Evelyn Rieu Beldame, 62, is a French chef who owns Pignou di Penyu restaurant in Ubud. She has three children.

What’s the greatest lesson life has taught you?

After my husband passed away, it was difficult but I remember the good times I had with him. From that I’ve learned that I’m lucky because I’ve had the greatest love of my life.

What’s most important?
My family, especially my children and my husband.

What advice would you give the younger generations?
I think it’s a hard life for young generations nowadays. There aren’t enough job opportunities; there are many diseases such as AIDS and other problems. I just want them to keep this planet safe, especially from war and pollution.

Are you worried about dying?
Before my husband passed away, I was afraid. But not anymore.

When was the happiest time of your life?
I’ve had a lot of good moments in my life. When I gave birth; when I opened my restaurant; when I got married.

And the worst?

When my husband and my father died.

What’s humanity all about?

Peace and love. There are too many people dying in war.

Why are there so many conflicts in the world?
Religions and racial intolerance as well as territories. People destroy everything for money and glory.

Is a peaceful world possible?

Jealousy makes it impossible. Also, rich people don’t help poor people.

How old do you feel?
I feel as old as I am now. I never feel younger and I have no problem with that.

Is one lifetime enough?
I want another life but with all the people I love.

How has Bali changed?
There are too many motorbikes nowadays. There isn’t enough development in education. Health services are too expensive and there are not enough doctors. Local products are getting a lot more expensive.

Has tourism been good for Bali?
Yes, money from tourism helps Bali’s development.

What’s the major difference between the East and the West?

The culture is very different. It’s interesting. In Bali, religion is very important. And Indonesians are also very friendly.

Are you a religious person?
That’s something very personal that I don’t want to share.


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