In Thursday's Home section of the New York Times, they published an article by the fiction writer Charlotte Bacon, who fondly remembered her experiment in Third World living in Bali. It was titled "Lessons of a Grass House." She went to Indonesia for idealistic reasons -- "to develop a school that was based around a curriculum of sustainability" -- but was forthright about her liberal guilt:
It was a fantasy that strongly appealed to me. Growing my own lettuce in volcanic soil. Creating a community of teachers and students. Having my children learn another language and experience a vibrant part of the world. Hiring someone to give me a hand with the children so I could find more time to write.It called on the spirit of “Walden,” an intentionality of living, blended with a darker dose of the colonial: I could hire help for very little and not spend all day attached to a sponge.