Sorry for the delay since my last blog post. I just returned from a much needed vacation, or “holiday” as they call it here in Malaysia. I met my younger sister Ashley in amazing Bali, Indonesia! It was the first time there for both of us, but hopefully not our last. For me it was only a quick three-hour flight coming from Kuala Lumpur. For Ashley it was around 30 hours of travel coming from her home in Kihei, Hawaii. Ashley has lived there for almost six years now, and unfortunately we don’t get to see one another as often as we’d like because of the distance, with me normally living in New Jersey and she in Hawaii.
When I say we had the best vacation ever, I am not exaggerating. We did some sightseeing, but for the most part we just relaxed either by the pool or the gorgeous beach by the Indian Ocean. We had plenty of time in the sunshine, yummy food and drinks, and lots of sister bonding time. It was fun sharing a room like we used to when we were little, and generally just catching up on one another’s lives. It was so great to see family! I’m now around three months into my PULSE assignment, so it’s been awhile since I’ve had a good loving hug. Don’t get me wrong, I have no regrets coming to Malaysia and having this unique opportunity to travel, explore, and give back to those less fortunate, but I do miss my family and friends very much. I guess if this experience wasn’t difficult everyone would do it right? It’s the hard that makes it great!
Back to Bali…. We got to see an authentic barong dance show, visit a monkey forest, and ride and feed elephants, including a six month old baby elephant (so cute!) We also went to a coffee plantation where they make authentic luwak coffee. Luwak coffee comes from coffee berries once they have been eaten and excreted by the Asian palm civet. We got to see the animals, and they showed us the entire manufacturing process of cleaning the beans, peeling them, roasting them, and grinding them. It was very interesting, as luwak coffee is the most expensive coffee in the entire world, and for those of you that don’t know me well, I’m a complete coffee addict! Bali is very spiritual so a total must is visiting temples when you’re there. So we took in the ambiance of the temples, and also had lunch overlooking some beautiful rice paddies. It was all honestly the experience of a lifetime, and the Balinese people were all so kind and friendly, which made the trip even better. I am back in Kuala Lumpur now and it all just seems like an amazing dream. The best part was getting to spend time with Ashley and experience Bali for the first time together…. and the elephants, I loved the elephants! Stay tuned…