Friday, August 31, 2007

Update

Sorry it's taken so long to get to a secure internet connection! Here's our long overdue update.

Here is what we did during the second half of our time in Bali. While we stayed in Ubud and enjoyed the cultural side of the island. We were able to spend some time walking around a monkey forrest, ate some good food and watched traditional Balinese dance. We also got a tour of a nearby village from a guide with our hotel (the Alam Sari). On the third day we were there we got a ride up Mt. Batur, a volcano in the area, and biked down. It was a very foggy day so we couldn't see down the volcano but the ride through the villages and rice paddies made up for the fog. We thought about our cousins Michael & Michelle, who honeymooned there and Randy & Diane since they will hopefully be visiting Ubud in March!

Bali was interesting because it is much different than the rest of Indonesia. Indonesia is the largest Muslim country in the world, so we experienced the daily prayers (5 times a day on loudspeakers) and the Muslim garb while in Jakarta. Bali, however, is a Hindu island with some Buddhism in its history. So, needless to say, it is quite different. Unforunately, Bali has had 2 bombings within the last 5 years from Muslim extremists. The tourism has sadly gone way down, and there is a noticable resentment with a lot of the Balinese.

We flew out of Bali and headed back to Jakarta and spend the night there on a bench. In the morning we flew to Kuala Lumpur and had some much needed McDonald's (we're not ashamed)! We flew out a few hours later to Phuket Island in Thailand. Once we arrived there we spent the night at The Rome Place and pretty much got out of Phuket as soon as possible in the morning. We took a three hour bus to Krabi, then took a long tail boat to Railay Beach (click here for some photos). We arrived at our amazing accomadations, the Sunrise Tropical Resort, around 3pm. We spurgled here and got a $60 per night room...well worth it. Railay Beach can only be reached by boat, so it was quiet (no loud and annoying motorbikes) and relaxing. We read, soaked up the sun, and did some snorkeling.

We are now in Bangkok after a long night of traveling from Krabi. The thing about Thailand that is annoying is that no one in the tourism industry really knows what they are talking about. For instance, I have been to Thailand before and travelled with a bus company where they drive you for 3 hours, drop you off on the side of the road for 2 hours where another bus picks you up and this happens throughout the night. Well, last night was similar, even though we asked about 5 people if this 14 hour "V.I.P." bus ride was non-stop. They probably didn't understand us but instead said "yea, yea...VIP bus, very nice. No stop."

Anyways, we are heading back to Nepal in 2 days and we are both extremely excited. For those of you that don't know, Nepal is where we met (on a missions trip with Royal Servants). Kelly has been there twice and David once. We will be hanging out in Kathmandu for a week and then we are going to attempt a 2 week trek to Everest Base Camp. We'll update you soon. Thanks for tuning in!

Friday, August 24, 2007

Goodbye Balinese Massages, Hello Thai Massages

We are leaving Bali tonight and taking off for Thailand. We are expecting to have a horrible night tonight, as we are sleeping in the Jakarta airport (mind you, this is a third world country, so it won't be pleasant). Then, tomorrow morning we head for Phuket via Kuala Lumpur...we are staying one night in Phuket and then heading to Railay Beach near Krabi, Thailand.

We will hopefully post some pics up here when we get to Thailand. We have enjoyed the last few days here in Bali. We'll give you a fuller update soon. Thanks for tuning in!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Booyah to Bali!

We have safely arrived and enjoyed some of Bali already! We are currently in Ubud at the Alam Sari Guest House. We drove up here last night after a long hard day surfing on the beach. We love our lives! We'll work on posting some pictures when we can get to a computer with a better connection. Today we are going into town to visit the Monkey Forrest and watch some traditional Balinese dancing. We are hoping to also see a cremation ceremony tomorrow after we bike down a nearby volcano. Like I said, we love our lives. Hope everyone back home is doing well. We love you but can't say we miss you!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Off to Bali

We are taking off tonight to go to Bali for 5 days. We are extremely excited. We are splitting our time there between the beaches of Bali (in Kuta) and the highlands and more cultural spot of the island, Ubud. We will be posting some pictures up of our meager attempts of surfing, along with our hotel next to the rice paddies.

We have really enjoyed our time here in Jakarta. Since our last post, we have seen some more of Jakarta. We were going to go to a place called "The Thousands Islands" for a night to snorkel, but the boats only run to the islands on the weekends, so we weren't able to go. We spent a day with the Moselles on Friday in the mountains (actually volcanoes) outside of Jakarta. We woke up at 4:30 to get an early start for a hike to the crater of one of the mountains. However, some students had died a few weeks ago on the mountain, and the government had closed it. The people here are very superstitious, and the theory behind the closing was that the mountain was angry...so they appeased the mountain by closing the trails. So, we did a little hike instead. Then, we went to a beautiful golf course and played 18 holes. It was a lot of fun. We all had our own caddies. Kelly had never golfed before, so it was fun to watch her. She did quite well when she actually hit the ball. It was a really fun end to a great week here in Jakarta.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Praise God!

I've also been meaning to share that the Lord is good to me... he has been keeping my back pain free so I wanted to thank all of you who have been praying for me, please don't stop. That's it!
-Kel

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

The Big Durian

Here we are, in Jakarta, Indonesia! We arrived here late Friday night after a long journey from Hong Kong. We arrived in Hong Kong around 7pm from the US and finally got to our hotel around 8:30 or so. We had made reservations at the YMCA Hotel (doesn't sound that nice, but it is....its actually right next to the Peninsula Hotel, one of the best in the world). Anyways, we reserved 2 beds in one of their "hostel" rooms. However, when we reserved them, they failed to inform us that the rooms were not co-ed. So we had the option of sleeping in separate rooms, or trying to find a hotel in a pretty expensive part of Hong Kong. We were so tired, we just decided to sleep in separate rooms. We both had 1 roommate...Kelly had a girl from Taiwan, and I had a man from India who wanted to talk to me all night about everything from traveling, to the US, to him wanting me to run for President. That's the beauty of travelling. The following day we walked around a rainy Hong Kong for 12 hours before we went to the airport.

We landed in the new Bangkok airport around 12am and didn't have our next flight until 2pm the following day. We decided it would be cost-efficient, and strangely fun to just sleep in the airport. Since we were extremely tired, we found a cozy corner, busted out our sleeping bags and slept quite nicely. We finally arrived in Jakarta the next evening at 9pm to find that Kelly's pack was still in Singapore.

Jakarta is called the Big Durian because there is a fruit here called Durian that smells and tastes terrible. Supposedly, its an acquired taste. They say the same about Jakarta. We, however, have had a pleasant time here so far. We are staying here with Kelly's aunt and uncle in their beauty "compound"/neighborhood of internationals. We have eaten great, had massages and reflexology, swam, relaxed, read, etc. We've also experienced the great side effect of traveling overseas: losing our lunch from both ends. Hopefully we've gotten all that out of our systems. We are going on some excursions this weekend, so we'll update about those later. Here are some more pics!
Here are our wonderful hosts for the week we are in Jakarta! This is Kelly's aunt & uncle, Mark & Martha Moselle (Randy's brother). They work for Jakarta International School, Mark is the head of the counseling department for the high school and coaches Varsity women's softball and Junior Varsity men's volleyball. Martha works as a sixth grade teacher in the ESL department. In the last two years here in Jakarta they have also helped birth a new church! The church is non-traditional and we were able to attend last Saturday night. It is a more intimate setting with tables instead of pews with coffee, tea and water at the tables to drink while visiting with the others at your table. The church family meets at the top of a Citibank building since they are still small and are also an extention of a large church in another part of Jakarta.
Here we are posing at a tree on the school's campus. This type of tree is considered holy to the Hindu and believed to have spirits living in them, so here's to a first of many we will see.
Here's Kelly at our camp out in the Bangkok airport!

Monday, August 13, 2007

Hong Kong Picures

Here is a shot from the bus on the way to the YMCA where we spent the night. This is Nathan Road, a main street on Kowloon Island.
Here is David at his old school! It was really fun to revisit some old memories that he had while he was there.
Here we are at the harbor with the skyline in the background. As you can see the weather was muggy and it rained all day long!

The Harbor at night, so beautiful! The building on the right was being built while David was attending school in Hong Kong and is now the tallest building in HK.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

We're back in Asia!

After 2 long flights, we are in Hong Kong! It is great to be back here. Hong Kong is the greatest city ever. Anyways, we haven't slept for more than 30 hours, so we are going to hit the sack after we go catch a glimpse of the harbor. Then, we are off to Bangkok tomorrow night to sleep in the airport, and we'll then take off for Jakarta the following morning. Thanks for all your prayers....our travelling has been great so far.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Sunday, August 5, 2007

The Fun Has Begun

Here we are sitting on the couch in Rockford! Since our last post we have had some serious fun with friends and family. After the Bar exam we headed up to northern Wisconsin to enjoy some much needed R&R at Kolnes Kove with some of our closest college friends. We skied, tubed (we actually drove the crazy boat that bumped off Drew), wakeboarded & body surfed. To the right is a picture of all six of us; Us, Loralee & Drew and Stephen (Disko) & Joy.
The next REALLY fun event was the week of Kristin & Keith's wedding. We enjoyed the week of preparations and parties with our family and friends. We were both in the wedding party and were so honored to be a part of the Blomgren-Johnson union. They had a beautiful ceremony at First Covenant Church, David's home church, and a dinner and dance to follow at the Radisson. There were so many people we knew at the wedding, which made dancing and socializing so much more fun. We are really excited for Kristin and Keith and feel so blessed to have sister and in-laws that we so much enjoy.


Tomorrow we leave for our trip and as we go we would covet your prayers. Here are some specific requests we have:
1. Safety throughout our travels 2. Kelly's back to be pain free and stable 3. For our relationship that we can continue to fall deeper in love and closer to each other 4. That our eyes would be open to see God's hand around the world!
Thank you all so much for your support and love, we are very excited to get on our way. We'll update you on the other side of the world!

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