Friday, April 23, 2010

Hey, Soul Sister

I can't help but feel happy when I hear this song because my son Camden loves it so much. I love to hear his 5 year old, prepubescent voice belting it out as he walks around the house. Whenever it comes on the radio, I have to turn it up and smile, even when he's not with me, because it reminds me of him. As a mom, whatever makes our kids happy, automatically seems to make us happy too. I think these are the kinds of things I will miss when he's 16 years old and too cool to belt out songs in this octave (I think that's partly why he likes the song so much- because he can match the singer's pitch). I wish I could bottle up these moments to keep them forever.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010


My parents have been living in Indonesia for about a year and half as my dad has been working with USAID to promote safe practices among local farmers in combatting the Avian Influenza. They were the perfects hosts and took us to see many of the beautiful sights Indonesia has to offer. (If you want to see any of the pictures bigger, just click on it)

After we adjusted to the 13 hour time difference from Idaho, we took a flight to the island of Bali. The hotel was an amazing resort that shared a private beach with many of the neighboring resorts. It was so quiet and peaceful. We thought of our fellow Idahoans and Utahns braving the spring snow while we enjoyed the balmy 80 degree weather. It was heaven.

One of my favorite parts of the trip was a visit to a large mosque in the center of Jakarta. The devotion of the muslim people to their faith is very inspiring and impressive. When the men all began chanting together, it was amazing. There was such a sweet and peaceful spirit there. They asked me and my mom to wear special robes as we walked around. The women sat on a balcony overlooking the service. I was impressed with how they open their doors to people of other faiths. They even share a parking lot with the Catholic cathedral across the street.

The Indonesians are the friendliest people I have ever met. They are so quick to smile and react kindly to everyone they meet. I think we Americans could learn a lot about civility and neighborly kindness from them. The lady with her daughter in the picture below, were outside the mosque begging for money. When I approached her and asked to take a picture, she broke into a big smile. Everyone seemed happy like this, despite their life circumstances. The lady carrying the rocks on her head walked back and forth many times, adding rocks to a large pile. Even she smiled as she walked!

This white, smaller mosque was outside my parents 22nd floor apartment. Every morning at 4:30am we heard the call to pray from a loud speaker from here.

One on our outings, I wanted to try the fish pedicure/manicure I had heard so much hype about. All the little fish just nibble at your feet for 20 minutes while you sit there and try to relax without cracking up. It was ticklish, weird, and actually a little creepy when you think about it. But hey, at least I can say I've done it.

I can't go without mentioning the awesome shopping! My mom was great and took me shopping almost every day for 3 or 4 hours at a time! One of their malls we visited was by far the fanciest mall I've ever been too with a Las Vegas-style water show, with all of it's stores far out of my reach, while some of shopping centers were for the poorest of people with everything in them from foot-long green beans(no exaggeration) to muslim burqas to chickens in cages. There is so much diversity in their merchandise that it makes Target and Macy's seem pretty wimpy.

It was hard saying good-bye to my parents. I didn't realize how much I had missed them. Mom and Dad, thank you so much for your hospitality and time! This was definitely a trip we will never forget.