Visa run… Or Monkey run?!!

Well, we just arrived back to our Island paradise yesterday after our visa run adventure up to Singapore & back in the same day… And a lovely little break in Bali with my Mum. (Can you believe that we have been here 6 months already?!! ) The day after our necessary overnight in Kupang was like a scene out of ‘The Great Race’.  After our morning flight to Bali we had to literally run with our unchecked baggage (checked baggage would have slowed us down) for our next flight departing from the International Terminal to Singapore. After a having a ‘pep talk’ with the kids about the need to keep their eye on Dad and just ‘keep up’ when we got off this first flight, they did a tremendous job in darting and weaving in and out of the crowds of travellers with their little ‘wheely bags’…. across roads and broken footpaths, as is the norm in Indonesia, only to arrive at the check in counter 9 minutes before it was due to close!! Phew, just made it! We had a few hours in Singapore where the kids got a swim in the pool (what an airport!) before turning around and returning to Bali with a new stamp in our passports!

After being here on the land for the last 6 months what a contrast it was to be in a hotel where they give you a little flag to put up if you would like anything whilst sitting around the pool! I have to say we enjoyed every minute of our couple of days of luxury before heading down to find a ‘quaint’ little spot on Bingin Beach which was much more in our price range… Hey, it still had running water AND a flushing toilet which is still luxurious for us!

One morning I was awoken by the sound of a ‘thud’, looking up, I spotted a monkey just outside our door. He glared straight back at me before daringly snatching my bikini from the railing and springing off into his cliffside hideaway!! Cheeky little monkey!!  As it turned out, the monkey was no match for my husband, who happens to like that bikini…. And, after taking off after him into the bushes, he triumphantly returned, bikini in hand! Never a dull moment!

SAM_1964We arrived back in Delha to the sad news that after the huge swell that came through last week all of the seaweed farms were destroyed… The huge waves hit from Sedeoen all the way down to Tunggoen which is basically the entire Delha area. This is devastating to a community like this as seaweed farming is their livelihood.  Delfiana and her family, as you may know from previous blogs,  had just recently bought 5kg of rope and set up  in their area of seaweed farm only to have it all taken out by the waves. Now, they have no money to buy more and, at this point, are unable to set up again. This is just one story from one family.  Still, in the midst of adversity, it is humbling to see the attitude of the people here…. They just seem to take everything in their stride… What has happened has happened and they just pull together and start again…

SAM_2020One of the main things we have learned about this community since being here is that there needs to be a focus on the re-introduction of agriculture (you can find out more about this in our next blog) Mum brought loads of seeds with her from Australia… Sweet Corn, Rocket, Cherry Tomatoes, Coriander, Zucchini, Broccoli, just to name a few! So, today, armed with a bag full of seeds we set off around the village and brought smiles to many faces!!

Our last stop was to the Kepala Desa (Village head) and his wife who, in a previous meeting, had showed Matthew her garden and talked about how much she would love some sweet corn. She was so overjoyed to receive it today along with the cherry tomatoes, which she said she had only ever seen on television, that she proceeded to pull up some of her other vegies and bananas to give back to us! Also, because of a generous donation from one of our friends, we were able to give a substantial amount to the Kepala Desa to help out with community needs… The biggest one being, at present, the rebuilding of the seaweed farms.

Chat soon, Nat, Matt and kids.