Sunday, October 5, 2008

Idul Fitri holiday and Nusa Lembongan

Hey everyone!
It's Sunday afternoon and I just got back from spending the weekend away in Nusa Lembongan, a small island off the southeast coast of Bali. This week was Idul Fitri, a nationally-recognized Muslim holiday that marks the end of Ramadan. People all over Indonesia had the week off to celebrate (Green School had Wednesday-Friday off). After recovering from a quick bout of stomach upset (dairy? Indonesian? Wheat? - the verdict's still out on what caused it) I drove down to Sanur on the moto- first time I've driven the bad boy by myself for such a long distance and I'm proud to admit- no stopping to ask for directions!
The ferry ride was a relatively quick 1 ½ hour ride, upon which I met a guy named Matt from Seattle...we compared job stories. Matt: third year law school student, interning at Jakarta insurance firm, hating his life at the moment. Me: well, you know. He seemed envious of my chosen career path and we bantered back and, quality of life, job markets, bamboo...we decided that we both had it pretty good getting to spend the holiday in a place so beautiful as Bali.
Anyways arrived at NL to meet up with some of my friends and colleagues from school whom had arrived the day before. Discovered quite quickly that the island is beautiful! Actually, it reminds me a lot of the Gili Islands off the coast of Lombok except that NL is much bigger. The island's comprised of two villages with a total population of roughly 7,000. Spent the couple days exploring- walked up and down the long stretches of beach, rented a bike and biked around the whole island, discovered a beautiful “golden-gate bridge” connecting to another smaller island, took a boat out to snorkel, followed my favorite fish around under water, and perhaps best of all...took a canoe through the mangroves! Man, these mangroves were absolutely incredible. We hired a guy to take us through this canal that was situated directly amongst the mangroves- the whole experience was really pretty magical. We felt like we were in some sort of fairy-tale land and imagined gnomes hopping out from behind a tree, the water beginning to burble and the roots beginning to move and talk. I'm so glad I went because I thought it was just another tourist scam but, thankfully, I stood corrected!
Needless to say, the weekend was fantastic. After returning today to Sanur, Leah and I stopped for some kelapa muda (young coconut) on the beach. This was some of the best kelapa muda I've ever had, served straight out of the coconut with a spoon and straw, you drink all the coconut water out and then scoop the inside “jelly” out with a spoon. Delicious!
Enjoy the pics from the trip- most are of NL, while others are of my yurt (aka- my home!) at Green School.

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