J is for Java- #AtoZChallenge

J” is for Java. One of the main islands of the Indonesian archipelago. I love to explore and Indonesia is an incredible place for that. 🙂

I usually go to Bali, but Java is the next island over to the West. It’s very easy to get there from Bali. You can take a quick flight, or take a ferry over. I was on vacation when I went (and so short on time), so I decided to fly over to Yogyakarta. It turned out to be an excellent choice and I only wish I had more time to spend there.

There are a lot of things I would love to explore on the island of Java. So many things I just didn’t have the time to do. I’d love to see the sights of Jakarta and especially check out the harbor. I must definitely find a guide this time so I can communicate with the sailors. I am still very interested in their beautiful Pinisi schooners. 🙂

If I ever get to go again, I’d like to hike up Mt Bromo, and catch the sunrise. Cool off at the Hill Stations and hike the rice paddies. Cruise the Green Canyon. Watch the Shadow Puppet shows and a few troupes of traditional dancers. Wander through the markets, investigating all the different things on offer than what we see at home.

One of those things I did manage to see was the ancient Buddhist temple of Borobudur. It’s long been on my bucket list. 😉 I’ve always loved to explore. I love history, old buildings, ancient civilizations, different religions. Borobudur was a combination of all of those things. It is also a world heritage site (along with the nearby Hindu site of Prambanan– which I also got to visit on this trip). 🙂

Prambanan temples Java Indonesia


Dance: Bali

Here’s another post for the Daily Post’s Weekly Photography Challenge (Dance).

I took this photo a couple of years ago in Ubud. I was on vacation in Bali (Indonesia) and spent a couple of weeks checking out the beautiful island. The people are so friendly and the island itself is gorgeous. It’s small, so easy to get around. There are volcanoes to hike, whitewater rivers to raft, perfect waves for surfing, great wrecks for SCUBA diving, and the art scene is fantastic!

I was told that it’s part of their religion there on Bali to make something more beautiful every day. I saw that they really took that to heart. Their temples are amazing, and the people practice music and dance to perform in the temple ceremonies. They have entire villages where the people just make one type of art: stone cutters, woodcarvers, painters, silversmiths, batik, etc. You could spend months there finding something new every day. 🙂

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Green

Cee always has such fun photo challenges on her blog. I always like to try to participate when I can. It’s hard to do when I’m out here. I don’t have a lot of free time and the internet is not always available when I do have a little time to get online.

This week, her Fun Foto Challenge subject is: ‘lime or bright green’. I found a few decent photos with nice, bright greens in them. These were all from a trip I took to Indonesia a couple of years ago.

Check out those green, green rice fields!

I spent some time in Bali and then went over to Sulawesi in search of a sailing ship. That didn’t quite work out, but it was a fantastic trip. I loved every minute of it. I’m not sure why, but the local people loved having their picture taken with me. 😉

Half And Half No. 3

The challenge from the Daily Post was Half and Half. I didn’t know what to post for that subject. Here’s a classic…

Glass half full, or half empty? 😉

Shadowed: Bird Market

Here’s my entry for the Weekly Photo Challenge: Shadowed. These pictures show the shadowy stalls and the people who work (and live) in the “Bird Market” in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. It was such a fascinating place. There were all kinds of things for sale there. Birds, bats, reptiles, rodents, etc. And pretty much anything else you could imagine. These pictures don’t really do it justice (but I only had a crappy little point and shoot with me).

Rusty But Still Trusty?

Here’s another entry for this weeks word a week photograph challenge (rust).

I took these while on  the same vacation in Indonesia a couple of years ago. I went to the island of Sulawesi looking for a traditional style sailboat for sale.

This rusty old tub was parked right next to my hotel in Makassar. One of the best hotels in town. I didn’t mind waking up to this view out the back, I almost took a hike over there to see what was going on. Those guys looked like they were having a lot of fun. 😉

I wish I knew how to speak Indonesian. My trip would have been so much more productive and enjoyable. I did have a wonderful vacation (I had to use an interpreter to help me ask about the boats I was looking for).

Wood Gets Rusty Too

Here’s my entry for this weeks word a week photograph challenge (rust)

I took this one while on vacation in Indonesia a couple of years ago. I went to the harbor looking for a traditional style sailboat for sale. These old ones caught my eye.

They’re wooden hulled, but still rusty.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Containers (of Buddha)

Here is another entry for the Photo Challenge: Containers.

I took this one when I was on vacation a couple of years ago. I went to Bali, Indonesia. I really love it there. I decided to take a quick trip over to the neighboring island of Java. I had heard about a few things over there that sounded really interesting.

One of those things was the ancient Buddhist temple of Borobudur. I’ve always loved to explore. I love history, old buildings, ancient civilizations, different religions. Borobudur was a combination of all of those things. It is also a world heritage site (along with the nearby Hindu site of Prambanam).

I entered this photo in the challenge because the stupas (those big grey things next to the guy with the umbrella) 😉 are all containers for statues of Buddha. When you peek inside, between the stones, you can see them in there, sitting peacefully in their lotus poses, and imagine them waiting for you down through the ages. 🙂

PS- If you read the article in the link, you might also take it that the whole monument of Borobudur is a container. A container of knowledge! 🙂

Weekly Photo Challenge: Relic

This is my entry for the Weekly Photo Challenge: Relic. Here’s the story behind the photos I chose for my entry.

I took a trip to Indonesia a couple of years ago to look into having a sailboat built for me. I have been trying to find a way to move out of the USA for years.

The main hold up has been that no other country will give me a work visa (unless I can do something no one else in their country can do). I thought about teaching English (TEFL) and I still think about doing that sometimes (maybe I will one of these days, but I hate to  put myself in a situation where that is my only option. I started writing and blogging as another option to hopefully help me make a living without being stuck in the USA.

I am looking for more freedom. I don’t want to jump from the frying pan of the USA (which is rapidly becoming a police state) into a situation where I don’t really know the rules and have restricted myself by not having the finances (because I had to take a low paying job) to get out of any trouble I don’t know enough to stay out of.

So, maybe I’m trying to have my cake and eat it too, but I really think we all deserve to live a wonderful life. The life WE choose. Free to do the things we enjoy, in the physical location we want to be.

I don’t agree with borders in principle. I don’t agree with the idea of any political authority. “Leaders” are just regular people and governments are just groups of people. None of them are any more special than you or me. I believe we are ALL equal under the law (natural law) and we should ALL have the same opportunity to live our own lives without interference.

I think we ALL have the inherent right to do anything we want as long as we don’t hurt anyone else (who has the same rights as we do). The founding fathers of the USA enshrined that principle in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution (Bill of Rights), but the government we have now has corrupted that ideal beyond belief.

We are already FAR beyond the point where the original colonists revolted. I keep wondering WTF has happened to the American people that they submit without question to things like the TSA groping their children in the airports.

We have gone from a country where we had a revolution over a 4% tax on TEA, to a country where the government routinely locks up people for LIFE for mere possession of a harmless plant!?!

OK, enough with the politics (for now). 😉

I went to Indonesia look into buying a boat. I thought I could build a business with it that would allow me to live in a foreign country. I thought if I had a means to support myself, I could make the move. Too bad the price of the boats had gone up so much since I first heard about them. There was really no way I could afford one.

Unless it was one like the ones in these pictures. 😦


A Word A Week Challenge: Two

two ships I’m learning how to do this, instead of posting my photos separately, I’m putting them all in this one post this time. That first shot is one I took while I was sailing as captain of a tuna boat. We were in port, in Tarawa (Kiribati). It’s a photo of a couple of reefer ships waiting to fill up with our catch of tuna and bring it to buyers, in someplace like Bangkok or Tokyo.

This is my entry into the Word A Week Challenge for this week. The challenge comes from this website, check it out : http://suellewellyn2011.wordpress.com/2013/11/01/a-word-a-week-challenge-two/ The word of the week is: TWO.

So, my photos all have 2 of something.

2 boats

2 boats- I took this while searching for the boat builders on Sulawesi Indonesia, the seaweed harvest was going on, everyone was out helping

2 chickens

2 chickens- during the seaweed harvest, Sulawesi Indonesia

2 buffalos

2 buffalos- on the roadside on the way to look for the boat builders, Sulawesi Indonesia

2 dancers

2 dancers- at a dance exhibition, Ubud Bali

2 cooks

2 cooks- at a night market, Singapore

2 girls

2 girls- getting ready for temple, Bali

2 bugs

2 bugs

2 pansies blooming

2 pansies blooming

2 butterflies

2 butterflies

I had a ton of fun taking these pictures, looking back at them makes me want to take off again and go somewhere exciting, but for now I’m stuck at home and back to work in only one more day. 😦

I sure hope the new year brings me more adventures! 😉