Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Not exactly around the world in 360 days OR That's all folks

It's hot in Ubud. 90 degree super humid hot. Melissa and I had just finished massages and manicures with our Arcata friends now living in Bali, Michelle and Kaila, and I'm going down...I was not feeling well but I'm dizzy and now attracting attention as I am laying on the sidewalk. A taxi driver appears (not unusual, every second person in Ubud has a 'taksi') He actually picked me up, which was some feat, as I think I outweighed him.The clinic was just a few clicks away, and by the time we got there my hands and legs were no longer numb. After waiting an hour, I described my symptoms to the doctor and she diagnosed parasites, and proceeded to start an IV cocktail. As I was quite dehydrated I soon felt better, and after a couple of hours in an observation room they let me go. I didn't think twice about the sorta grungy room, but it was a little disconcerting to see someone surreptitiously remove a half empty wine bottle as I was escorted in holding my pole. It was thoughtful of them to show me the sterile needle package. Thanks to modern medicine, albeit in a two star hotel setting (with a two star price), I'm all better now.

Melissa having a great time
on her first moto ride
Getting sick was not my plan for the last day of the last country of our trip...but so it goes. Better us than them, as when your kids are sick you are a little wrecked too. Tom is ailing a bit as well, as he took a tumble just hours before getting on the plane and now is walking with a decided limp, and has a toothache to boot.(or is that to mouth?) Time to go home~ The day and a half I spent laying around Melissa enjoyed being the nurse. We weren't doing much anyway. We were over the temples, stifled by the humidity, (did I mention it is hot in Bali?) done with shopping, and there were no waves. Bali is an incredible island of beauty, perpetual ceremony, omnipresent blessings, and resplendent daily offerings. But the other reality  is horrendous roads with way too many motorbikes and cars on them which means getting from one place to another requires fortitude. Regularly we revisit and rehash and linger over details of what we're looking forward to in Arcata. And what would that be? Our fabulous friends of course. Coming in second is sleeping in our own beds. Whenever we took a trip, my mom always said as we were pulling up in the driveway, "the best part of vacation is coming home."
Junking fishing boat

We traveled to a few different spots on the island, hanging at the beach in Sanur and riding cruiser bikes along the path, past street stalls, jungking fishing boats, locals at play, and plenty of tourists. For a few days we hung out further north in Amed, a small fishing village which boasted a shipwreck just offshore offering some prime snorkeling.  For our last stay in Bali we checked into Santi Madala, a little slice of peace positioned riverside and in the rice paddies, and across from a temple.The mighty fine restaurant with few customers, but lots of staff, served a tasty Pepes Ikan, which is a Balinese specialty, snapper steamed in banana leaf. As a bonus our room had a balcony for the many marathon scrabble games.We have had some slow days here in Bali. Getting plenty of sleep, lazing about, "chillaxing' as Eli puts it. But my what a lot of togetherness. There have been more than a few, uh, testy moments. But we know it's all part of the adventure. More than once this aspect of the adventure has been challenging. (oh, I meant to say a learning experience)

What a bonus it was to run into Andy, Michelle, and Kaila in Laos, and then be able to connect again in Bali! We feel like we don't know why we weren't friends in Arcata, we know a lot of the same people and had so much fun together. We'll plan to see them this summer when they come to visit. Monday after the fun in the clinic, they came over to our place and enjoyed the pool. Melissa and Kai (age 6) were fast friends by the time we left. Tuesday, in addition to being the day we had looked forward to for a long time because it was the day we started our journey HOME, we visited Green School, an  inspirational and difficult to describe international school where Andy teaches and Kai goes to 1st grade.The entire school, nestled in the jungle, is made of bamboo. Every building, desk, chair, basketball hoop, and soccer crossbar is bamboo. To say the architecture is stunning/incredible/beautiful/amazing just doesn't really say enough. Students from all over the world, aged 3 to 15, are enrolled as a community of young people invested in  learning and living sustainable practices.  The kids weed the organic garden where all the produce served in the lunches is grown, and participate in sports in the oval mowed by cows.There's a mud pit area for playing in and also for teaching an Indonesian martial art form, and gorgeous creative art and drama spaces. We only got a little taste as we were airport bound. (pouting face) Check it out. http://www.greenschool.org/

In addition to visiting Green school, we were also treated to a tour of nearby Green Village, a community in the process entirely built of yes Bamboo (and glass) Just one of the spectacular unique homes had been completed and  it was the most unusual home I have ever been in.  Stunning spiral design, set into the existing hillside, the doors to the homes are round glass, rimmed in bamboo, that revolve. Each handrail, closet door, table, window casing, counter, and knob was of phenomenal design.We were WOWED. It was an exceptional way to end our journey.

So, now in Sydney, this is the final paragraph of the final blog. Thank you to all my readers, it has been a treat to have your comments. I've enjoyed sharing our experiences through writing; getting the sentences right has a way of honing one's senses. I'll miss the challenges writing presents but I'm onto other tasks. Our year in Australia would not have been as sweet without the amazing friends we made...we already miss you so much. It is with great sorrow we are learning of the floods overtaking the entire southeast  QLD area. The beautiful country of Australia will always be dear to us for so many reasons. We were so lucky and so grateful to spend a year in such a magnificent place. May the rain stop soon!



  1. Your blogs are just brilliant, Stephanie. Thank you so much for sharing everything... I'm really going to miss reading them but I can hear more stories in person now :) Your family rocks!!!
    hasta pronto

  2. Oh, and the link to greenschool doesn't work because there's an extra "e" in it. fyi.

  3. Stephanie! My search for you led me to this blog as we had lost contact for a while. So glad to have found you! I love reading about your adventures and can't wait to reconnect. The kids look amazing as do you and Tom! We also know the Slavins from Arcata and most recently from Bend! Small world! Glad to be in touch again. Would love to hear from you. I will keep reading about your adventures, Love, Kelly Beck

  4. Steph,

    Thank you for blogging. It seems odd, but I've felt closer to you than usual this year. Still, we are missing some x-mas hugs and play time, so if it's okay with you guys, Alex & I would like to visit you in february. We have vacation sat. the 12th- mon. the 21st. I hope that sometime between those dates might work for you. Let me know, 'cuz I'm trying to set up some other things with some other people along the way, but you're obviously top priority. Well, running late for work now...

    Love, Mel

  5. No no, thank you for sharing!

  6. Stephanie: What a wonderful year. Glad you are all well. I keep wondering what kind of shock it will be for you returning here. It would be interesting for me to read your impressions of likes and not likes or changes possible or not. I loved the photo's, your ability to make your blog so interesting. You could teach good looking blogging. I was continually impressed. Welcome home and I hung your photo in the glass studio, so you will feel part of Fire Arts Center upon your first visit.

  7. Fantastic experience. I have been to Bali and love the daily offerings everywhere.

    xoxo see you soon!!

  8. wow...that seemed like a fast year...are you guys home today??? If so welcome home and hope the travel was safe and without trouble...
    Have missed you all...............................
    Andrea and Hannah

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  10. Welcome home, Perretts!!!!! What wonderful adventures you have had individually and as a family. It will probably take you quite a while to process.

    I hope your homecoming is sweet, with old pleasures and good friends.

    Mike and I leave tomorrow for Oz. Home on February 2nd. Wish you were still there!

    Hope to catch up with you in a few weeks or so. We sure missed you at Christmas.

    Love and best wishes,


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