This is the other Lombok sunset photo I managed to take.
Oh yeah…that island one the horizon? Bali.
We took a tour of the west of Lombok and our driver took us to Ampenan. Ampenan is a town that is now part of the greater Mataram area (Mataram is the capital city of Lombok). Ampenan is also a town full of fishermen. These are their boats. Well…this is the front row of boats. There are two, or three, rows of boats behind this row.
Every night, all of the fishermen push these boats out into the water and fish, and in the morning they come back in and take their fish to market. When I think about the hundreds of boats on the beach, I cannot imagine it empty, yet every night it is.
These are my children. I would not be the man I am today without them. They have immeasurably changed my world.
They are my truest companions.
He was sitting on the edge of the bridge, watching my son and me walk along the edge of the road. I did not notice him until a loud motorcycle came by and drew my attention in his direction. I waved and smiled. He waved and smiled back. I raised my camera and he gave me this look.
I do not know if this look means it was okay to take the photo or not.
I took a walk down to Pura Batu Bolong, a Hindu temple about a fifteen minute walk from my hotel in Lombok. When I got there through the beach entrance (which I found out later made me totally rude and disrespectful to the temple), I was greeted very kindly by everyone. I approached this man to ask him for permission – “Boleh saya foto kamu?” – and he graciously says, “yes.” Then…he poses like this.
He’s very sweet, and he is a very nice guy. What I was hoping for was a candid photo, but he wanted to pose. I don’t like posed photos. There is little that is natural about being fake…actually, nothing natural, unless one wants to get into a whole “people are always fake” debate, which I am not.
I took the photo, thanked him, and then waited for him to go do something natural. Every time I raised my camera, he went in to pose mode. I just smiled and moved on.
What was awesome was that there were three of this guy’s friends who were mimicking him, in each pose he threw at me. A little extra smile between all of us.
My son had the chance to help this potter make a clay turtle. He has been taking Bahasa Indonesia lessons at school, but still can’t speak the language very well. The potter spoke no English, or at least did not let on that she knew.
The language that they spoke to one another was one of gestures, smiles, and touching. She showed Ben how to mold the clay, how to turn the wheel, and she would take his hand and move it where it needed to be. She would smile and let him try. He would smile back and try.
The most poignant lesson I have learned while living internationally has been that communication does not have to be spoken. Some of the best relationships I have here in Indonesia are the ones where we both struggle to speak, and have to depend on the kindness of the other person to get us through the situation.
I pray that I do not forget this lesson.
She’s weaving a scarf. It will take her about four weeks to weave that scarf. If you visit Lombok, visit the Sukarara village, wherein all of the women weave. They learn to weave at 10 years old, and cannot marry until they can weave all manner of weavings by hand.
Don’t worry, the men have to build a house by hand before they can marry. It sort of evens out.
A tip for all of you newly married (and maybe old-married) people out there: find out what your significant other’s favorite flower is and bring it home every once in a while. Just because.
I spent last week in Lombok with my family. There were a few moments of total relaxation and calm, and all of them were directly associated with being in the ocean. Well, the Lombok Strait in the Bali Sea, which is an extension of the Indian Ocean. I love the feeling of standing in wet sand while the waves attempt to bury me.
This is the gate to Pura Meru, a nearly 300 year old Hindu temple in the city of Mataram, Lombok.
I’m not Hindu, but I am a big fan of their architecture.
Those are my kids. We were walking back from a short visit to Pura Batu Bolong, a Hindu temple near our hotel in Lombok. They got ahead of my wife and me. They are incredibly great kids. When I became a parent, I had no idea how much happiness my children would bring me. The happy is immeasurable.
Summer holidays have begun and I’ve had time to get my camera out and take some photos again.
This was taken a couple of nights ago while on holiday in Lombok. We stayed in Batu Bolong in Lombok Barat (West Lombok, just south of Senggigi).