selamat malam!

6 10 2009

Despite the fact that I am in the middle of the rainforest in Bali, over an hour’s drive on bad roads to the next ‘major’ town, I am writing you from my cozy bungalow, hiding out from the rainy evening.  It has rained at least a little every day so far, and that is one reminder that I am indisputably living in the RAINforest.  Another reminder is the giant spider that lives outside the lodge restaurant.  This is beyond what my standard for a large spider is too- it is bigger than my face.  And there are of course the crazy monkeys that live in cages next to my bungalow.  They are rescued Sumatran female monkeys, and they hate all other females.  Within an hour of arriving here to the lodge one caught the edge of my shirt and holy smokes are they fast and vicious little bastards!

But this place is kind of amazing.  I mean, I live in an eco-lodge in the middle of Bali!  It is run by Norm and Linda, Aussie/Kiwi ex-pats who moved here with their 2 sons, Larz and Oska who I supervise in their long distance coursework for about 4 hours a day.  The rest of the staff is Balinese, and the lodge so far has about 4-8 other guests.   Norm is a big-time enviornmental management consultant, and the lodge is all permacultured out- with mangosteen, vanilla, cocoa, coffee, avocado, organge, mango…everything growing all around.

I was concerned about being bored out of my mind a little bit with all the free time i have from basically noon on every day, but so far I can’t seem to fit it all in!  I am going to teach English to local village children once a week for about 2 hours, IT to a couple Balinese staff members, and yoga to a local village woman who can no longer allowed to give massages here b/c she has been selected to become a spiritual leader in the village.  BTW, Balinese massages are pretty great, and cheap, which makes this girl a big fan.  Other than settling in and getting to know the family and coursework, I have taken a dip in the natural waterfall pools a short hike away and checked out the nearby temples on Mt Batukaru.  I am brainstorming some potential microfinance programs for the village and hopefully can get a feasible plan rolling.  I am trying to get some Indonesian down, but I am still pretty basic- Selamat malam, apa gabar?  Nama saya Jenn.  Siapa nama anda?  Di mana USA.  Dari mana?

So yea, I am in Bali now.  Time after Townsville really flew.  I had just a day or two in Cairns before heading out on the dive boat, and then only a few more days after before going back to Sydney.  The dive trip was unreal and the made me lose all sense of time, and equilibrium on land.  Every day I woke up at 5:30am to dive at 6am and if all went well I polished off my 4th dive around 8pm that night, finishing up cleaning around 9:30pm.  3 or 4 dives a day for a week- not too shabby!  I got to hang out with an octopus and watch it change colors and textures for like 15 minutes on a night dive and saw lion fish, loads of reef sharks, nemos, turtles, and other cool stuff.  I could barely walk straight and could barely read and type for about 3 solid days afterwards because I was still rocking from the boat, but it was definitely worth it!  Had a fun night out with the crew, entertained Richard and Mika with some beer-up-the-butt chicken, and took a day trip with them up north to check out Cape Tribulation and the Daintree Rainforest.  I saw two of the best signs I have ever seen in my life on that trip.  One is in my photos of a before/after encounter with a cassowary, and the other was one that simply read, ‘Horse Pooh $5’.  I don’t know why, but the word ‘pooh’ just killed me.  shit, manure, poop, even poo would have been better, but pooh?

But I digress.  Before I knew it I was in Sydney, enjoying some time with Rowan, exploring the Sydney harbor and art exhibitions featured in a city-wide festival. I also enjoyed not sweating constantly; I don’t think i would have survived Queensland much longer.

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2 responses

9 10 2009
Keri

Jenn – when are you coming back stateside? What is a good city to fly into where you are? What is the name of the lodge you work at?? Love reading your postings and looking at your pics.

11 10 2009
Jenn

Hey Keri!
As of now, I am planning to be home for xmas. Do you mean a good city in Indonesia to fly to? You can fly direct to Bali (airport code DPS). Then it is 2 hours or so to the lodge, with in the Sarinbuana Eco-Lodge, http://www.baliecolodge.com. Are you still thinking about coming?!?! Bali is unreal, you should come!

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