Back in Bali

I’ve been back in Bali for a week, and I’ve been systematically doing one thing each day that needs to be done before I go back to Sumbawa early next month. I drove over with my friend from school, Stephen, and his son, Oliver, and his friend, Ade. It was a good trip – despite a lot of rain, we made it to Kuta in 13 hours which is an excellent time. There were no surprises on the trip except for the happy one of making the Lombok-Bali crossing in exactly four hours. As we got in around one in the morning, I stayed at my favorite hotel in Kuta until the next morning when my wife picked me up for the drive back to Singaraja.

merediths birthday

meredith's birthday

Since then, I have been taking care of things, spending time with my kids and wife, visiting family members, editing and posting some videos of the neighborhood, signing report cards, holding a birthday party for my youngest who turned 10, and catching up with friends on Facebook (blocked by the company in Sumbawa).

It is the rainy season, and we’ve had some rain most days since I arrived back. We installed a large fiberglass panel on the east side of the second floor to keep the rain from flooding the first floor as it has done for the past ten years. When we designed the house, we wanted it to be as open as possible – what one friend called “an idiosyncratic American version of a tropical house.” In terms of light and coolness, the design has been fine; I just didn’t consider wind and rain as factors. So when we have a really stormy day or night, the rain just hits the second floor and then descends down the stairs to the first floor. It’s been a continual problem which we just got around to fixing – partly because this is the first time in ten years that I’ve really lived here on more than a part-time basis.

So, what else have I done since I’ve been back? Mostly a lot of upgrading of the kids’ technology so that they can use it more efficiently for school. I bought them a new monitor as the old one was losing its focus; changed my oldest daughter’s internet provider so that it is cheaper and faster; upgraded their anti-virus programs; and showed them a few new educational sites. I bought my oldest daughter a new lemari so that she has room for her clothes; enrolled my youngest daughter in extra-classes after school; had all the kids go to the dentist to fill cavities; had my eyes examined and had to order two new pairs of glasses as my vision is getting worse; updated the school website; worked on some javascript for the websites; played around with my learning of css;  worked on my international education ebook; bought myself a table and two chairs for the balcony so that I can take advantage of my new MacBook and start writing outside. It’s wonderful to be able to sit on the balcony and write and get out of my bedroom/study.

For me, living in the tropics should mean being able to spend a lot of times outdoors, but as I spend five or six hours a day writing, it means that I’m inside most of the time; one of the great benefits of having the MacBook means being freed from cables for at least a few hours. So now I can sit on the balcony, see the Bali Sea directly and not through windows, hear all the neighbors’ conversations on the beach, and be cooler (physically, that is).

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~ by drbrucepk on December 21, 2008.

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