We help each other

It was my second day in Bali and I was eating breakfast with my host, Wayan. I’d arrived the previous night at dusk, and in the morning light of a dawning day I saw new faces walking about the home.

“Who are the others who live here?”, I asked Wayan.

“There’s my wife and son, my brother and his wife, my dad, my mom, and my granny.”

“Oh, I thought that was your mom”, I said, gesturing toward another woman sitting nearby. She was constructing flower baskets for their daily prayer offerings.

“Ah, right, and she’s my stepmom.”

Wayan could sense my momentary confusion. But he grinned, explaining “My dad was naughty and fell in love with another woman. In Bali a man is allowed to marry more than one woman if the woman agrees to it. So we all live together here, and help each other.”