bag full of circus equipment – balls, juggling clubs, hoops and spinning plates. All of this stuff, he travels the world with.
I sat in awe as he wooed the crowd with his hilarious theatrics engaging the crowd and creating a storm of laughter on excited faces, both young and old. What a joy to see one person create such an atmosphere.
He performed for a long time and for the whole time, the people stayed. After the crowd cheered and farewelled him and we were left in the dark, he bought us a local meal and then began his story.
Growing up in the favelas of San Paolo, his first interest in performing came from a social program that was introduced to the children on the streets. He joined because they were offering free food.
As he learned some tricks and became good at it, he grew to establish himself as a performer who now travels the world and has done so for many years. Just him, his backpack and a unicycle.
As he shares his photos with me, I am surprised by his glamorous attire, the famous people he has performed for and the long list of countries that he has travelled to.
But he simply looked at me and told me that he was given a chance to learn something and do something great with it and although he loves what he does, the biggest achievement for him is to share his gift to others less fortunate.
So he performs for the locals and is driven by the smiles, laughter and cheering. These people don’t have much, but they accept his kindness and in return, he gives back what was given to him.
A while later, we walked back and came upon a busy area of the park where children were roller-skating. I could see that he was tired but he wanted to sit for a while and watch the action.
He said that when he was younger, he always wanted roller skates but his father never bought them for him. I suggested he see if they hire them in the park and join the others having fun.
With a glint in his eye, he strode off only to come whizzing past me with skates and a legion of children chasing after him. The crowd went wild for him again. It was the most magical thing to watch.
I can honestly say, my affinity to just go with strangers would not be the epitome of safety, but I always seem to be honoured with meeting people who will change me forever.
I was elated all day into the night and as I look back on the photos I took of him, my heart melts to look at the faces of these local people…their smiles, their laughter, their happiness.
What a beautiful world we live in when kindness is given and then returned. Just another example of kindness by strangers. Just another example of how this world should always be.