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Overwhelming Support for Nepal

I feel overwhelmed with gratitude by the outpouring of support from friends, family, colleagues, and students. Thanks to you, we received about a dozen boxes and two dozen bags of donations!  Not all of it was completely appropriate clothing, so some of it will be donated to local homeless shelters.  That said, the vast majority will be going to Nepal.  
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Crisis in Nepal: Request for Supplies

Nepal was struck by a devastating 7.8 magnitude earthquake in April, leaving millions homeless.  These people then had to struggle with the nearly non-stop monsoon rains and ensuing mudslides, while still living in tents.  The rains have subsided, but the struggle continues.  In late September, Nepal 's deliveries of supplies, food, medicine, gas (petrol), and fuel for cooking have been cut off due to protests about the new constitution. People have been forced to cut down protected forests, as that is the only fuel available.  Now winter is coming, and people are still living in tents, lacking warm clothes and fuel to stay warm.

Bali Cremation Ceremony

We were lucky enough to see a Bali cremation ceremony before leaving Nusa Lembongan.  We had read about these elaborate rituals that, like the Indian Hindus, involve sending cremated remains into the water. In Bali, they send remains into the sea. With all of our beach-going, we were really hoping to see one. The day we arrived, our host informed us there would be a mass cremation two days. We were stoked! You might be thinking, " Mass  cremation? What's up with that?" Let me explain.  

Fiery Sunset

Yesterday we were extremely lucky and were able to attend a Balinese mass cremation. Even though we are in Nusa Lembongan, and island Southeast of Bali, people here follow Bali customs and religion. Seeing a cremation was on our wish-list, so we were stoked. It being in a place we really like was the proverbial icing on the cake.

Eastern Bali

Last week we left Flores and Kanawa behind, and made our way to Tulamben, in Eastern Bali.  Toulamben is home of a volcano that was last active in 1965, USAT Liberty wreck just offshore, and black sand/rock beaches. 

Ombak Bali

We are back in Bali, and spending time hanging out with the two friends we made in Flores, Alberto, an Argintinian who lives in Bali, and Cynthia, who is from Olympia, Washington. Both are great fun, nod interesting people. We plan on keeping in touch with them.  I suspect that Cynthia may actually know our other friends in Olympa, Chrisanne and Webb,  as they seem to have a lot in common. 

Manta! Manta! Manta! -- updated

The view from our lounge chairs at the Komodo Resort (which is not on the namesake island) We left Kanawa Island Resort on a cold, rainy day. The Flores Sea was choppy and white-capped, which wasn't the best of news for us since we were taking a boat to Komodo Resort, on the nearby Sebayur Island. Lucky for us, on a good day  our boat ride was only 15 minutes by speed boat, as opposed to the hour needed to get back to Flores.