Friday, August 31, 2007
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
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
Sunday, August 19, 2007
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
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
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
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
Sunday, August 5, 2007
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!