Saturday, September 26, 2015

Bali day 4: church and the beach

Sunday morning we headed to church. We actually chose our hotel at least partly based on its proximity to church so we were able to walk there. The branch in Bali is tiny. They meet in a meeting room at a hotel. And most of the people at church that day were visitors. The passed out headphones at the beginning so we could have translation from Indonesian, which was mostly only when the branch president was speaking. Still, it was my first time needing headphone translation at a church meeting. It was an interesting experience. 

Unfortunately the room they meet in is quite small and echo-y and they don't use a microphone. Declan's stellar behavior of the entire trip only continued so we tag teamed it in the lobby with him. I spent much longer out there since if he was with Brennan he wouldn't stop crying and yelling for me, which we could all hear. Yeah, it was awesome. After a pretty brief sacrament meeting which consisted mostly of visitors sharing their testimonies (which they were asked to do right before the meeting began) they had quite a long break where people just visited. And lots of pictures were taken. 
This picture includes almost everyone who was there. The second man from the left was the branch president. 
They two ladies took all the kids into the lobby area while the rest of the adults mingled and kept them entertained/tried to teach them for the rest of the time. It involved lots of suckers, seaweed crackers (barf) and other food bribery. Two of the girls were locals and the other girl must be in an expat family. Clearly she wasn't a local but she was obviously a regular.
Declan thought he was the coolest thing with that sucker, hanging out with the big kids. I swear they gave him at least 5 suckers in an hour.
They were the nicest ladies. I'm sure their job seems quite thankless and fruitless most of the time, trying to teach whatever random visiting kids show up each week. But they made the kids feel so loved. I can't even imagine how difficult it must be for all the members there, to have such a small group and to live in a place that is something like 90% Hindu. I think I would find it very difficult to come to church week after week. They are strong, strong people.
Walking back from church. It won't be long before these types of commutes seem like a distant memory.
We got changed at the hotel and headed off to the beach. This is a picture of some of the morning's offerings that we passed. These were everywhere, everyday. It seems like a lot of work must go into preparing them. It's kind of sad to see them all smashed up just a few hours into the day.

Declan fell asleep approximately 2 seconds into our walk and then stayed asleep when we got him out the carrier. So I hung out high on the beach in the shade with him, while Tatum and Brennan played. I sure wished I had a good book with me at this point. He slept for quite awhile.

Tatum could play at the beach forever. She never wanted to leave.

Unfortunately, Declan has a bit of a different feeling about the beach.
The waves are quite intense in Kuta, I'll give him that. But come on kid, after you watch them come in a few times and see a pattern can't you just calm down? They aren't coming anywhere near you! It was frustrating to say the least. Lots of crying, lots of screaming. Eventually we got him to play in the sand a little bit. And then later he even let us take him out and jump in the waves a little bit. I think he even liked it!

We stopped by McDonald's for some grub for the kids, which they of course thought was the most amazing thing. Except the fact that the prize in the Happy Meals was a book and it was in Indonesian. Tatum wouldn't stop asking us what it said!

We all got some ice cream after that and headed back to the beach to watch the sunset. I think this was actually one of my favorite moments of the trip. Certainly not the most exciting, but one I hope I will work hard to remember forever. The kids were both happy (ice cream definitely helped with that) and we all just sat together on a towel enjoying a treat and the beauty of the earth God made for us. It was just a rare peaceful moment where I just felt incredibly happy and blessed.

And we even succeed at a family selfie. ;)

Brennan was frustrated that the pictures weren't doing justice to what he was seeing in real life. He is definitely right, so you'll just have to use your imagination.

Don't be fooled, the peace didn't last for long. But dang it was good while it lasted.
We did a little souvenir shopping on our walk back to the hotel and then showered the kids and put them to bed. First thing in the morning we were off to the airport. Tatum loved having her own suitcase to pull and looked way too grown up and experienced at travelling in the process.

The kids were crazy at the airport and we totally let them roll around on the nasty airport floor.

The flight home was a nightmare. Somehow 2.5 hours in that airplane felt longer than any of the 12 hour flights we have done this year. It started off well with Declan sleeping and Tatum working in a work book. Then the beast woke up and moaned and groaned and whined and screamed about everything under the sun until we finally put Frozen on for him. Then they proceeded to fight nonstop about who got to hold the phone with the movie playing on it. There is also no room on these budget airlines and the two people in front of us immediately reclined their seats which makes it nearly impossible to even have Declan on your lap. So at one point (he wasn't even being naughty, just moving around) Declan pushed against the lady's chair with his foot and she flipped out. Then it was time to land and so they had to shut off the phone and Tatum lost it. I threatened everything to get her to be quiet but nothing worked. As it was she lost the privilege to watch any shows all week long (what was I thinking?? haha) and she also got her new dress (her souvenir) taken away and has had to work at earning it back all week. The worst part of the whole ordeal was feeling like everyone around us hated us. You know when you can tell no one is sympathetic, just annoyed? Yeah, it was awful. 

Lots of people have asked me if Bali was as good as Thailand. The answer is definitely no but I think it has to do with much more than the place. For some reason this trip seemed to make us all very tired and very grumpy. Declan was mostly a terror from the very start. And the beaches in Thailand were definitely better in general, and certainly better for kids. But still, despite my poorly behaved children we really did have a great time! Bali is so much different from Thailand and I'm so glad we went and learned a little bit about the culture there. 

1 comment:

  1. Man, how do I get so behind on your blog?! Every time I read your blog I am just in awe how you are living over there and get to see such amazing things! What an experience! I'm glad you got to go to Bali...sorry Declan was so sad. It still looks like you had a great time though! -Hayley