Coocoo for Coconuts, not Haze!

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We had a lovely 4 day weekend (Hari Raya Haji holiday) in Bintan, Indonesia. It was so nice to escape the horrible haze that has plagued Singapore for the last few weeks. These wicked fumes are due to the illegal burning/clearing of palm oil fields in Sumatra. Wikipedia haze The hazardous smoke then blows over Singapore and coats it in a blanket of white smog. The picture that I am posting is in the Very Unhealthy range at PSI level 213. To put it in perspective, school activities outdoors are canceled at 150. While Robert’s soccer association cancels practice over 101. School gets cancelled altogether if it reaches 300, which it did last Friday while we were in Bintan.

So our little getaway was just what we needed! I’ve been on this recent fresh coconut water kick ever since I found out the health benefits after a workout. Much better than Gatorade, 100 Plus, etc. Since fresh coconuts are readily available in our grocery stores, it’s a no brainer! While in Bintan, we were able to watch a guy climb up the coconut tree (he’s actually in the picture of the tree), cut down the coconuts, and slice it open for our enjoyment. So, I know I like coconut water, but what was with the spoon they gave with the coconut? Well, I’ve seen all the seasons of Survivor and never have I seen them use a spoon. It was very easy to scrape the inside of the coconut to get a clear thin gelatinous scoop of coconut. It tasted about as good as it looked…bland. Well, I will still drink the water, but am not a fan of the gelatinous pulp.

Did I mention that we are so excited for our next visitors! Haha…don’t let the haze scare you away! Hoping this clears out within the next few weeks. Ugh.
Below are a few trip pictures!

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22 Legs

We escaped the summer without one single airline catastrophe!  I think that is pretty darn good considering we flew twenty two, yes, TWENTY TWO legs on United Airlines this summer.  The Denver airport was becoming our home away from home.  Even before we began our summer adventure, Bill and I were already discussing the need for a “home base” next year, We thank all our family for being so giving of their homes and putting up with us.  It’s was a logistical nightmare trying to bring luggage across the country for each two week visit.  Do we leave the huge suitcase with Bill in Phoenix? Will Emily need two suitcases, one for rowing camp and one for the college tour? Will Kathy need an extra for all the crap she bought to bring back?  All would be YES!!!!    I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to slip right back into the normalcy of american living.  Being with family, reuniting with old friends, and meeting nieces and nephews for the first time, were the much needed antidote for my longing to be home.

I wasn’t sure how I would feel once we landed back in Singapore.  I’m happy to report that it was pretty seamless.  What a difference a year makes.  Last year I was gagging from the smells of the hawker center and this year I know exactly what to order.  I’m still surprised daily by people and situations here in Singapore, but now am gaining more of an understanding as to why.  The kids have gotten back into their routines and friend groups which makes us all happy.  Bill is traveling a bit less this year. YAY!  As I write this he is heading to Dubai for the week, but at least its not the US.

We hope everyone is doing well and remember you are always welcome to come visit us here, one degree north!

Kathy

Family picture taken in Branson, Missouri

Family picture taken in Branson, Missouri