New Earth Cooking School, Indonesia (2020)

I don't know exactly how I heard about New Earth Cooking School, I want to say through social media somehow. Whether a sponsored ad was spot on or one of the many foodies I follow on instagram posted about it, regardless, I feel blessed this magical place and my path intersected. Leaving the States I knew that I would spend time here, unsure of when or at what point along my travels, but I was bound and determined to make it happen.

After one month island hoping through Indonesia, my heart had become attached to this country. I did my visa run and returned to Bali on another 30-day visa. I spent time in Ubud and contacted New Earth with my desire to spend a week as part of the family. I quickly heard back with positive news, packed my bags, arranged accommodation a walks distance from the school, and drove an hours distance to reach the school! Dream manifested.

Set in the midst of lush green rice fields and the schools bountiful food-forests the location couldn't be more ideal.

Within minutes of entering the school, a remodeled chicken shed, I had a feeling that I had arrived home. No, my sisters and parents weren't there and I am many miles away from North Carolina, but a sense of belonging, support, excitement, and inspiration over came me. A feeling of "this is where I'm supposed to be at this exact moment" vibrated from a cellular level. The whole space was vibrant, spacious and connected to nature- the kitchen, eating table, community space, all simple yet with an abundance of energy and perfection. Other interns and the staff were dancing and singing into ladle microphones around the kitchen space while music played through the speakers. The smells were overwhelmingly delicious as lunch was soon to be served. The energy was high and it wasn't long before I was swept into the natural flow of New Earth.

We gathered around the day's preparations, a complete spread of freshly prepared plant-based cuisine grown in the school gardens. Joining in a group hug offering gratitude to the food Mother Nature provided and the people that prepared it was a daily ritual. Amidst the most delicious and fresh food of my life and between the "yummms" and "oh wows" that circulated around the table, authentic connections, conversations and sharing took place.