I am a giant. A large woman with constant helmet hair who towers over those around her (aside from her kids). I look around as I walk through a crowd, and at eye level see the creatures. At chest height all around us bob a million little people – like the Oompa Loompa’s in Charle and the chocolate factory. The only difference is that these ones are petite. I feel like my new name should be Helga.
When venturing to the store to purchase clothes hangers, we couldn’t help but notice how tiny they were…for tiny shoulders, and our clothes just fall off them! Kitchen countertops in most homes are at Oompa Loompa height, clothing and shoes come in skinny midget sizes, and seats arranged in waiting areas are small and extremely close together. I’ve noticed that all gazillion times we’ve been pulled over by cops because they see we are white people and tag us as tourists that most likely don’t have Indonesian drivers licenses, they have had us sit down to talk to us so they can ‘tower’ over us and come across as tough. The end result is always the same – slip the a bribe and off you go. Jude, Mycah and I, do finally have 1 year Indonesian driver licenses now though. One policeman told us if we paid him 2 500 000 IDR he would get us 5 year licenses. Luckily we didn’t take his bribe because we found out that on our visas we can only have a 1 year license. In order to get a drivers license here one must take a written test which is only in Indonesian and of course a translator is not permitted, as well as a road test. But, on our visas we cannot get licenses so after a friend from church made a little arrangement for us which involved a 1 000 000 IDR bribe, we simply walked into the police station, paid the bribes, sat and smiled for the camera and walked out with licenses.
Update on Tanda Malaika…she is still sitting on the reef. As far as we know, the person who wants to take her, is still planning on it but we haven’t been updated on when. The GoFundMe money brought in $30 000, and we are so incredibly grateful for your help. $25 000 of it is for her removal from the reef, and the remaining $5000 went to airfares getting us from Bora Bora to New Zealand and then New Zealand to Bali. We cannot thank you enough for your generosity, and please know that as a family we will always be ready to help you in any way we possibly can.
Danny is still gone. He has flown the BBJ from Singapore to Beijing back and forth and may fly the owner to Hong Kong this week. He is doing well and we miss him very much.
We decided that our pool needed a rubber ducky, so we found one at the grocery store, and have been having fun with it! Since we miss marine life, a whale seems to have joined the family too. Our realtors little girl, Mikol, came and swam with the creatures. She’s so cute.
Max is still with us until the 17th, and has been so fun to have around. When we set out on the scooters, he rides on the back of mine with my phone in hand and is the perfect navigator.
For about $5 a person, we can rent surf boards for the day.
The creatures are having blast and a half learning to surf – using the information taught to them in their lesson a couple weeks ago.
They are doing quite well. Here’s Emma!
And max, who towers over everyone…
As usual, they got goofy and crashed.
They had so much fun being back in the water. The twins even surfed hand in hand!
On the beach there were all sorts of vendors selling peanuts, which I found fascinating.
And also fruit.
Today we will be joining a woman who once a months gets together with a veterinarian and vaccinates, medicates, spays and neuters dogs. It will be an interesting day as we learn and participate. I’m sure it will be heart breaking, since there are so many homeless and incredibly skinny dogs on this island. I have chatted with people about opening a sanctuary for them but the problem is that when we leave, there will be no one to run it. After talking to many people, including the one we are helping today, we’ve decided that the best approach is to educate people on taking care of dogs and to neuter and spay them to stop the constant birth of litters.
Life is good, and we are so grateful to be able to help where we can, learning constantly as we go along.