Tuesday, August 30, 2011
We just spent the last week on an island, located just a hop skip and jump from Bali. It was a quick 2 hour boat ride to this quiet, and beautiful hunk of land and the perfect setting to end this year long journey. There are no cars or motor bikes or traffic. Nothing but fresh air and ocean every where you look. You walk, rent a bicycle, or hop in a horse car to get around. It is possible to circumnavigate the entire island by foot in 1.5 hours. The pristine waters that surround this island are full of sea turtles, and tons of marine life, including white and black tip reef sharks that Jack and Patrick enjoyed up close while diving. This has been a week of complete bliss, and hands down, our favorite place in all of the places we have been this past year.
In addition to beautiful waters to frolic in, there is a yoga studio (google H20 yoga, gili air) that I have visions of holding a retreat at one day. The tide pools hosted many interesting critters that kept Jack entertained and amused for hours. There are tons of sweet little places to eat and drink, all with ocean, toe dipping, water fronts.
While we were here, it was Ramadam. This island is mostly inhabited by Muslims. If you are not familiar with Ramadam, it is the biggest holiday for Muslims. During the entire month of August they fast during daylight hours. No eating, drinking ( including water) no smoking ( lots of men smoke here) no sexual relations even....from sunrise to sundown. Then on the last day of this month long fast, they gather and have a huge feast and light off tons of fire works. It was like the fourth of July, and was totally unexpected! The week following Ramadam they even have a "make up week", which allows you to have a do over, if you cheated on any of the other days. Seems fair and forgiving. It was interesting to learn more about this Muslim tradition, which is giving up the basics, going without, and fighting against the cravings.
I could relate to this fasting in a sailing kinda way. This past year, I have given up and gone without many things I enjoy....... Long hot showers, fast internet, amazon.com, whole foods market, trader joes, weekly farmers market, Kale, oh my sweet beloved Kale.....sweet pea sprouts, and well, the list could go on forever in the food department, but this past year I have also gone without my yoga family and friends, my boys Alex and Blake, who I saw in person twice this entire past year. Fasting from human connection makes you crave it even more.....and makes you appreciate the connections even more. I am so glad my year of Ramadam is about to come to a close.
Back to Gili Air......a picture says a thousand words, so I will let the photos tell you more about this magical island.
We are heading back to Bali, spending our last two nights in Ubud.....home sweet home is on all of our minds.
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