Where do I begin after a trip like the one I just had? Do I start with the incredible success of the CDC (Community Development Center) that 4th World Love created in the tiny mountain village of Sembalun, Lombok, Indo?
Do I blather on and on about how utterly perfect the six cleft palate surgeries we sponsored for local babies turned out--I mean capital P-perfect? Maybe I talk about Hasan and Diman, the two eager young Muslim lads that immediately took over the MST donated Nikon digital camera and the Canon HD video camera on our daily excursions, and I mean the very minute I inventoried them into the CDC? Better yet, why not tear up about Baby Azi and how much different he is since he got that 4WL sponsored heart surgery a few months ago--talk about a happy, healthy, gorgeous baby..I must have snapped a thousand photos of him alone. I could try to put into words how amazed all the villagers were when intrepid volunteer after volunteer started showing up for their respective 4WL tenures--teaching English and computer skills day in and day out in the always abuzz CDC.
But, I think I have to take my sweet time with this one. This trip was too special to lay out in a mere few Toothie posts. Yes, time is what's needed here.
I've been in Indo almost a month and in less than a week, I head home to LA, TN, Chicago...wherever you wanna call home for me these days. What I do know is the day after I get back, my boat arrives in LA-to a perfect slip just outside my front door in Marina del Rey. Oh, I know what I will start with...the map. The giant map of the world that was brought in from Mataram and promptly hung up on the buttery yellow wall at CDC so that all the volunteers could mark their "home" in the world and I could show some of my fave people in the universe (the villagers of Sembalun) where my boat is gonna be parked in LA and just how close it is to Indo. Well, 30 days ain't that long by boat, is it? They were stunned, laughing and wailing about huge, torturous waves and tsunamis that would hit me at every waypoint. These are mountain folk, remember? The volcanic mountain kind. But, someday...I swear I'm gonna sail that gal to Lombok. What an amazing journey that will be. And, I know the day I arrive, all my English-speaking, computer-rockin', business-starting pals will be there to greet me. I'm just that way, I do what I say I'm gonna do. Plain and simple.
And, now that I am back on Bali (getting my advanced SCUBA certification whilst managing to blow out my eardrums and get the killerest tan of all time), I will update daily as long as the wily net allows.
Lots of stories to tell, friends....gut-wrenching, soul-shakin' stories...you just can't buy experiences like these. You can only give and give until you laugh til you cry. That's the way it works...