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And The Winner Is . . .

A Bali Update Reader from Massachusetts Wins The Bali Dream Holiday!

Bali News:
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Gosh! It was tough deciding who was the final winner from among the many interesting and varied entries in the Bali Dream Holiday Contest.

In fact, we've received so many great submissions that we've decided to continue to include some of the quality entries that have not yet been published over the coming issues of Bali Update.

And The Winner is ...

Marsha L. Browner,, from Winchester, Massachusetts (U.S.A.), who sent in the entry published in week #16 of the contest was finally selected as the Contest Winner.

As a result, she's won 2 tickets on Singapore Airlines, 7 nights at the Four Seasons Private Estates Bali at Jimbaran Bay, tours and transfers from Bali Discovery Tours, rafting and cycling excursions from Sobek, luxurious spa treatments from Mandara Spa, a helicopter tour from Air Bali, and Cooking Lessons from Bumbu Bali/Rumah Bali.
will be in touch with Marsha this week to begin arrangements for her dream holiday to Bali.

Here's Marsha's Entry for those of you who missed it first time around.

My Dream Holiday in Bali

When we dream, our memories come alive. My dream holiday in Bali encompasses all my senses, enriches my spirit, and carries me to the Navel of the World.

I see Ibu's glorious smile as we arrive unannounced at her home. I see the colors shift subtly following dawn, the sacred mountain Agung revealing itself in the clearing mists, shy as a new lover. I watch the clouds catch fire as the sun sets into the ocean, beyond the fishing boats dotting the lagoon.

I hear the music of a gamelan drifting across the fields, beyond the Monkey Forest. I hear the bell in the priest's uplifted hand ringing as he prays, calling down blessings to the worshippers in the temple. My ears fill with the clamor of children who run up the road shrieking, "Hallo! Hallo!" Their friendly little arms wave furiously as we drive by. I fall asleep to the lullaby of croaking frogs, barking dogs, and the hollow knocking of the kulkul, reassuring me that all is well in the village.

I touch a butterfly's brilliant wing as it lights on my arm. The boy who leads the ducks to the rice fields, singing softly to himself as he sways the beribboned staff, has cheeks as soft as feathers. The sun's heat warms my bones, and when it rains, the gentle slide of raindrops sluice down my face as I make my way to the bungalow.

I smell wood fires, coconut oil, and cooking herbs; clove cigarettes, mixed with flowers and sea breezes. The flowers, a riot and profusion of aroma and color, grow in every available inch of ground that does not already produce rice, vegetables, coconuts, bananas, or other delicious fruit.

I hunger for the tastes of babi guling, lawar, and brem, spicy and rich upon my tongue.

Everything is golden on Bali. The golden beach at Kuta, where waves crest and break like a shower of coins. The golden carp, lazing in the lotus ponds. The golden umbrellas lining the climb to Pura Besakih, where gods rest upon gilt thrones. The golden-skinned Balinese, whose natural beauty and grace leaves me breathless with admiration.

In my dream holiday, there is a midnight sky. The Southern Cross hovers above the horizon, the star clusters glinting silver, red, and gold, like jewels at the throats of deities. They pulse at the galaxy's heart, shining down on Pulau Dewata, Bali, Island of the Gods.

My senses tell me what my heart already knows -- when I dream of Bali, I dream of paradise.

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