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Monday, June 21, 2010

Bali Day 7: Bali Beach Club Dinner, New Friends, and Over the Rainbow


For our final night in Bali, we headed down to the Bali Beach Club (BBC). Above is a photo of one of the hosteses. Hundreds of tables line the beach. Not all of these tables belonged to BBC, every restaurant on the beach had tables in the sand. Amazingly, there weren't any bugs. At least I don't remember bugs. There were jumping fish and that was quite interesting to watch later in the evening.


Strolling the beach was a band of musicians. Our tour leader told us that most of the singers probably learned the songs by listening to them on the radio. The first song they came over to sing for us was Johnny Be Good. Its interesting to hear that song in a Balinese accent. Very fun.


Here, they perform Hotel California for us.

This was my dinner. I had to consult this picture on my camera as I ate because it was so dark, I had a hard time seeing what was on the plate. I accidently ate too far up on the fish and got a nice mouth full of glad I didn't get the gills and eyeballs. We also didn't get any utensils to crack the crab we were all improvising and adapting by crushing the legs with spoons. That could occassionaly send pieces of crab meat shooting across the table or into one's own lap. The squid patay was very good.


Below, a self portrait of myself. Behind me is a stage at a neighboring restaurant where child dancers were performing traditional Balinese dances.


J from Hong Kong and D from Florida purchase freshwater pearls from a vendor strolling the beach. To authenicate that the pearls were real, he held them in a flame so they could see that they didn't melt. I didn't have enough Balinese money left at this point or I may have purchased a necklace...I love pearls.


Now for last photos with my new friends. In keeping with my blog policy of not publishing names, unless people are public figures or business operators, I'll mostly be providing first initials.

Below, I am with our tour leader Halle from Spirit Quest Tours. She did a great job and was very helpful. I loved listening to her stories and she taught me a technique to help me when I have problems sleeping. I would go on another tour operated by Spirit Quest in the future and recommend them to my blog readers and to my friends.


This was the first vacation that I have taken with a tour group. They have probably spoiled me and I'll expect any future tour groups I go on vacation with to be much like them. Halle and her partner Greg were fabulous in how they interacted with they had known us all for years and were just bringing a group of their friends along on a vacation. I can't say enough good things about my experience.

Oh, and apparently, I was looking a lot like the real Elizabeth Gilbert (except I probably weigh 30 pounds more than she does)...kind of weird that I would be 'channeling' the author of the book our tour was based upon. Halle and Greg told me that a couple times (they've met Gilbert in person) and I didn't know what to say to that...Gilbert's obvioulsy a pretty lady (hahaha!), no I didn't say that. I'd actually never seen any pictures of Gilbert, until I came home and googled her...and yes, I look like a meatier version of her.

Below is my awesome roommate J from New Zealand. Such a nice lady and she put up with me locking her out of the room the first night. Whooops! I really enjoyed chatting with her and hearing about her life in New Zealand, her sons and grandchildren. She is an avid photographer (did Spirit Quest do a good job matching us up or what?) and I loved seeing some of her picutres she had taken. (I fell asleep while watching her edit photos one night so I have been enjoying looking at them in detail on her facebook).


Below is my new friend A from Australia. She decided to come on the trip at the last minute. I also enjoyed listening to her stories. She's a midwife and she quit her job to go on this vacation because the hospital she worked for wouldn't let her have the time off. What a gutsy lady!


Below is K from the US. She is a mystical healer and counselor who helps people who are making big transformations in their lives find themselves and their calling. I really enjoyed chatting with her on our car ride back from the Elephant Park. She told me about her life raising her family, at one time living in a tent when they were part of a co-op and were waiting to build their house. She was so excited on our visit to the Artist Colony because she found a beautiful painting of a Hindu goddess she just loved....I can't wait until she shares photos on facebook of the painting in her office!


Next, this is my fellow Washingtonian and talk about a small world, she used to also attend the same church I currently attend. She is a massage therapist and has her own spa in the Washington DC area. She was such a great person to chat with. One thing she learned a few years ago during a career/personal coaching seminar, was how to find your strong suits...the characteristics about you that you eminate. She was telling me that knowing our strong suits can help us find the types of careers we should be in or understand how we ended up in our careers as well as understand how people relate to us. On the flight back to DC, she interviewed me and helped me make a list of some of my strong suits and boy was that enlightening. I hope to stay in touch with her as she is in the DC area and she was such a nice person.


This is G, also from the US. She once worked in Marketing and sold her firm a few years ago and now raises horses.


Below is L from Australia and D from the US. L has a daughter the same age as I who has had similar bad luck experiences with men and relationships. D was one of the first people on the tour that I met. She and I have a lot of shared experiences on this trip ...from the long line to go through immigration in Bali, the elephant ride, and the temple visits.


This is J from Hong Kong. I didn't get much of chance to hang out with J on the tour. She and D really hit it off. D, J, M and I spent time hanging out in the Denpensar airport with J helping us by-pass the really long line to check-in. Once at the Hong Kong airport, she gave us some tips for spending our time before our next flight.


This is another J from the US. I also enjoyed learing about her life experiences. She was one of the ladies on the Elephant Park trip as well as to Tanah Lot temple.


So many strong, independent, beautiful women on this trip, exactly what/who I needed to experience in my life. Everyone of them is a person I'd love to get to know better. Before I went on this trip my friends and I prayed knowing that God had selected each person for this trip and that all of us would have a wonderful time being touched by each other. While I know not everyone on this trip were Christian, I know that we are all God's children and my faith has been strengthened so much by this experience. Seeing how much He loves us that he put the right mix of people together so that we could enjoy His beautiful creation was just incredible.

The final morning before we boarded the bus to head to the airport, the sun illuminated the Hindu temple on the hillside across the valley from our resort.


About half an hour later, I heard gasps. When I looked up, I saw this huge rainbow ending over the temple. What a great ending memory of this trip.


One of my take-a-ways from this trip was wanting to celebrate more. Celebrate all that God has given me. Almost everyday we were passing through a village and the entire village was out in a parade celebrating and giving offerings to their gods. One thing that really stood out to D and I at Tanah Lot was all of the families that were coming together to different the US would be if our families and towns came together to worship and celebrate what God has given us. The Balinese have so little in material things compared to us in the US, yet they celebrate and give offerings with open hearts of what they have. We in the US complain way too much and ruin what we do have. At Tanah Lot temple, I actually was overwhelmed with a feeling of saddness. God just put it on my heart that I needed to celebrate and praise Him for what I've been given...and it has been a lot.

Celebration...that is my theme for the rest of the year...and hopefully, celebration becomes a habit and I learn to celebrate all of my life's blessings everyday.

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