Part 2…A wild and fascinating cultural experience…All new photos….Do YOU have a story to tell?

We’ve often seen balloon guys hauling these big batches on their motorbikes.
 

“Sightings on the Beach in Bali”

These boys were fishing for several hours in the heat of the sun.

Often, we share an experience in more than one post. With wifi limitations preventing the posting of too many photos and our desire to maintain a reasonable length of any daily post, a particular story or event may require multiple day’s posting. Today’s continuing photos from yesterday’s post clearly illustrates this fact.

Buffaloes were lining up for their turn at the races.

Yesterday, was our 1400th post since the date of our first story in March 2012.  At the onset, we posted few photos and posted a few times a week, having no idea how many readers we’d acquire other than friends and family over these years.


A young “jockey” in position for the upcoming race.

Much to our surprise, as our readership grew.  Readers came from all over the world and began sharing our posts with their friends, relatives and neighbors. In the stats in Blogger which we can review at any time, we’ve watched the list of countries from entries into our site grow and change over the years.

Flower petals and burning incense are lined along the road providing prayers and good fortune for the race.

This has been exciting for us.  Our enthusiasm over this growth has never lost its magical charm in motivating us to continue with the telling of our ongoing story and our daily lives, albeit at times mundane existence.  

The smell of the incense burning was pleasant among all the other smells.

In March 2013, one year after we started our first post (on March 15, 2012), we began posting daily as opposed to a few times each week.  This feature manifested from the discovery that often our experiences couldn’t be told on a Saturday to be continued two or three days later and maintain its flow and significance.


Many of the elaborate costumes are handmade.

For many of our readers it was comparable to reading chapters in a book…one doesn’t want to have to put it down and wait three days to read again.  As an avid reader, I’ve become impatient waiting a day for the next part of a story, although each night I do so when sleepiness befalls me and I turn off my phone.

Any of our lives are a continuing story. Although, our story may not seem interesting enough for any of us to share, we may surprise ourselves how we can find a way to extrapolate tidbits of our daily existence worthy of note by others. 


Off they go down the narrow race course, lined with spectators on both sides.

Our thoughts, our dreams and our hopes all encompass a story to be told that is easily illustrated in Facebook whether its a new bloom in your garden, a smile on your grandchild’s face or a lopsided cake you’ve baked in your kitchen, it all holds a certain appeal most of us find interesting enough to give it a “like.”


The buffaloes stayed relatively calm until it the race began.

When looking through the timeline of any FB participant in our list of “friends” we can easily formulate a story of their lives as they’ve progressed over the years with events big and small, powerful and insignificant.  At times, our stories are profound and at other times, outrageously humorous.



This is the queue where race participants awaited their turn.

We all have a story to tell.  Years ago, Tom’s mother, Mary Lyman, narrated a book about her life and her family which was penned by an author who’d done this for many others with a desire to document their life story and family history in the written word to be bound into a book upon completion.


The buffalo’s horns were covered in this “socks” adding to the wide array of decorations.

Once completed, every family member was given a copy, a gift from Mary. Although blind, her memory was keen and her head was filled with stories that held significance to each family member in one way or another. What a gift to bestow upon one’s family! Mary lived until 98, only four months from her 99th birthday. 


Somehow we made our way through the crowds to find a decent viewing spot.

The content in Mary’s book wasn’t for the mass audience but the treasures of the stories she told will remain in the hearts and minds of her family for generations to come. 


The air was thick with cigarette smoke.  It appears many Balinese men smoke although we’ve seen few women doing so.

Perhaps, there’s a story inside of you to share.  Its relatively quick and painless to start a blog.  If the concept is intimidating, perhaps a savvy grandchild or friend can set it up for you. 

You need not worry about spelling, punctuation or grammar.  The flow of your words will be what matters to those who love you and those who will be blessed to read your words in years to come.


Pretty little flowers blooming along the entrance road.

And for us, these average everyday people who we are, we remain in awe of our readership that continues to grow each and every year.  We thank all of  you for “traveling along with us” as we tell our stories…however trivial or meaningful they may be, however repetitive or fresh they may appear, knowing we’re never alone with each of you at our side.

Tell your story!  We’d love to read it!

______________________________________


Photo from one year ago today, May 31, 2015:

Vacation/holiday huts set into the side of the mountain on the island of Moorea, photo taken while on a dolphin tour.  We saw many dolphins but the sea was too rough for any good photos.  For more, please see here.

The nuances of managing our site…

The bright blue sea usually indicates a coral reef of which there are many in Fiji.

Having the daily responsibility of keeping a website fresh and packed with information can be a daunting task.  Never interested in learning web design and HTML, I’ve preferred to pay attention to the “content” aspect of our blog as opposed to its design, hoping it’s an easy appealing place for our worldwide readers to visit.

Over the past years, our web developers,  Smitten Blog Designs, have done a great job for us and we’ve been thrilled with their great service and ingenuity. If you’re considering a website or blog, they’re happy to assist and continue to answer questions long after the design is established and the site is live.

Brooke, our web person at Smitten Blog Designs has suggested we move over to WordPress, another blog management site, that although it may cost a little more, is easier to manipulate, correct errors, and manage day-to-day postings with photos.  (FYI, we don’t use the help of our web developer when posting each day, only when we have design changes we’d like to make).

Currently, we’re using Blogger and over these past 44 months of posting, we’ve found it tricky and frustrating at times, especially in regard to posting photos and especially in line, paragraph, and photo spacing. 
Our readers may notice that at times we have too many spaces between paragraphs and photos which is entirely a Blogger related issue. Add in a poor Internet connection and I can spend hours attempting to edit a single post.

The hard part for us is letting go of our stats and losing a few readers.  Our web address will always be www.worldwidewaftage.com. Moving to WordPress won’t change that. If you’ve bookmarked our site, it will still take you wherever we may be by using our web address regardless of which blog editing software we may use.

Sewak, our neighbor, planted this garden a few months ago.

Since the onset of our posts in 2012, there are statistics that only we have access to located in the operational “dashboard” of the editing area of the site. If we move to WordPress, those stats will start all over again from zero.  

Losing the stats and beginning again is purely psychological for us. It would have no bearing on the site itself or its readership, only in the pleasure we’ve had in watching our readership grow to over 354,000 readers. 

Each day, we watch the stats, hoping to learn which topics and photos appeal most to our readers. If we move to WordPress the stats will begin anew and we’ll continue to be able to observe the daily activity as we’ve done in the past. All archives (previous posts) and comments will remain intact.

In the realm of things, our readership is minuscule compared to the millions of hits many other sites receive in a year. Even a single YouTube video can receive millions of hits in a matter of minutes. Then again, there are millions of blogs that only receive a few hundred hits per year.

An old shed on the property further up the hill.

When we started and as we continue today, we never expected to make money from our site. To date, we’ve never made enough to cover even our blog design and maintenance expenses. 

Some may assume, we’ve earned enough revenue from our advertisers to pay for our travels. Not the case. We don’t ever expect that to occur, nor do we experience any frustration over not earning enough to offset our travel expenses. This was started as a “labor of love” and continues in that context yet today.

Sure, it would be great to earn enough from our advertisers to cover the costs of the blog itself. The only way this is possible is to substantially increase our readership and for our readers to use the links provided on our site. Doing so simply takes the reader to the main site of the advertiser. Prices and features are the same. The difference is, we may receive a tiny commission if a reader makes a purchase.

We can use your help in increasing our readership by forwarding the link to our site, www.worldwidewaftage.com to your email contacts to those who enjoy travel and of course, “armchair” readers which comprise a huge majority of our readers. 

The view from higher up the hill from our house.

Posting our link on your Facebook page is another great way to increase our readership. Many “stay-at-home” seniors and others, unable to get out, read our daily posts. As a continuing story, many get a kick out of reading the latest, as we do in reading other blogs.

Instead, we’ve used this valuable platform to reach out to friends, family, and all the wonderful people who’ve visited us online to share our story of two senior citizens traveling the world, without a home, without a car, without storage somewhere, and with only three pieces of luggage and a few carry on bags.

The feedback we continue to receive from our readers on a daily basis via email and comments on the site has nourished our souls and spurred us on when at times, we’ve experienced angst and frustration, especially on travel days.

We’ve gleaned a substantial amount of comfort after any experience, knowing we’ll be able to share the story the next day with people who care, people who take their precious time to sit down with a cup of coffee or tea to read our endless ramblings and to see our photos. We are very grateful for each and every visitor that stops by our site.

View of the color changes in the sea from atop a hill in our area.

Our web address, as mentioned above, will always be available at www.worldwidewaftage.com regardless of which blog editing software we use, Blogger or WordPress. Should we decide to switch, it won’t be until after the first of the year and everything will remain the same for our readers

In case you’ve may have wondered, each day after we’ve uploaded a new post, if you enter www.worldwidewaftage.com you will be taken to the newest post we’ve done today. Yesterday’s post will have a different address along with our address, which will include words from the heading to differentiate it from the over 1200 posts we have done to date.

You can always reference past posts from the link of “previous posts” as we mentioned a few days ago by clicking on the little black arrow to get to an older post. Also, it’s easy to search for a particular post using the “search” box on the page.

A natural spring is located on Sewak’s property providing water for all of the neighbors in Korovesi. He shares the unfiltered water at no cost to the neighbors other than the expense to bring it to their properties and store it in tanks. We began drinking the pure water the day we arrived with no ill effects.  This isn’t always possible in many countries.

In the past few days, our web designer Brooke has added a feature for translation and updated the look of our advertisers.  For now, we’re staying put since making such a change would require time spent on our part. 

With only 17 days remaining until we depart Savusavu, Vanua Levu to head to the bigger island of Pacific Harbour, Viti Levu, we’ll keep our time free to prepare for the upcoming move.

Have a meaningful day filled with thoughts that bring you peace and comfort!

Photo from one year ago today, November 19, 2014:

Tom got a kick out of this old Ford “woody” that was on display at the Maui Tropical Plantation. For more photos from the tour of this facility, please click here.

Writing comments…Please do…

To the right, is Hesborn’s quarters where he lives until Saturdays at noon, returning early on Monday mornings.He boards the local matatu, a rickety old van bus service in order to visit his family in Mombasa. The 2-hour drive and ferry ride to Mombasa is Kenya Shillings $400, US $4.58 round trip, often breaks down en route. Although Hesborn is gone, we continue to have security on-site around the clock, as is always the case, 7 days a week.  

When we began writing this blog in March 2012, our intent was to keep a diary of our travel experiences to share with our family members and friends.  At any time they could type in our web address: www.worldwidewaftage.com to see what we’re doing today.  Today’s post is #411. We’ve been gone for almost a year!

The locked and guarded gate to ours and Jeri and Hans’ house.

After a few weeks of posting about the process of a retired couple planning to travel the world for years to come and the endless preparations, we discovered much to our surprise, that readers were reading our posts from all over the world, now at almost 100,000 and growing rapidly.

As readership continued to grow worldwide, we added advertisers to offset the continuing costs of maintaining a website and registered Worldwide Waftage as a business, enabling us a few benefits from time to time.  Now, we’ve found we’re able to receive small discounts on occasion as “travel writers.” 

As you can see, we often write reviews for places we’ve stayed, visited, and restaurants.

It makes sense with the tremendous amount of vegetation around us, that mosquitoes are impossible. With intermittent rains, the mosquito population continually thrives.

Only a handful of readers has signed up to receive the automatic email as shown on the right side of the page. These are a few folks who’d prefer to get the most recent post in an email, rather than go to their bookmark each day. Many prefer not to receive an additional email which is entirely up to you. 

Since the most recent post doesn’t usually arrive by email until the day after posting, many prefer not to sign up to receive it. Creating a bookmark is easy, allowing the reader to look for it within a minute of my posting it. Tom and I have tested this and it’s almost instantaneous. Either way you prefer is fine with us.

These pods are fascinating.  They look like pea pods but no one seems to know if they’re edible.  To be safe, we won’t use them in a stir fry.

Never, at any time will we take away the personal nature of our postings. After all, it’s very personal to us, often sharing the most minute details of our daily lives, our thoughts, our difficulties, and our dreams for the future. 

Yesterday, our post held a special meaning for us. Two of our regular readers, both of whom have posted comments at the end of posts in the past, both posted comments yesterday. 

Each of their observations meant so much to us. If you’ll go back to the post from yesterday, September 27th, you can read their much-appreciated comments and our response at the end of the post: Click here please and scroll to the end of that post.

These were often seen in pots in the US.  Here they are almost the size of a tree.

We encourage you to comment.  If you agree or disagree with us, if you have suggestions for us, if you have warnings for us, or if you simply want to say “hi,” share a recipe, share a travel experience or for that matter, share any experience, we’d love to hear from you.

We publish and respond to every comment we receive except those of a pornographic nature, those that may offend others for any reason, or those that are promoting unrelated websites that serve no use to our readers.  This will never be a place where we’ll “hound” our readers to buy something. 

Away from our family and friends, which may prove to be for extended periods, we have few interactions each day except with one another, while living in many remote areas.  Our world is not only that which surrounds us each day, but is also, every one of YOU.

If you don’t travel or can’t think of anything to say, tell us about a new TV show or movie we should download, or the weather where you live, or if nothing else, tell us your mindless drivel as we tell you ours almost each and every day.

We’ll be back tomorrow with photos of our outing tonight.  See you soon!

Blog clarification…

Since arriving in Scottsdale, its been a flurry of daily activities getting our future technological needs under way.  Luckily, Tom has had a little time to relax and play with his new computer.  After all, he’s the one that just retired after 42 years, only eight days ago. 

Being the techie (the nerd) in the family, I’ve taken it upon myself to work diligently to get as much done as possible with time to leave the US running out by the minute.

Brains mushy, I realized after several readers kindly contacted me today, that I failed to clarify “signing up” for notification emails, if you’d like, to be informed of all new post as they are uploaded. 

Please, rest assured:  IT IS NOT REQUIRED THAT YOU SIGN UP TO CONTINUE TO READ THIS BLOG.  Simply view the blog as you have in the past by clicking on your bookmark or entering this web address:  www.worldwidewaftage.com

If you kindly choose to sign up for the ease of finding it, you’ll receive an email each time I upload a post.  You can read it, delete it or forward it to someone you know who may be interested in our content.

There are two ways to sign up (remember, your email will not be used for other purposes):

1.  Click on the link under mine and Tom’s photo, under “FOLLOWERS” on the right side on the page that says, “JOIN THIS SITE with Google Friend Connect.”  Entering your info here takes two minutes to set up.

Or…

2.  Further down on the page is the quickest method,  Scroll down with an eye on the right side of the page to “FOLLOW BY EMAIL” which is located after the “SEARCH” button, (located below the archives from March 2012).  Place your email directly into this spot, complete the little squiggly thing of letters (used to avoid spammers) and you’re done!

Readers have asked, “Why bother when we can just read it as usual?”

Answer:  Its helps our blog become optimized, moving further up in Google and other search engine and…helps us build relationships with advertisers offering specials and promotions to our readers who may be interested in travel and products we use at reduced costs, as we have been so fortunate to do.

The more “signed up” followers we have, as opposed to readers in the background (which we have in the 1000’s), the more opportunities we will all be able to enjoy.

Feel free to email me (JessicaBLyman@gmail.com) with any comments or questions now or at any time or, if you prefer post a comment for the public to see at the bottom of each post.  We love hearing your suggestions and opinions.

Thanks to all of you who brought this to my attention today as I sat in the middle of a pile of computers, cables and devices, up to my you-know-what in technology, some of which is way over my head!

Our new look…request to our readers…

Hello, Readers,

We hope everyone finds our new look easier to read and follow.  As I mentioned yesterday, we still have some work to do to get it where we want it to be, to ensure it’s easier for our followers all over the world.

To complete our optimization in Google and other search engines, the more “followers” we have the easier it will be to find us when we leave the US in 57 days. 

In addition, we’d like some of the companies who’s products we’ve mentioned to be easily available to you, if and only if, you want more information.  We will continue to share bargains, coupons, budgeting and financial tips with you as we encounter them.  Some of these will be time sensitive.

In order to accomplish this, we need to show the scope of our already 1000’s of readers on the right side of the page via “JOIN THIS SITE” by our readers entering their email addresses.  It won’t take more than two minutes to complete.

What does this mean to you? This prevents you from having to check each day to see if there is a new post.  Instead you will receive an email in your INBOX with the day’s post (s). 

Since we’ll be writing more frequently, perhaps twice in one day, everyday or… in some cases, less when we are unable to get online in remote areas, this prevents our readers from having to look for new posts.

Our readers email will not be used for any other purpose other than to notify you of posts on this blog.

We are so pleased and surprised that we have readers from all over the world.  Here’s an example of our readers over the past week directly from our stats section in Blogger:

United States
668
Russia
42
France
15
Poland
6
Canada
5
United Kingdom
5
Germany
4
Slovakia
4
Finland
3
China
2

We look forward to growing our site, providing what we hope will prove to be interesting and useful information to both seniors like ourselves and of course, the younger generation. 

Please take a moment to enter your email in “JOIN THIS SITE” on the right side of the page to ensure we are always able to share our journey with you.

Thanks so much,
Jess & Tom