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I awoke to the sound of a rooster crowing in the distance, and opened my eyes to see the morning light seeping slowly into my room like honey from the side of a jar. Deep purple flowers are growing just outside my window and move slowly in the breeze, and a yellow butterfly lands just as I turned my head. My bedroom windows on this other wall faces the courtyard where the pool is, and I see a white plumeria blossom floating on the waters surface. It looks so beautiful against the turquoise of the pool. This is what peace feels like. We are home. It’s not the home we had wanted to be in – it’s not on the ocean, but that day will come again. We are home now, here in Bali, and this place where all the sounds of man in the world are blocked out, is my sanctuary. Later in the day I sweep the floors and stop to look over at my children. Jude, Aidan and Emma are in the pool, leaning their arms on the side and quietly listening to Mycah as she sits and sings a new song to them while strumming the ukulele. The sound of her voice, the look of admiration and love on her siblings faces…this is home. Peace. My sanctuary.There have been times when it feels like peace will never come again, but it does, and when you feel it once more it is even sweeter than before.

We are becoming more comfortable with driving scooters in complete chaos at this point, though I’ll never get used to the insane stunts people pull while driving. Here’s us on our scooters at a traffic light. (Thanks to Aidan for the photo)

One thing we failed to take into account when renting scooters and helmets, was the possibility of lice in the helmets… can guess where this is going! Jude and Emma are the proud new parents of a lovely batch of lice in their hair. It’s interesting because if Jude is within a 100 mile radius of one single louse, it’ll track her down and take up residence in her golden locks. Every orphanage we’ve worked in, she’s the ONLY ONE who has come away with lice! Every time! This is her 8th round in her sweet 19 years of life. Neither her nor Emma are thrilled with their unwanted tenants, and we have attacked the issue with full force. We have found the best way to take care of it is to wash the hair in apple cider vinegar, let it dry in the sun, then douse it in coconut oil to smother the little buggers for a few hours, then spend the next while combing every strand through with a nit comb. Here’s Jude and Emma smelling like pickles, waiting for their hair to dry. Everything is under control again now that we’ve washed all their bedding and clothing. We’ll check again in a few days. Even Jude, after being bitten by monkeys in Panama, has said that maybe getting a pet monkey to groom their hair is a good idea!

We recently met a beautiful family who are traveling to various places in the world, over a year period. They have 6 daughters, the older 3 being similar in age to our girls Their dad had arranged for all of them to go surfing today. The girls spent the night here at our home last night and it was so fun to hear the chatter and laughter. They ordered Coldstone Creamery Ice cream delivery and sat eating ice cream after they’d filled up on the pizza I had made for dinner.

This morning, Mycah, Mariah and I jumped on the scooters and went to the morning farmers market for some fresh produce.

We saw vegetables that we hadn’t seen before, like these babies…

And these…they look like giant okra.

So, we bought them to take home and stir fry up, and were pleasantly surprised.
Mangosteen have become a favorite fruit for us.

I loved watching the people weigh the produce, using cool old scales.

As always we met some beautiful people who, when first meeting them, they already seem familiar.

The Hindu people here set aside over half of their daily income to use in worship. Flowers and other offerings have to be purchased.

A little girl carried a bag of flowers her mother had purchased for offerings.

Many people have rice on their foreheads and chests from morning prayers. It falls off as the morning continues on. This man sold us some incense.

We came home with about $20 worth of treasures from the market. What a delicious sight. Can you tell that we love fresh fruits and vegetables?!

Danny has flown to Switzerland to pick up a BBJ, which he’ll fly to Beijing. Once there, the jet owner will inform him on the places he wants to go. We expect Danny to be gone for 1 to 2 months. It’s the first time he’s worked in 7 months and feels weird to have him gone, but we know he is passionate about flying and loving it.

As we get to know our surroundings, recognize faces, and can set aside the GPS to navigate, my love for Bali grows. I love that when I drive the scooter down our road I smell the wonderful scent of plumeria, followed by incense from Hindu offerings, followed by more plumeria, then the rich flavor of curry cooking someplace. It’s a delicious buffet of smells. I am so grateful for life.


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