More photos of the Pulaki Temple in Singaraja…Deciding on which photos to post…To do “good works?”

Tom said, “Oh, here we go again…me wearing another “dress!”  We’ve found that men all over the world wear “skirts” and “dresses” as everyday wear.

“Sighting on the Beach in Bali”

This little hut is located in front of a villa down the beach. A swim platform of some sort?

Often, when we visit a specific site, we may take 100 or more photos. Although I’m still, and most likely always will be an amateur photographer, I rarely take more than one photo of a specific scene unless I want “insurance” for an unusual sighting.

More experienced photographers may take dozens of shots of a similar scene to later spend time sorting, editing and choosing their favorites. I can’t take the time to do this every day or, all of my days would be spent managing photos. Few photographers, professional or amateur, post photos online daily for the world to see on their own websites.

This obvious fellow was gingerly picking over an orange.

Sure, millions, if not billions worldwide (approximate world population of 7.4 billion) post daily photos on social media. At this point, I’ve had little interest in spending more time each day posting dozens of photos on a variety of social media platforms. 

Another adorable mom and baby.

Although, almost daily, I post one or two photos on my Facebook page for friends to see, most certainly as an inducement for them to visit our site. We’d love for even more readers to stop by here each day. Feel free to “friend” me on Facebook by searching for me at Jessica Lyman, Sumbersari, Indonesia. There are many with a similar name. Each time we move, I update our location at some point on Facebook.

The Pulaki Temple is diverse and interesting.

We encourage and kindly ask our readers to help promote our site with their Facebook and other friends if they’d so kindly do so on occasion, as we continually strive to increase our readership throughout the world. 

The monkeys seemed to spend a lot of time in quiet reflection when they weren’t eating perhaps inspired by the spiritual surroundings.

Increasing our readership is not about the potential income which ultimately is minuscule in the realm of things, not even covering the costs of managing our site. It’s about the opportunity to share this somewhat peculiar lifestyle with people all over the world who may find a few minutes of enjoyment or merely satisfy their curiosity as to the ins and outs of our world travel experience.

Adventurists may choose to tackle this hill. Instead, we enjoyed the view and blue sky.

It’s not that we’re all that interesting, but for those who’ve never traveled, for those who’ve traveled a little or for those who’ve traveled a lot, they may find a morsel of information we share appealing in one manner or another.

A nun worked in this caged area intended to keep the monkeys out.
Yesterday, I received a beautiful email from a young Australian man (20’s or 30’s) we met in the Windjammer Café on our latest cruise from Sydney to Singapore. We’d started chatting and he expressed an interest in our way of eating. We’d given him and his partner our business cards hoping we’d touch base sometime in the future. Alas, I smiled when I saw his message in my inbox.
It made no sense to attempt this stairway beyond its first eight steps when they were uneven and precarious, especially wearing the long saris.

As I often do when people we’ve met or readers inquire about our way of eating, I sent him a list of books to read and online resources, suggesting he find a physician he can work with that has had education in new science surrounding nutrition (not all doctors know anything about nutrition and are still promoting high carb, low-fat diets when recent study after study proves otherwise).

Scary-looking statues to ward off bullies and evil spirits.

In his own way, he’ll do diligence and find what may work for him and his lifestyle. But, for us, having the opportunity to point a reader in the direction of all this emerging science in order to encourage them, along with their medical provider, to find a path suitable for their health and needs, gives us added purpose and considerable joy.

The main entrance to the temple.

Our travels aren’t about the seeming hedonistic personal enjoyment lounging in a cabana, living a life of leisure.  Any of our regular readers are aware that our lives stretch far beyond that.

The bell tower.

And, in this life, we’ve been gifted with the opportunity to “to do good works.” However, our humility prevents us from boasting about that which we may do for others along the way. Not everything is a “photo op.” The greatest donation of time and money are those done quietly and/or anonymously without fanfare, “tooting one’s horn” or looking for recognition or accolades.

The staff at the Pulaki Temple provide food for the monkey as an incentive to keep them on the grounds during the day for tourist viewing. Bags of feed were available for sale, but we didn’t want the monkeys climbing all over us, although a few grabbed onto our legs.

The exception to this is when we promote a small, locally owned business that requires online exposure to possibly build a better online presence from our well-intended endorsement.

Blooming plants highlighted the beauty of the Pulaki Temple.

As our friends and family members in the US roll into the Memorial Day weekend, we wish everyone a safe and meaningful long weekend. For the rest of the world, stay safe and be well.

Photo from one year ago today, May 28, 2015:

Part of the “sexiest man aboard the ship” competition was to do pushups. This passenger did the most number of pushups, 66,  and eventually won the competition with his excellent dancing skills. For more photos and details, please click here.

Power outage for over six hours yesterday…Thank goodness its back on…One day until safari…

Our soft sided bags for the tiny plane.  They said no shaped hard bags.

Yesterday, we were imagining what it would be like getting ready to leave for safari with no power after it went out at 9:45 am, not returning until 4:15 pm. We also wondered how we’d shower and get ready to go out to dinner last night if the power remained off. There would be no hot water.

Our laptop batteries were dead. Our smartphones were charging when the power went out and wouldn’t last through the night enabling us to read our books.

We couldn’t watch movies on the laptop. All the food in the freezer and refrigerator would go bad and we’d have no ice. Plus, the danger of home invasions greatly increases when there’s no power.

There’s always monkey families along this stretch of road.

Need I say that we discussed our options if the power didn’t come back on by 5:00 pm:

1.  Go out to dinner, staying out at late as possible.
2.  Return to the house which may possibly still in the dark.
3.  Go to bed, no reading, a habit that hard to break, one we’ve acquired without having a TV.
1.  Get a cab, stay in a hotel overnight with AC for a night, free WiFi, dinner, and breakfast the next day (All the resorts have generators), returning on Friday, hopefully with power or,
2.  Pack up all of our safari luggage, get a cab to stay overnight both Thursday and Friday nights, leaving for the airport at 7:00 am Saturday morning.
1.  Tough it out, stay in for dinner making something easy while its still light, tuna salad on a bed of lettuce with a side of coleslaw. Nuts for dessert.
2.  Play Gin by candlelight until bedtime

This one was more interested in picking at the grass than noticing us stop to take a photo.

What did we actually do?  We played Gin for 6 1/2 hours.  Tom slaughtered me!

At 4:15 pm the power returned. We made the tuna salad anyway. And, when the power came back on, we began charging all of our equipment, had dinner in the outdoor living room, watched a few shows we’d saved on the hard drive, headed to bed at 11:00 pm with no bugs in the mosquito netting. Once again, we were content.

Tomorrow morning, we’ll be heading out. You’ll hear from us by the end of the day on Saturday (depending on where you are in the world) when hopefully, we’ll have arrived in one piece and early enough to take a few photos to post, provided we have the promised good Internet connection in the Masai Mara. 

Last night while getting ready for bed in the bathroom, there was a huge lizard sitting atop the light fixture above the mirror. Tom tried to move him along with a too-small dustpan to no avail.  He took off to return a short while later but finally was gone this morning. It was the biggest lizard we’d seen in Kenya thus far. 

Talk about an “outdoor living room.”

We’ve packed everything except our drying laundry. It was on the clothesline overnight and it rained in buckets. Most likely, Hesborn washed it again this morning and again, hung it to dry. With today’s good breeze with slightly less humidity, we might get lucky. 

We printed our e-tickets for the tiny plane on our portable printer. We’re charging all of our equipment and bringing all required cables, chargers, and adapters. Everything on our list is included.

Again, we reminded ourselves that these roadside shops/homes don’t ever have electricity. 

Tonight, we’ll eat in having leftover tuna salad, fillet mignon, and coleslaw; easy, quick, and delicious. I’ll set the alarm on my phone leaving it under my pillow and by 7:00 am tomorrow morning, we’ll be on our way to the tiny airport down the road. 

If we don’t get to see the Great Migration since it moved on, we are totally accepting of this fact and won’t allow ourselves a moment of disappointment. Once we start taking photos, we’ll be on cloud 9.

They say the drive from the tiny airport in Masai Mara in itself is an adventure!

See you soon from “the bush.”   

Adaptation in Kenya…A required must…We’re learning…

Partial view of the yard from the second level.
Different view of the veranda than yesterday’s posting.  With a huge room upstairs without frniture and no living room on the main floor, we’ll have no choice but to spend most of our idle time outside both day and evening.   Finally, it was appropriate for me to wear my Africa pants last night, just spraying my arms and feet.  Gee…those pants work well!  Wish I’d known about BugsAway clothing while living in Minnesota. The bugs are bad.

If we thought for a moment that life in Africa would be comparable to life in other countries we’ve visited since leaving the US last January, we’d have been fooling ourselves. As we’d mentioned in a past post, we came here with no delusions. We’re working hard to adapt.

The sink in the galley style kitchen.  I should move Tom’s bottle of Courvoisier out of the window so the monkeys don’t knock it over when he comes to visit.

Our house in the resort community of Diani Beach, although vastly more convenient and comfortable than many other areas of Kenya, has limitations and peculiarities for which we must adapt or we’ll be miserable.

This stove and refrigerator are much smaller than they appear in the photo.  Here, we’ll grocery shop once a week with the reasonable price of cab fare.

In itself, there nothing wrong with the house or the grounds, which are maintained constantly and thoughtfully by various staff members on the premises 24 hours a day, provided us with considerable peace of mind.

The master bedroom.  The mosquito netting is very secure around the beds leaving little opportunity for any flying insects. Bugs that walk may find their way to the bed from below. Let’s hope not!  The bed was comfortable and we slept well last night.
The guest bedroom with two beds and two separate mosquito nets.

The gate entrance to the small collection of homes is guarded both during the day and at night. Plus from dusk to dawn, we have a guard, Jeremiah, who canvasses the grounds between our house and the owner’s house next door. Last night, our first night of sleeping, we heard the comforting sounds of quiet conversation among the guards, lulling me back to sleep.

Partial view from the upper level veranda.

After Hans, the owner, warned us about possible scorpions in the house, which he sees from time to time and may be deadly, we’ve become careful of watching where we walk wearing shoes in the house except when in bed.

This spiral staircase to the second level is very steep with the steps far apart. There’s no reason to go upstairs when there’s no furniture except on a second veranda. 

There’s a red button above the bed that goes directly to a manned security company that we’ve been instructed to use in case of any emergency:  intruder, health, animals. With guards on the premises, they’d have called for backup had there been intruders. But we’d also push the button.

The vanity area of the single bathroom in the house.

The bugs: Surprisingly so far we’ve seen no flies or bees. Yeah to that! The mosquitoes are rampant day and night.  Strange crawling things are everywhere, mostly spiders (some dangerous), many lizards of varying sizes, numerous centipedes, some small, some huge. Most aren’t dangerous and don’t bite. Many are dangerous, so we’ve heard.

Yesterday, when visiting next door without my camera, my hand brushed a giant insect appearing to be a wide Praying Mantis. It didn’t move when I touched it. I didn’t scream.

The interior of the shower.  It works better than the shower in Tuscany which had poor water flow.  We flip a switch in the entryway for hot water.  Fifteen minutes later the water is hot.  We’ve were instructed to turn off the switch as soon as we’re done showering.

The monkeys: There’s a local baboon that hangs around this property that is known to get into the kitchen via an access through the thatched roof, making itself at home munching on non-perishable foods sitting out. Hesborn, our houseman, suggested we keep the kitchen door closed at all times, since that’s the first place he’ll go. He said to expect to see him inside at some point during our stay. OK.

The coconut trees: We’ve been instructed not to stand or sit in the lawn chairs directly below the coconut trees due to a high risks of being hit by a falling coconut. Makes sense to us. We’ll find other spots to lounge to recover our now lost tans. (The horrible amount of bees on the patio in Tuscany kept us away from lounging in the chairs after trying for the first few weeks). Hesborn  will crack open the coconuts using the machete upon our request. Natural coconut is allowed on my strict diet.

The weather: Right now, it’s spring here, close to the equator. Summer begins on December 21st when we’ll be in South Africa (we arrive on December 1st depending on our soon-to-be booked flight). Its warm, mostly in the 80’s but is seldom above 90 this time of year. Without air conditioning and an overhead fan in the bedroom, the bed covered in only a sheet, we’re fine both during the day and at night, so far but it will get hotter as each day passes..

The floors: All the floors in the house are stone, including the bathroom and kitchen. With the sand blowing from the ocean at about 300 feet away and the residue from various trees and plants, the bottoms of our feet were black last night. Before going to bed, we washed them once again then scooting our feet on a towel toward the bed.  This morning, I asked Hesborn to wash the stone every few days. Going forward, we’ll be wearing shoes until crawling into bed.

The Internet: Having asked Hans long before booking our stay in the house as to the WiFi situation, he assured me that he’d provide Internet access at no charge. Little did he know (and we have no animosity about this) how much usage we actually incur on a daily basis. 

Plus, the MiFi from XCOM Global hadn’t worked since we arrived in Boveglio, due the proximity of the mountains surrounding the house.  With the help of tech support via email, we never were able to connect in Italy even after we arrived in Venice on September 1st.

Partial view of the ceiling in the second story.

Last night, Hans informed us that he’ll provide us with a SIM card to use to “by the kilobyte.” With our usage, this would end up at twice the cost of the use of our MiFi at $395 a month, a figure we’d incorporated into our budget. 

Unfortunately, the use of XCOM Global‘s MiFi prevents us from downloading videos and perhaps, Tom ability to watch the NFL’s weekly videos of the Minnesota Vikings game for which he recently paid $167 for the season. 

Today, after utilizing downloaded software XCOM Global had sent us in June, miraculously, I got it going, much to our surprise. During the night last night, I found myself waking from time to time worrying about how we’d have Internet access.

Now, we wait to hear back from XCOM Global as to our ability to Skype with video, continue to download TV shows along with Tom’s ability to watch the Vikings. With literally no TV on the premises, we’re dependent upon watching downloaded shows on our computer in the evenings. 

If the event that XCOM Global‘s responses to our inquiries affects our ability to download TV shows and movies, (including Tom’s Vikings games), we’ll have no alternative but to use Internet SIM cards for those purposes only. No doubt doing so will quickly burn GBs requiring us to  pay accordingly. We do accept the possibility.

The upstairs veranda is much smaller than the main floor but a lovely breezy spot where we’ll very little time due to the steep spiral staircase.

The water: The water is not potable, although Hans explains that he drinks it. After living here 20 years, most likely he’s developed an immunity to the various parasites in the water. With no reverse osmosis or purification system in place, we’ll use bottled water including when brushing our teeth and for drinking. This morning we made coffee using the huge jugs of purified water we’d purchased yesterday at the grocery store.

The trip to the grocery store will be told in tomorrow’s post. The grocery stores are very different from the US and even Italy. To our delight, we did find a few ingredients we’d been searching for the past seven months. 

There’s much more to follow, many more stories to tell and photos to share. Soon, we’ll book our safari and look forward to sharing the experience and photos with you.

How are we doing with all of these adaptations required of us thus far? For Tom, who normally takes a little while to adapt, says “So far, so good.” 

Window in the second level.

For me, I’m fine, not worrying, especially now that we’ve safely arrived, that the MiFi is working, enabling us to reach family and friends and to write and post photos for our readers. (No video, though. Besides, I wasn’t good at making videos anyway. I won’t miss that). 

The bugs that don’t bite don’t concern me a bit.  Those, that do bite? Screaming may occur.  I’d better learn my bugs so I’ll know when to scream.  The monkey, we’ll keep you informed if it comes inside the house.

With these two beds on the second floor is the only furniture upstairs other than on the veranda. With this space, the house has room for a total of six guests with a possible two more sleeping on the sofas on the 2 verandas.  This is the railing at the top of the spiral staircase. 

Remember the movie, “Out of Africa” and the living conditions?  Its not unlike that living here, simple;  water we can’t drink, bugs everywhere, creatures around us, sounds new to our ears, limited hot water, dirt and dust everywhere and on and on. 

Partial view of the yard from another second story window.

In the near future, as we learn more, we’ll share the joys we’ll discover in Kenya which we anticipate without a doubt, will be many. Please stop back tomorrow for more house photos.