Bonato Home is the story of a love at first sight with an island at the end of the world, the encounter between two cultures, the shared desire to offer travelers an alternative to mass tourism, filled with authenticity and solidarity, in the heart of the rice fields, surrounded by perfumed incens and children’s laughs.
The birth of the project
"The idea of the project started two years ago. I had been travelling to Indonesia for several times. Our guide, Made, introduced us to his family and shared with us that his dream was to open his own guest house. Unfortunately, he did not have enough money to do so. On the way back to the airport we talked about the possibility of a joint venture partnership. The idea was running in a loop in my head, I felt in me the desire to embark on the adventure. I had been deeply touched by this family during the time I spent with them, touched by the way they interact all together. As psychotherapist, I am particularly receptive to the way the Balinese community works, based on genuine and sincere exchange, interactions... When looking at children here, you notice the pleasure they have in helping each other spontaneously, as opposed to growing individualism in our countries!
I then returned to Bali to start working with Made and his family in order to achieve our shared dream. A trustful relationship was established between us, based on a common vision of a project that went beyond a purely "business » matter.
We want to offer the visitors a unique experience, at the heart of the Balinese life, nature and traditions, far from the hype and mass tourism and consumerism that has raged for several years on the island of the gods. They will be welcomed in the heart of the family home, in Sayan, a quiet and authentic village located 5 minutes from the center of Ubud, and they will stay in the balinese style’s decorated rooms overlooking the rice fields, with access to the tropical garden and the pool. A kitchen is also available.
They will share the life of a four generations’ family - 5 children, 4 parents, 2 grandparents and a great-grandfather - living under the same roof. I hope that you will enjoy, such as I do, these precious and unique moments: you will take part in the preparation of ceremonies, offerings, dinner with the family, and also will have direct access to the rice fields for a walk or to run or ride a bike..."
share with you those values which are so vulnerable in western countries"
"Here, spirituality is not just a personal journey or a belief system, it is a way of life, a know-how and knowing how to be. All is based on respect, non judgment, general friendliness. It is a journey back to the roots and true values which makes you feel so good. You put things into perspective and enjoy all that life hands us! They live in the present, in opposition to us always torn between past and future. Time perception is different, there is a real connection between the mild climate and their states of mind. Also, they do not talk much, but when they do, it is in depth-talking. They have a positive mindset from which we should learn.
Once the boundaries of the project had been settled, we had to deal with the legal aspects, a real challenge in a country where the legislation is very strict concerning business involving foreigners. A notarized contract was signed between the stakeholders: me on one side, and the whole family on the other. Even the great-grandfather who can not read nor write added his fingerprint! Construction could then begin.
We were then able to start the project. The garden was cleared, the foundations of the two rooms dug, the building materials purchased and the construction started. We also acquired a garbage container and took the opportunity to educate children about the ecological problem of waste, which has become quite alarming in Bali. The project mobilized the whole community and enhanced all talents. Mades’ neighbour, a carpenter, even made the furniture out of recycled wood, in pure traditional Balinese style."
"A twinning with ecological, social and solidarity scope"
"For me, it's a win-win project, as much as a twinning: it allows a local family to improve their quality of life and tourists to travel more ethically. Personally I am running a wonderful project which means a lot to me while having a base in this place I love so much
Thanks to this partnership, the traveler is indeed involved in a project with ecological, social and solidarity purposes: he contributes to significantly improve financially the life of a family of 12, to develop the local community by taking part in daily activities and preserve a rich natural environment that will not be sold to the highest bidder.
Made will share with travelers his invaluable advice: he has been a guide in the Ubud region for over twenty years and today he works as an English speaking guide at the Bali Authentique agency. Visitors will be able to benefit from his experience and do things off the beaten track, and they will always have someone to take them somewhere, pick them up, and so on.
To my opinion, the experience for travelers is rich and well worth a visit. When you take your coffee outside in the morning, you will see Agus, the little boy playing with his kite and Putu preparing the offerings and smiling at you! They don’t adapt to us, it’s part of our journey to take part in their lives, to fully enjoy their daily lives and their skills.
See the farmers work in the rice fields, enjoy the authenticity of a human relationship... No need to speak the same language to be sensitive and create a link. Here, we go straight to what is essential."