The Madra Homestay becomes a destination for musicians, artists, and writers

By 1978, with four cottages in place, the homestay had acquired a word-of-mouth reputation as a place not only to study Balinese culure, but also learning to perform within it.

Andy Toth, one of several American musicians and serious gamelan scholars who lived and worked there in the 1970s, became a close friend of Ketut Madra and a deep admirer of his paintings. By the 1980s, he had become the American consular officer in Sanur and frequently recommended the homestay as the place for visiting scholars to begin their stay in Bali.

Michel Picard spent almost three years living at the Madra Homestay during its early pondok era. In a March 2021 email, he wrote: 

Unfortunately, I had not heard of Ketut’s pondok when I first came to Bali in 1974. In 1978, on my second trip I settled in for about nine months, first in the cottage to the west and then the one to the northeast. One of my neighbors that year was [the American anthropologist and friend of Margaret Mead] Hildred Geertz, who had returned to do further research in Bali. Another was [the American composer and musicologist] Michael Tenzer. It was only on my third trip, beginning in late 1979 that I moved into THE legendary first pondok, which I proudly occupied until late 1982. These years in Bali were certainly the most beautiful and interesting of my life.”

Michel’s are the only currently known photos that capture the interior living space of Pondok Number One. The textiles on the walls and desk–all purchased in Bali–inspired, in part, his later travels in the mid-1980s throughout Nusa Tenggara Timur.