This man was really adamant that I take his photo. He was also adamant that I take a photo of him smoking. I think it turned out alright.
Fish all night. Fix the boat, nets, and sleep during the day. Interesting life.
I love bikes like this. Classic, although it is probably from the 1980′s. The saddlebags really round it out.
Before seeing this beauty, I had no idea that Kawasaki made a bike called a “Binter.” I’m a Honda guy, but this bike looks great. I kind of wanted to take it for a ride.
What do you think?
This Hindu temple was a ten minute walk down the beach from our hotel. A beautiful reminder of the religious heritage of Lombok.
This is the other Lombok sunset photo I managed to take.
Oh yeah…that island one the horizon? Bali.
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.
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.
It hasn’t been too long since my self-declared hiatus, but I really want to post a photo.
Maybe I’ll post once a week, as a compromise. A little creativity per week is necessary, right? To keep a clear head…
This is a farm business that the Salvation Army runs near Palu, Sulawesi. It is shared by 75 farmers, who represent 75 families, and they plant, harvest, process, and benefit from the sale of the rice, corn, chocolate, and coffee that is grown on this farm. Pretty cool, and helps those who need help.
This is Dini. She and I met yesterday at the Jonooge Primary School near Palu, Sulawesi, Indonesia. I spoke to her in my incredibly bad Bahasa Indonesia, and she stared at me. I spoke to her in my language, English, and she stared at me. I smiled and she stared at me. I walked away…and she followed me. We became friends yesterday. I don’t know what she thought I was, but she, to me, was innocence and beauty and everything worth protecting in the world.
This is Dini. My little friend.
There they are. Day 1 of the service trip to Palu, Sulawesi, Indonesia, after we landed in the Palu airport. I am supervising, along with my Head of School and his wife, and the amazing Miss Erina, a group of twelve students from my school while they extend their hand to the people of Palu.
Our school has a week wherein all the students are supposed to be working in some sort of service. My students are in Palu, working in a Primary school, two childrens’ homes (not orphanages, because not all of the children are orphans – some live in the home because their parents can’t afford to keep them, but they still have parents), an “agro bisnis”, and a school of 2000 students. All of these places are run by the Salvation Army here in Palu.
I need to clarify one major point here: it is a service week, and my students are working here, but the week is really about exposing the students to a part of their world that is unfamiliar to them. In a very real sense, my students are aware that the world does not live as they do – they are well off, they attend a private international school, they have drivers and helpers – but many of them have never experienced the world that is not like theirs. So…we are offering them an opportunity to make a connection, a personal connection, with that world. Today they met the primary school children and my students were overwhelmed by these children and their love and generosity and attention and beauty and energy. As we debriefed the day, my students couldn’t help but gush about how the day went.
Tomorrow is day three, and it looks like this trip might be life-changing, and life-affirming.
The building you see behind them, by the way, is not the Palu airport. That is the future Palu airport. The current one rivals landing next to an auction house in which everyone smokes and people jockey for your luggage as soon as you have it in your hand. Good times.
A Starbucks Mocha Frap with a blueberry muffin. That’s what I ate for breakfast this morning, in the Soekarno-Hatta International Airport. It was delicious.
One curious thing, though: whenever I order a tall frap, I am served a grande. I don’t know why, but in a country with many small people, they only serve really big drinks at Starbucks.
The lights at Starbucks, on a long exposure, while moving my camera from right to left at a downward thirty degree angle.
I don’t like Photoshop effects that make a photo look unreal, unless the effect that the “photographer” is going for is something other than real. I do use it for my photos – specifically curves and levels – to change the contrast, but I try to avoid the bulk of what Photoshop offers me.
I also avoid self-portraits, or, truth be told, any photographs of me. I’d rather be behind the camera than in front of it.
Those two bits of info make this photo unique. I shot this photo of myself, then processed it by layering me on top of the background, then Gaussian blurred the background layer and switched it to black and white. Then I played with the top layer, me, a little be lowering the saturation level. Plus, it’s a photo of me.
I got my hair cut today as well, so I figured today was a good day to “shoot myself”, as it were.
One of the many anomalies in Jakarta culture – a Catholic church in a Muslim country. This is what makes my environment so interesting.
I’ve already posted a photo of this temple, Tanah Lot, but I found this photo hiding amongst others and I really like the wider angle on this shot than the other that I’ve already posted.
What do you think?
Oh, and this is my 900th post…whoa…that’s a lot of photos.
This week has been crazy. Too many things happening at once. Don’t ask. I need to spend some time meditating. Thanks for your anticipated concern.
I celebrated my 39th birthday today. My birthday gave me cause to contemplate my current context. I spent thirty-eight and a half years in Canada. Now that I live in Jakarta, my understanding of the lottery I unwittingly won by being born in North America has become so much better developed.
Take this photo, for instance. It is a “river” nearby to where I live, and that’s a “motorcycle” on the second floor balcony of an apartment that is adjacent to this river. This photo bothers me, and reminds me that I’ve had a pretty lucky existence.
There are many things in the photo that should bother the viewer…I’m wondering what bothers you.
I’m loving the motorcycle. It gets me to roads and places I’ve not been to before. This is an alley I have been down, but I’ve never come down it from this direction. Good times.
…gas. There’s a crepe in that pan. Trust me. They were delicious.
There is a duck restaurant in Ubud that has some great food. The name of the restaurant is “The Dirty Duck” in English, but the food is delicious, despite the name. I had some great sauces with my duck – I was the only person at my table to order duck at a duck resto – and my wife had a trio of sates that came with a small pot full of coals to keep her dish hot. It was an amazing experience.
The flowers above are growing in and around the resto. Like many things in Bali, the resto is an inside-outside dining experience. Very cool.
When we visited Ubud, Bali, Indonesia, we had the chance to go into the Monkey Forest. It is a reserve set aside especially for the local monkeys. It was…uh…interesting. Just when I thought the monkeys were kind of fun, one of them would freak out and then the whole group would go nuts.
Also, if you buy a bunch of bananas, the monkeys see you as vulnerable and easy to harm. Most people buy them thinking of some romantic notion of feeding the monkeys like they’re in a National Geographic film, but it always turns out looking like an Abbott and Costello sketch. Monkeys sprinting at the unsuspecting victim, and then the victim turning and running while throwing bananas at the monkeys, hoping to keep them from attacking. As long as it’s not happening to you, it’s really funny.
This guy just wanted to hang out. His eyes are what drew me to photograph him.