Asking Questions

IMG_7332While I was living in Jakarta, Indonesia,  I left for a workshop in Sumatra, and a bomb exploded in Jakarata.
When I came back to Jakarta from Sumatra, a volcano erupted in Sumatra.
I felt guilty in both experiences, wondering why I was spared, and other living beings were injured or killed.
While in Florida,  I lived through a hurricane, and again I questioned why I was spared from harm or death.

I have asked myself, WHY? Why am I here???

I realized, a part of my “I” is being chipped away each and every time. These situations are helping me to pull the  focus away from me, and my attachments, and more on the needs of others.

If we are never given the opportunity to ask questions, it will be impossible to expand our awareness.

Thank You Indonesia

 

Its a bitter sweet goodbye for now. Whether we meet again in this life time or the next. Thank you my friends.  I am heading back to my homeland in a week.  I am excited to reconnect with my family and friends back home. Indonesia you have been my home away from home. You fed me spiritually, mentally, emotionally and physically, you cheered me on, you kept me safe, you rescued me, supported me, enlightened me, guided me and listened to me. We laughed and played, we expressed love and appreciation for our differences, we shared our dreams and desires for our future and most of all we shared respect for each other. I want to pay tribute to this archipelago of love. You opened my heart and opened your arms and the words THANK YOU can never truly express the gratitude I have for the gifts I am taking home.

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It was an honor and a privilege to work along side this amazing young man.  Thank you Tobin

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My confidant, friend, travel guide, Yin yoga teacher, and photographer. Thank you Audrey.

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Nurlifa and Siti my security guards.  Grace and the Gang From PetLove Clinic
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My neighbor Emilia and family                   This little guys I met at a drive by wedding.

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I taught these little guys some signs language at a small village school in Puncak

Thank you, Rudolf, Kiki, Stacy and all my other animal friends who taught me how to open my heart.

 

 

 

 

Oh Durian, Oh Durian

The Durian Festival here in Jakarta draws thousands of people to buy what looks like a dastardly projectile you would use in mortal combat, during the middle ages. You could just hurl its flesh, and the smell alone would render your adversary immobile.  So what is a Durian? Believe it or not, it’s fruit. This fruit is banned in many grocery stores, airports and any other place where the public assembles indoors because it has a God-awful smell. They make everything out of this stinky delicacy; cakes, pancakes, ice cream, cheesecake, pudding, salads and smoothies just to name a few. The flavor of Durian is a mix of sweet, savory and creamy once you cut through its spiky shell.

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I remember the first time I walked into a grocery store that sold Durian; I said to myself, OMG what is that smell? Here’s a visual for your olfactory senses, check out of the grocery store and into the boys locker room, minus a year of being cleaned. Yep, that’s it.

You know I am one of those people that when you are in Rome, you do as the Romans do. My visit to the festival was not my first encounter with Durian. My friend Hiroko had given me a dish of Durian ice cream. Despite the fluffy cap of whip cream on top, the pungent order of Durian still plunged its way up my nasal cavity.  I took a bite and thought I was going to throw up.  I looked at my friend and asked why on earth would anyone want to eat this stuff. What is the attraction? She said, take another bite. I said, seriously? I thought well maybe I haven’t given this poor thing a break yet. Maybe I have to discover what brings someone back for yet another bite, so I did and I took another bite and then another and guess what? I think Mikey likes it! After awhile you don’t smell it anymore. You know how when eat hot chilis, and your mouth and lips are on fire, so you keep eating until your done because if you stopped you feel the pain. It’s kind of like eating Durian. If you stopped eating it you would smell it.

After we had left with the mother lode of Durian powering our vehicle to the next stop of luxury, we landed at the oldest ice cream shop in Jakarta.

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My friend Lulu ordered a round of Durian ice cream for everyone. The cashier confessed, I am sorry we are sold out. Sadly, I settled for Mocha. I took my ice cream back to the table and my other friends Emilia and Santi had ordered two plates of what looked like carnival food in the states. It was some rendition of a funnel cake ( a fried puffy looking pastry) with what looked like caramel sauce and something else that look like Ladyfinger biscuits with chocolate sauce. I thought WOW, we are going to paint the town red. Oh cool, I said, what is this?

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Santi said, the fried crisps are called Kerupuk Asinan and that caramel sauce is peanut sauce. I thought well this is an interesting mix with my ice cream, and then I dared to ask what the other plate was, given that I already had a false assumption this was dessert. I might as well stick a fork in the theory and call it done! She said this other dish is Otak-Otak. It’s processed fish sticks and peanut sauce. I said who eats this with ice cream? In unison they said, we do. You must try, they said. I was looking forward to landing in Rome sometime soon. Although, I think my plane took a serious detour. Trina, Oh Trina are you awake, we are in Indonesia now. I had already finished my ice cream, so I thought why not. I have to say my taste buds were not happy. They might have been if this bite of process fish food would have followed my boys dirty laundry.

Here’s to all those people who love to know the health benefits. Durian: aids in maintaining optimal blood pressure, helps prevent cancer and anemia, provides relief of insomnia, helps to keep bones healthy, delays premature aging and helps to maintain a healthy digestive tract. Viola!

So I say, play the “Fear Factor” if you ever get a chance and give it a try. In this episode, you can also maintain a healthy body.

 

“Soon No More”

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The fruit here is sweeter than I have ever tasted and the variety is amazing, but the Mango is my all time favorite fruit.
Living here I knew I could have it whenever I wanted. So I thought.

Call me naive but living in a tropical region I did not think it would have a season. The day I was told the Mango would “soon be no more,” I doubled my intake of Mango’s.

Every trip back to the fruit stand I picked up my beloved fruit, held it in the air and asked apprehensively, how much longer do I have? The merchant would reply, “soon no more.” I was told we were already two months past the normal life cycle of the mango, here in Jakarta, due to climate change.

My trips to the market became a buying frenzy. One Mango became two and two became three. I started freezing them, adding them to stir fried dishes, making mango smoothies and lassies. You name it, and Mango was in it. It was my desperate attempt to hold on.

Lo and Behold, the time had come. My next trip to the market I was assured the Mango was “no more.”

Have you ever noticed the magnitude and longing for something are amplified when it’s soon to be “no more?” Life sure is funny that way.

I Choose Love

Have you ever noticed that sensationalism is like some voodoo magic? All of the sudden you can go from one emotion to the next in less than 60 seconds. If you don’t believe me, watch what happens to your body, mind and soul when you allow yourself to get caught up in it. I have found myself becoming negative, doubtful, scared, angry, powerless, protective and closed off when tuning into the media.

As easy as it may seem to take the path of fear it can be just as easy to take the path of love. This path opens our hearts, provides hope and insight, dissolves anger, and spreads light.

There are those that voice; it’s easy for you to say this when you are not living in the middle of it. I agree. I have been feeling a lot of pain lately both physically and mentally. It’s a challenge to find the light and feel the love when your in the middle of it. There are moments when I can become still and connect with source and feel the love. I can also find a ray of light while reading a post from someone who is also choosing to spread the love and or connecting with someone who is not allowing themselves to be guided by fear.

I currently live in a country where over 80% of the population is Muslim, and I can tell you what I see being shown in the Media is not what I am witnessing here. Those I talk to are sad that the media is capturing the Muslim population, as a whole, in this light. Oppression lies in stereotyping an entire culture in one light or the other due to an act captured by the media; this creates more anger and more violence.

I am choosing to be the change. I may be one, but I have the power of many when what I share does make a difference. Being love creates a ripple. Not only in giving but also in receiving.