Who is Putu?

As you know, every ‘Beato Goes To’ book is based on real-life events and characters. I have traveled to Indonesia twice and have fallen in love with it’s peaceful atmosphere, natural beauty and humble people.

I have also taken groups to Bali for yoga and cultural retreats, through my nonprofit organization, Go Eat Give.

It is in fact the people of Bali who are kind and welcoming like nowhere else in the world. Everyone on the island is always smiling, fold their hands and gently bow to greet you. From the moment you arrive at any hotel, shop, restaurant or temple, you can see the genuineness of the people. Though they are immensely poor, and often times not able to afford the things we take for granted, they are still happy.

One time I noticed that another car crossed mine, and instead of honking, both drivers rolled their windows down, smiled and waived at each other. Having lived in Atlanta, a city where rush hour brings the worst out of people, I had never imagined anything like this was possible. And there is a lot of traffic in Indonesia!

I named the main character in ‘Beato Goes to Indonesia‘ Putu, because there are a lot of Putu’s out there who can relate to this book. A Balinese name has three parts: a title, a birth order name and a personal name. Balinese people do not use a family name. Putu, literally means the first born son. So practically every family has a Putu!

One of the Putu’s I met during my stay in Indonesia was Putu Gede Widnyana. He was the Managing Director at Puri Gangga Resort, the hotel I stayed at for 10 days in Ubud, Bali. Putu was intelligent, courteous and adventurous. He was eager to show us his beautiful island and share his unique culture. A lot of what you see in the book is captured during this visit and interaction with the staff. I did yoga, walked around the fields, took a tour to see temples and volcanos, and ate delicious farm fresh food at Puri Gangga Resort.

Hope this book inspires you to travel to Indonesia and befriend a Putu along the way.

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