Bali and Beyond – #21

dear friends near and far, sending you heaps of love from hot bali! the rainy season is long overdue and i am starting to feel a bit – well – dissolved..

the only way to survive the heat
it’s been a while since i’ve written – but honestly, nothing extra exciting has been happening. the volcano has calmed down, occasionally puffing just a tiny bit and earthquakes are so small we hardly notice them! all snakes seem to have moved to my friend audrey’s garden (who recently moved to bali – so maybe that’s some kind of a rite of passage?) and i’m living happily ever after in my house. only a bee decided to build a nest in linda’s pencil sharpener ((-; sounds boring i guess.
summer seems to be so far away i can’t even remember what i did. being happy in prague doesn’t come easy to me but i have been blessed with the best company imaginable and i laughed so hard i had sore stomach muscles half of the time (-; miss you girls!!!!

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And the Year 3 is Over – #20

hello everyone,

sitting in our prague appartment, indo music blaring from my comp – downloaded for educational purposes of course – with a/c on, i can’t stop thinking of how bizarre life has become – i spent last 10 months in tropics, without using a/c one single time in my house – only to arrive to central europe to switch it on. super dry and hot, prague being good 15’ C warmer than ubud, all the asphalt and cement just making the heatwave much worse.. but still happy to be here, also happy knowing i won’t stay too long (-;

not a bad place for high school trip – Rote island
nothing really big happened during the last 3 months in bali – pretty much business as usual. while i stayed at home the rest of the family travelled a bit.  dan and linda had an amazing time skiing in japan in april – powder snow and sushi, onsen and blossoming sakuras. dan also joined dom for a school service trip to the indonesian island of rote – where they dived with huge oceanic mantas and dom learnt about conservation. not too bad to be a parent volunteer for a trip like that! finally dan went on his ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ motorbike trip to mongolia with an incredible group of friends. you can watch a short shot by one of them. looks like mongolia is a country to visit!!!
fantastic japan
spring in tokyo
meanwhile i enjoyed the quirks of our island and had my share of kids – 1-2-3, in different number and configuration.
mt. agung erupted every couple of days but luckily nothing major. couple of times our garden, pool, bikes etc were covered in ash but so far not too much drama.
following linda and her temporary brother kaleo, dom also became a certified diver and interestingly finds observing the tiniest sea creatures most relaxing. now i’m the odd one out – honestly, nothing better than sitting with a book and cup of tea whilst the rest of the family boards a boat and off they go for a day of diving.. ((-;
mongolian antics
we still enjoy the nature (outside – and – inside our house..) – beautiful wasps started to build a nest in linda’s wardrobe and couple of bats decided they wanted to ‘hang-out’ – literally – in our bedroom. can you imagine my surprise when i woke up very early in the morning hearing some squeaks.. and realised that it’s not only the mosquito net hanging from the frame of my bed – but also a pair of bats! as they keep coming back regularly, linda named them cleo and king tut and i must say it’s been one of the nicest experiences to have these two little creatures as my new pets. just wonder if now i’m officially a witch…

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Ibufen-Ibufen a.k.a. My Chinese Vipassana, Other Travels and the Carbon Footprint of It All – #19

WARNING – IT’S LONG!!!

dearest friends,

i have been more out of bali than in bali in the last 2 months. i love travelling but – being part of green school community – it has become increasingly more difficult to ignore the consequences of my actions. some of my amazing fellow co-parents (apparently those who have more understanding of number science than i do..) took time to calculate their carbon footprint and inspired me to do so too. the results are very depressing. an average green school family’s carbon footprint is roughly the same as 32 balinese people. so yes, they do not have any waste management to speak of and some of them might be throwing their rubbish on the floor or down the river but we are much worse for the environment, air travel being the biggest culprit of all. the answer is a complete change of lifestyle and i must admit i’m not ready for it as yet. my account balance might push me in the right direction sooner than later but luckily – and again big thanks to more enlightened and diligent friends – there are some little ways to help the planet. i’ll share more at the end of the post, now back to my travels – with guilty conscience!

Good Things Bad Things – #18

good morning from the island dear friends!

it has been a while since you heard from me.  in the meantime i managed to be in bali, prague, italy, prague again and then finally back to bali – times both joyous and sad, sometimes both at the same time – but definitely following each other like inseparable friends. it should be no surprise that bigger the joy the harder the fall – but somehow i still get surprised by duality ((-; anyway i would always take surprise over dullness – not wise but.. (-;

now i’m really happy to be back on the island even though i can hardly use my right hand – and hence comes my first bali warning. yes we have venomous snakes here (like the blue krait in our garage the other day..) and we have dengue fever but – we also have these vicious little buggers – tomcats aka rove beetles. i warn you – if you are lucky to see them (i wasn’t) don’t touch them. they do not bite, they do not sting but alas – they release this liquid (basically they piss on you i would say although that might not be the actual case) that acts like acid. i only felt something pricking me on my neck so i touched it – and apparently managed to spread it all over. in couple of hours i had blisters, burned skin, swelling.. all the yummy things! there is no cure and i’m not going to die but man it itches. and hurts. there are two positives though – it didn’t happen to one of the kids (as we would surely have to call a helicopter knowing him and his pain threshold..) and – i have increased my empathy because now i understand how it feels to really want to jump out of your skin, wishing to cut your arm off, banging your head against the wall just to ease the pain. new admiration to all the people who suffer from skin conditions!

the culprit

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Waiting for the Rain – #17

hello everyone from calm and hot bali!

as the island gets hotter & hotter and the landscape drier we are waiting for the rainy season like never before! yes it’s nice that our personal belongings are not getting mouldy for a change, our clothes actually dry up after washing and the dogs (and us..) do not stink of wet hair/old castle but still – may the rain come!

since my last writing it has been two months of relatively quiet bali life. still learning new skills daily to cope with asian reality – like carrying a birthday cake on the motorbike, fishing a snake from the pool or getting a scorpio out of dogs’ water bowl to name a few. or removing sea water from the engine..

water in the engine..

both dan and i ticked off an item on our midlife crisis list – motorbikes bought. i’m enjoying my snail pace around the town and backroads of ubud while dan rides a bit more on the wild side – volcanoes, beaches, paddies and forests. sounds super ecological to me..  his brand new bike has already gone for on ocean dip – not sure if that was intended ((-; he finally launched his online project and we are all holding our breath to see how that goes! Continue reading “Waiting for the Rain – #17”

And the Earth May Shake and the Seas May Be Screaming – #16

hello from beautiful albeit slightly shaking (and shaken) bali my dear friends!

the european summer passed by really quickly. in the midst of all complains, joys, sorrows, chaos and fun i realised how lucky i am to be a part of both worlds – spectacularly intense bali and more subdued yet funny europe. it takes a lot of energy to live two lives (as my many expat friends can – wherever they happen to live – surely testify!) but ultimately it feels very enriching. and enchanting (-; thank you all for being part of my many worlds!!!

just before leaving prague i’ve out of the blue committed myself to a year-long study of the dark corners of human soul (considering my family history i certainly have a lot of experience in that respect) so probably will be coming ‘home’ a bit more often in the following 12 months. tell me if you want to hang out. and i can practice on you (-;

we left behind hot and dry europe and 4 star wars later landed in my 4th home. bali here we come.

back to normal (-;

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Between 2 Worlds – #15

hi everyone,

it’s been a while since my last blog and i’m kind of wondering whether to write at all in my current moaning state (-;

but let’s start with something positive! may and june where pretty good. there were so many events at school that at some point i actually felt like i was living there.. i think most parents can attest to this end of year frenzy. i was especially intrigued by the final project of the green school middle school (including dominik) –  the so called quest. kids are engaged in a project of their own choice for couple of months and finally at the end of the year (and their middle school life) they present it in a TED talk style. i was absolutely amazed by the whole grade 8 class and their presentations – and especially by 4 local kids who were invited to join the project and did it with a great aplomb. the topics where super interesting, ranging from ecological/sustainability projects (like making surf fins from rubbish, creating non-toxic eraser from natural rubber etc) to deeply personal quests (how to deal with the death of your parent, self-hate etc) and the deliverance astonishing. dominik dedicated the project to his love of books – if your kids are interested in books and would like some recommendations you can check out his website: Wonders of Reading
dom in bali – credits to Ken Kochey
dom in prague (-;

the ceremony to finish the middle school was very moving and definitely one of the reasons i love green school – listening to khalil gibrain’s on children didn’t leave one eye dry! a little reminder if you haven’t read the prophet for a while..

and high school life here we come.. can’t believe i have a kid that goes to high school! can i feel any older than that???

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Under the Smoking Volcano – #10

hello dear friends,
greetings from the island of fuming volcano!
at the very beginning of my ‘newsletter’ let me assure you that we are all fine, only a bit more grey hair in my case (or as one of my family members sweetly put it – i look knackered and grew older 🙂  as much as i’m trying to take it easy, it has been kind of rollercoaster-y here in the last few weeks, lot of good things happening as well as some serious ones, so this email is going to be a bit of a mixture!
Party time

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Never a Dull Moment – #9

dear friends,
my last update was sent when we just landed back in bali after summer holidays in europe. here we are, 2 months older and wiser (and better looking of course!) – a few things have happened since and are still happening.
have a read or scroll for pics!
we enjoyed our ‘old’ house for the last couple of weeks, making the best of our time there. puppies managed to kill their first and let’s hope last prey (poor chick..), lola went white-water rafting to celebrate her buddy’s birthday, dan enjoyed his new hobby –  dirt motorbiking..
Midlife crisis (-:

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Back to Bali – #8

hi friends,

hope you are all well. here i am after couple of silent months with my “little update”. read on or just look at some pics.
we spent our last weeks in bali (may and june) searching for a new house.
last year dan had rented first house he saw – so we were not entirely prepared for the pitfalls of looking for a new place to stay in this particular country. endless hours looking trough various housing web pages, Facebook housing , talking to friends and friends of friends who knew someone whose second cousin was renting his wife place.. ((-; maybe not so much different than looking for a house elsewhere. the string of house visits was a bit exhausting – never entirely sure whether the person was going to show up, whether a place described as “a peaceful haven in the middle of nature” would have a huge construction site on the very edge of property or a hungry python living in the basement, whether (after you look around and really like the place ) they’ll inform you – NO DOGS – even if you told them beforehand you have got 2.. it was also inspiring as we met some cool people we wouldn’t otherwise came across – like Mr. Lawrence Blair who was quite incredible https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lawrence_Blair , if you are into documentaries and would like to see what Indonesia looked like couple of decades ago, check his series Ring of Fire – http://www.indonesianodyssey.co.uk definitely worth watching!
after much searching we finally found what we wanted, agreed on terms with (what seemed to be) our nice new landlord and really felt relieved that the search was over. lulled into complacency we really didn’t expect (silly us..) a call 2 weeks later, informing us that he changed his mind.. no reason given. hm. not to bore you – we managed to find another cool house later and are supposed to move in September. will let you know how that goes ((-;

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