A video compilation

I found enough videos on my phone to make a compilation of our adventures in Indonesia over the past two years. It’s a little bitter sweet to watch as we approach our last week here.

Enjoy!

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Weekend escape to PR

We escaped to Pelabuhan Ratu Saturday evening via a three hour car ride with sleeping children. We arrived around 10:00pm and checked into the Sunset Plaza hotel, which was more like a hostel with tiny $20 rooms and shared bathrooms. But the free breakfast, pool, beach front access, and outdoor restaurant terrace were perfect for our lazy Sunday of swimming and card playing.

We did some exploring and found the point where the green lady (Queen of the southern Java Seas) supposedly jumped to her death. It was incredible to see Indonesians leave her offerings from the cliffs overlooking the ocean. We had to leave quickly though because it started to rain. So we hiked back down the cliff and ducked into a warung for a coconut.

Once we realized the rain wasn’t going to let up anytime soon, we got some help from a few locals to wave down an angkot for a ride back to the hotel. It was in the angkot that we let the experience sink in. Indonesia can be so incredibly beautiful sometimes.

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Trip Home

Our way home started at 6:30am on Gili Air and ended at 11:30pm in Bogor. It was a long day, that went rather smoothly if not for the 2 hour flight delay. But I guess it just goes to show that even living so close to the Gilis does not make it easy to get there.

To briefly break it down it takes: a public ferry ride from Gili Air to Lombok, taxi from Bangsal to Senggigi, a brief stop at our favorite Italian Bed and Breakfast for lunch and a quick swim, local angkot around town for shopping, taxi to the Mataram airport, flight to Jakarta, and another taxi to Bogor. Whew.

A bit bummed to have left such a paradise. It really is my kind. Eliana hit her groove and owned that island. She electively spoke Bahasa to anyone who would listen and made a couple of sets of new girlfriends just by walking up to them and introducing herself. Such confidence! Its like something clicked for her on that island. We’ll see how it transitions in Bogor…

It feels like I’ve finally kicked off my two month version of making my way back home. My real home. And I think I’ll need the full two months to do it.

I think it’ll go by quickly, at least I kind of hope it does. Because I’m really craving my home; my city, my house, my complete family.

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A week in the Gilis

… Does the body good.

But you sure have to earn this little island of paradise. It took us a taxi at 6:30, a bus to the airport, then a plane to Lombok, a private car to the harbor, then a speed boat to the Gilis with an arrival around 3:00pm!

It’s worth it though. We checked into our cottage, swam, and ate an amazing dinner at Scallywags, an outstanding organic food restaurant.

I’m just waking up with a plan to work out by the pool with a friend, eat and swim at the beach all day and maybe order the same dinner again tonight because it was just that damn good. Or maybe I’ll walk around the island this afternoon and explore. No cars or motorcycles here… Just bicycles and horse carriages.

It’s lovely, really. One of my favorite places in earth.

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The next chapter of Bali or Bust

It has been a delight to record our adventures in SE Asia on this blog for the past couple of years. I initially created Bali or Bust as a way to motivate me to meet one of my top goals on my Life List: living abroad for at least a year. We thought we’d be here for two, but we’ve been presented with an extraordinary opportunity… one we can’t pass up.

Indonesia has been amazing, challenging and sometimes even maddening, but nonetheless one of the most incredible things my family and I have accomplished. We have taken on tons of professional development, learned new cultural skills, a new language, and traveled every opportunity possible.

But as all adventures begin, they also must… evolve. Please don’t see this next chapter as an end to Bali or Bust. In fact, I’d like to take this blog to a new level and focus on other big items on my Life List. I plan to share my progress here.

The next chapter is still in the works, but enough has been green lighted to share with you now. Seth has accepted a position for a large organization in the United States, starting soon. I’m thrilled for him, and for what it means for our family. I won’t have to work four part-time jobs or scramble for child care like I did before we left the US. I won’t have to eat dinner alone on weekdays, like I do now, as Seth will be working remotely and will be home, in Portland, up to 60% of the time. We are thrilled!

But… You see I can’t just leave right now. As a teacher, I have invested a lot of energy into my students. I’m managing clubs that I created and a homeroom of seniors, who are desperate for help with their university applications. I feel obligated to at least guide them until the end of the semester, and I also recognize how essential the bridge is between the US and Indonesia. I don’t intend to burn that bridge.

Thus Eliana and I will stay here until mid-December. A part of me is buzzing with excitement, envisioning all of the new projects I get to do in my very own house back home (I forgot how much renting a house sucks). Another part of me is content to stay here forever, especially when I’m at school working. (What can I say? I love my job.)

I have a feeling these next few months will fly by. I have a lot of plans already (Hello Gilis in two weeks!!), which I think will keep me occupied and focused. My goal is to leave without regret; feeling fulfilled and satisfied and incredibly excited about returning home to our family and friends, which will hopefully involve even more growth beyond our wildest dreams.

Growth that I intend to continue to share with you here.

Our favorite farms

We visited a few of our favorite farms today. One is our friends, who once lived in our Sabin neighborhood, but left around the same time we did for bigger pastures.

Then Elle and I went to Sauvie Island to pick flowers and berries. Here are some shots from the day, the last is a comparison between Ellie at 1.5 and 4.5. Same kid. Same farm. Time flies!

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