Gili Gede is a paradise like no other.  To visit this sanctuary of peace and harmony is to totally escape the hustle and bustle of life we know today… No phones, no internet, no ATM’s or vendors, no power, except on generator for about 4 hours a day – fresh water even has to be brought over by boat from a neighboring, more developed island.

I have to give a special shout out to Thelma, one of the owners of Via Vacare.  I arrived there to the island with my huge backpack full of winter clothes coming from the cold north India..  No bathing suit and not one pair of shorts!  Grrrr  I had tried to do some shopping on the way to the airport on my way out of Sri Lanka… I spoke with the taxi driver about taking me to a shopping mall so I could get some summer wear.  I had high hopes that I would be able to find at least a bikini and one pair of shorts… The nice driver stopped twice for me at two different shopping establishments and my only options were sari’s (indian wrap around dress) and these really strange looking bathing suits… What’s a girl gotta do to get some western clothes in these parts?  Grrrrr  Epic shopping fail..  Thelma was very helpful and let me borrow a few pair of her sisters shorts… Thank you thank you Thelma 🙂

Oh, I’ll tell you one interesting story that Thelma shared with us… We were talking about cultural differences one evening at dinner and she was telling us about how romantic courtship works there in the village.  She told us that one morning she came to work and one of the girls’ who works in the kitchen hadn’t show up for work.  The next day, the girls’ father showed up and explained that the young girl wouldn’t be returning to work and that she had been stolen by a local man… That’s right people – stolen.  Sayyy whaaaatttt?  

Thelma went on to explain that this was customary on the island.  A young boy would choose a woman and come and steal her (from work, or home, or wherever).  He would then take her back to his house to stay for one week and if she stayed the entire week, they would then marry.   WTF????   Wow, us American girls just don’t understand that… We have choices… Female power!!!  No man can steal me!  

If the girl didn’t want to marry the boy, her family would have to buy her back from the boy and his family.  Are you freakin’ kidding me?  If the girls’ family couldn’t afford to buy her back, she would marry the boy anyway and hope for the best, I suppose.  Thelma continued though, that typically, the young girls were happy to be “stolen” because that meant that they would be cared and provided for and they now had a life of security.  Huh, I guess it’s all in how you perceive something…  And not knowing any different, I suppose.  Crazy…

Anyhow, just thought that little local village info might interest you…  Hard for any westerner to comprehend.

I believe I will let the pictures speak for themselves 🙂  There’s a bit of local life in here, out of this world scenery and a few of me…  Oh, good news, I figured out how to post the pictures in a larger format for your viewing pleasure… LOL (Pictures centered for you Jolyon – oh happy day :))

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Hello beautiful!!!!

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The goats came and visited to munch on grass – this was right outside my bungalow one morning…

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We took a boat ride over to a neighboring island one day for snorkeling… AMAZING!!  Here I am, just catching some shade…

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A few of us went to the market by boat one day with Thelma… These are the groceries purchased to feed all the resort guests and staff… and water, of course…

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Via Vacare offered yoga classes each morning…

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Here are 3 of the girls that work at the resort…  Two of them come over from the local village every day to prepare our meals (the best food I think I’ve ever eaten – ever!) One of them lives on the property with her husband who also works there..

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Here’s my little private bungalow… 1 of 4 on property.  I (and the other guests) slept with our doors open every night as we had no power for fans to circulate air…  Don’t worry mom, I slept with my pepper spray 🙂  Despite the lack of power, bucket showers and limited air movement, it was quite comfortable…  It was so quiet, I could hear the bees buzzing, crickets chirping, frogs croaking and the geckos bellowing.  Have no fear, I had my trusty mosquito net around my bed to protect me 🙂

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I saw lots of fisherman like this out there catchin’ dinner…

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Awe, how cute!!!!

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Wake me up, I must be dreamin’…

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Glad I didn’t need the local ambulance… Eeekkk!!!

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We visited a local school one day, and this lil’ guy stole the show…

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Ok, you fishermen from the states, you’ll really appreciate this… The locals here make their own fishing nets… That’s right people, this guy was hand tying knots from this fine thread to create his own fishing net… Pretty incredible…

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This was the first American flag I’d seen since I left the states… Kinda got me choked up when I realized it had been so long since I’d seen one…  Strange to see it flying in this remote village run by locals.

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Thelma was leaving Gili Gede to return to Holland for a while, so we took the ferry back together to Bali from Lombok.

Stay tuned for more cool experiences, adventures and pictures from “As the World Turns in Indonesia”

Much love to all my people out there…  Thanks for reading and hanging out with me and my blog 🙂 xxooo

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