Well we've been on Gili Trawangan now for almost two weeks and we've decided it's just about time to move on. Well...maybe after a couple more days? :)
To where, though, we haven't yet quite figured out.
Life here has been quiet but full. A slow blend of beach and pool and bike riding, snorkelling, cafes and new friends. Our Indonesian is slowing growing. We can say hello, goodbye, good morning/afternoon/goodnight, nice to meet you, see you again soon. You get lazy when everyone speaks English.
Not many tourists seem to stay in the Gilis for more than a few days, so walking down the main road, we hear "Oh Abbey! You're still here!" from workers in restaurants we've eaten in. Abbey's new friend Laly and her parents (from France) have been traveling for 10 months and keep moving, on average, every two days. They thrive on seeing as much as possible, and after four days here, they felt they'd pretty much done the island. But for us, sightseeing was never our goal (which is why we have no idea where we're going next!) Of course, we may miss out on a few things, but moving every few days would drive us all completely batty. We are slower travelers. We like to absorb a place. Thinking about all this was very reaffirming for me. Thank goodness it seems to work this way for all three of us.
Despite our different paces though, we mused on the similar joys and frustrations around doing a long trip with a child. Virginie and I discovered we both find comfort in traveling with our children; like taking our homes with us. In fact she said that they had specifically waited to have a child before embarking on the trip. Something you don't always hear :)
Inevitably, they left before us... Abbey was very sad. Perhaps we'll meet up with them in Ubud before we fly to Kuala Lumpur.
We have also become quite fond of the hotel staff here at Lumbung, as they are all very sweet and gentle. As matter of fact, we can probably say this for most Indonesian people we have met. However, we will probably NOT miss the sometimes very off-tune call-to-prayers by novice singers (I'm sure what they are saying is very beautiful, but imagine a tone-deaf 8 yr old messing with a microphone in the shower).... or the insanely loud cats meowing in the middle of the night. Nor will we miss the bizarre whirring of the flocks of pet pigeons who have been collared with wooden whistles (Mike likens the sound to old B-movie flying saucers). On particularly hot, slow days, after time spent reading or writing in the cool of our air conditioned bungalow, we step out into a buzz of everyday local life; working, building, growing, or just passing time around us. This usually prompts me to find an excuse to buy a small thing in a shop or walk around the village. If Abbey comes with me, someone will ask Abbey's name and age, and it's a chance to stop and chat. In that vein, it occurs to me that I haven't really posted any pictures of locals or local scenes. That's because I have yet to regain my nerve to take pictures of strangers. It's now on the list.
Well we're off again to the 'movie booths' (basically TVs in big boxes on stilts). It's our third time and it's kinda funny because it's a bit of a messy experience. First of all, we actually *have* (with us, on the ipod) half of the kid movies they have. And it's hit-and-miss if the discs or the tvs actually work. Not to mention that the power goes out five times while you are watching, AND starts at the beginning again when it comes back on. AND the food is lousy! Ha!Ha! But Abbey loves it. It's a special night, and she wears her special bracelet. And she's been looking forward to it all day. :)