Holy Week!

Dear Reader,

Hello everyone, and holy week! I have been having a wonderful time attending various events and just soaking up the vibe of these auspicious days. My days have been filled with prayers, celebrations and decorations and I may need to write several installments in order to do justice to my experiences. It’s hard to describe the amount of effort put into each event, but I will do my best! This happens every 210 days (a year in the Balinese calendar)… sort of like our period of Christmas and New Years. The season has officially ended as of yesterday with “Kuningan Manis”, but I shall start with the initial celebrations on (and just before) Galungan.

I’m just going to dive in, so, here we go!

Perhaps it was the really itchy mosquito bite on the top of my foot that woke me up, but I felt unusually like I was awaiting Christmas. But let me back up even further… The night before Galungan, I attended the last arja rehearsal before the performance. Leslie has been sick for the past couple weeks (my poor girl!) and so was Lisa! so I ended up just going by myself. The difference between this rehearsal and the last was unequivocal. In fact, so much so, that it seems a mystery to me at how all this movement and dance could have been added without a lot of practice first? It is likely I am missing something and it only makes me aware of how many elements I do not know, and would like to discover. All of the things I am learning are just scratching at the surface. Patience Chelsea!!!

Another interesting dynamic to watch was the distribution of money at the end of the rehearsal, before the feast happened (food seems to be an extremely important element to all their sacred and important events!). Everyone gathered around and sat in a big group while Komang and Bu Candri talked to them (in Balinese, not Indonesian – either way I wouldn’t have known what they were saying). But the interesting part of this happened when the actual money was passed around. Everyone saw how much everyone else was paid, and did after an envelope of bills was taken and split amongst all the performers. Bundles of bills were handed out to various players and they distributed this to those surrounding them.

I saw how much they were paid and was thankful at how much (although we complain a great deal) we are supported in the arts. Even though there is not a lot of funding, we are not complete slaves and we are rewarded for the work we do – even if it is just not ideal. I won’t say here how much the pay was out of respect for (at least a bit of) their privacy, but I can say that they worked extremely hard and put together a four-hour production in under six months – both dancing and singing completely memorized… for next to nothing.

It was not only this aspect that affected me, but the fact that the money came from this one bundle. Everyone saw it, there were no secrets. It was: this is what we have, let’s share. This affects me so much and yet I can’t really pin-point what exactly it is that is so touching to me. Perhaps it will surface the more I am face to face with these admirable attitudes.

When I got back, Leslie and I went to Tut Mak and I ate too many sweet things in a streak of indulgence… feeling a bit like Christmas… When we came home, the streets were peaceful, quiet, and filled with beautiful decorations made by each family.

I suppose I should take a quick detour to tell you a bit about the preparation for Galungan. It starts weeks in advance… various food and sweets are prepared for both eating and offerings to the Gods, other non-edible offerings are made, again, from palm leaves and other natural substances. Then, amazing, long bamboo stalks are decorated  with palm leaves, flowers, and grains, crafted by each family and raised the day (or two) before to stand in front of their home, lining the street with a feeling that could possibly only be felt when before their grandiose presence. I hope some of my pictures can give you a sense of this magic.

Back to my drive home with Leslie. We decided to drive up our street a little, because with the hill and the amount of family compounds that exist in this area, the view is quite awe-inspiring. We ended up back at the bottom in front of Leslie’s home-stay talking on the street until midnight, and although it could have been partially due to the amount of sugar I have previously consumed – I couldn’t help feeling a big anticipation that I often hope to find at Christmas time.

After waking up at 5:30am, I realized it was genuinely there; (and those of you who know my usual morning habits would agree) that I was truly awoken to a magical gift of excitement again. I waited for everyone to get up, then went back to sleep for a while, then woke up again with the same curiousity, only to find that nothing much was happening still. The funny thing is, not much happened at all! It turned out to be a very relaxed and uneventful day! I’m still not sure if I was disappointed or just surprised. I was expecting a lot of commotion, a lot of music, a lot of people walking about… and yet none of the above happened. Although there was one lively aspect to the streets: Barong. Leslie’s description is my favourite so far: “the Balinese equivalent of trick-or-treating”. This is where groups of people (and now mostly children’s groups) walk around playing traditional music to accompany the animal that is acted out by two dancers underneath the costume. This “animal” is actually the Balinese equivalent of the Chinese Dragon. Although he has the body of a lion, he is a benevolent creature who protects humans against the Rangda the widowed witch. The group of musicians play while the dragon dances, and they walk around the streets, stopping in front of various houses and playing for different groups of people that happen to be around.

This happens and happened for the whole week until today. But now that we have discussed the noisy part, let’s go back to my general surprise.

In a way it is a pleasant surprise. I started thinking that our Christmas was much more busy, much more parade-like… and up until this moment, I had planned to write about how different it was from our holy holidays (or so we say, anyways). However, I realize now that our holiday is just as introverted at moments. When you wake up on Christmas Day in Canada – the streets are just as bare. Everyone is with their families. There are no parades on the street. There are no musical events. It is family time. Just like here, all the preparations take place beforehand. I suppose not having a family to celebrate it with was part of the emptiness I felt. And although I was more than welcome to join the family I was staying with, they did most of their family activities quite early in the morning. And their activities really just consist of eating, going to the temple and praying as a family. Quite quiet really. And quite nice.

Later in the afternoon, I made my way over to Bu Candri’s house so that I could catch a ride into Denpasar with their family for the Arja performance in the evening. This is a whole separate event and I think I will save it for the next entry so that I can get this one up for you to read asap! I hope you enjoy the pictures and this time, you can look forward to hearing from me soon!



Dear Reader,

I’m back! It took me a few days to write because I have been so busy with taking lessons again, organizing information and taking lots of pictures! I started lessons again on July 1st, (Happy Canada Day!) back in Singapadu. My voice was working enough in the higher registers – “head voice” – but my “chest voice” still had a lot of difficulty because of the congestion (STILL) in my lungs. It is still slowly getting better, but slowly.

I have been taking lessons every day since then, and I think that the singing is helping me move things along, plus I am once again making good use of my time. I was driven by my experience on June 30th, when I attended a rehearsal for the upcoming Arja performance at the infamous musical family compound in Singapadu.

It was inspiring for many reasons… but mostly for the sincerity of expression, the laughter in enjoyment and the – pause –

I was trying to find the word. Sitting here at Mingle – asked Leslie what the word for the feeling you get when you watch gamelan rehearsals, because I can’t really sum it up in English. It’s sort of a pride within a group, when everyone works so closely together that they become one unit. And the two boys up here with us on the patio started discussing in Indonesian what this word might be (with their understanding of the feeling) and came up with: Many people but one heart. Exactly.

The expressions perhaps can only be felt through the photos that I took during the rehearsal. When they are angry, they are really angry, when they are sad, they really cry, when they are happy, they laugh as if they had never known a joke like it before. When they make a mistake, they laugh and try again, they have no shame (or at least make it seem that way). When there is something funny in the play, everyone laughs as if they were watching the rehearsal for the first time – because their expressions are so genuine and sincere in the moment, that in a way they really are watching the play for the first time. In between segments, we feasted on delicious traditional food and I was able to ask some of the performers questions about their characters.

I couldn’t handle just watching, it was so hard to be reminded that I hadn’t been able to sing for three weeks. I wanted to be expressing myself through voice again; I wanted to be living my passion once again! After the rehearsal I asked Bu Candri if she had 15 minutes to do a little test run with me and my voice. It was still quite unstable, but it wasn’t making me feel like choking or coughing when taking a deep breath, and it didn’t feel uncomfortable – just sounded that way! That’s when I decided I was ready to take lessons again.

The next few days in lessons have been exceptionally good, despite my unstable little voice, but it is getting bigger and more stable every time and I have had some revelations about the technique that are helping me find the right sounds to approach this genre with. It is so much fun to wiggle the voice around and now singing other stuff I am finding a different flexibility that I haven’t had before. Which to be honest, I’m not all that surprised about. It is also due to a new teacher of mine – Bu Candri’s son-in-law: Komang, who is a teacher at ICI, the big University in Denpasar. He is teaching me some other types of songs and with a bit of English, is able to explain things a bit more technically for me. Although this is true, it is also true that a bit of English can be more difficult to work with – because then you have mediocre translations that can be more confusing than just the imitation itself. Also, you spend more time trying to find words and understandings and it can be much more tiring after a couple hours.

Yesterday I had back-to-back lessons with Komang and Bu Candri and then decided to get some downtime by going to the beach in Saba with Agus and Lisa. Leslie and I had been there once before but I didn’t have the camera on me that time, so I was happy to finally take some pictures (will post more pics soon). Afterwards, we drove through some beautiful little villages (one that I could even see myself living in, it was so clean!) that were starting to fill up with decorations for Galungan: Balinese New Year (every 210 days on the Balinese calendar). It is happening tomorrow, and I am very excited to experience it! My camera will be full, I am sure, and I will have more than a lot to say.

Right now I am heading out to the final rehearsal for the Arja performance that is happening tomorrow night (which I will attend in Denpasar). So many things going on, it’s been a bit challenging to write! I will update again as soon as I can.

For now, I will leave you with some pictures that later I will need to add titles to, but unfortunately there is not enough time right now to do so… I’ll let you know when they are done. For now, enjoy the beautiful colours, the expressions and the joy that emanates.

Thanks to all of you for keeping up with my life. I always appreciate your comments and this is my way to warmly hug you all by keeping up this blog… I hope you can feel it!

Lots of love,

Dear Reader,

For those of you who know me well, know that I’m not often caught with a light schedule… but I am starting to get used to a very uneventful lifestyle. My lungs are still having trouble, although I am doing truly, everything possible to get better so that I can sing again. I think part of the problem is the air quality here. Garbage is burned at a dedicated rate, mold lives everywhere you do, and rats live among the gardens, the streets and the rooftops, kicking down their dirt through the bamboo ceilings.

Today I contemplated for a long time about whether I should write something or not. I thought, what can I tell you that will be interesting? What can I tell you during my placidity that will keep you coming back to read my musings? After much contemplation, and a scattered attempt at coming up with something for you, (and for me, of course), there was one event that I realized was a much bigger thing than I first made it to be while writing.

It started by me telling you the uneventful day I had when I posted the pictures of my delicious breakfast. That day, I ventured out with Lisa -on what started as a hot day- to “Mingle”, the internet cafe that I frequently frequent. We sat out on the patio for hours not doing much at all except drink coffee and watch the weather turn as clouds came in with a chilly breeze. After a few hours of unspecified pensiveness, we decided to wander down the street to another cafe (Tutmak) for lunch. After some homemade yogourt and muesli, and a beautiful cup of chai, it started to pour, and we talked very genuinely between moments of that same pensive mood, looking out at the sky, intrigued at when this downpour would lighten up so that we could walk home (oh, and also intrigued by the boys playing soccer or flying kites in the field beside us, on such a stormy day).

I remembered our walk there, and my enjoyment of just being, even in gloomy weather. The fact that I could just sit there and not worry. Moreover, the fact that even amidst this uneventful period of travel, that I am still able to find joy. That I am still able to learn and grow through my interactions with the culture and the beautiful people surrounding me.

It was then that I realized what important things were right there, waiting to be written about.

One of the most beautiful things I have discovered about Bali, is the smallness of it. The people remember your name. Even after a brief interaction or small sale. They are always interested where you are going, they are always reaching out with a smile and a warm heart. When I walk down the road where I live, I greet the small warung (inexpensive restaurant, eatery). The first one is owned and operated by two men named Nyoman and Putu. Right now, they are just selling juices because they can’t afford to sell food yet. So every day, Lisa and I go to get a juice. I order a fresh young coconut water and Lisa orders the watermelon juice (or bravely, avocado juice garnished with chocolate around the glass). We think we may be the only customers there, as Nyoman doesn’t have a sign or anything on the business. Before I stopped to talk to him I wasn’t quite sure they were selling anything to the public…

Next door is a small mechanic shop for motorbikes run by Komang and Gde, two younger boys who don’t speak much English. We always smile and say hi, and have managed to get through some formalities through broken Indonesian and English, but sometimes we get stuck, break out in laughter and I continue my walk as we are left without much to say.

Across the street are two young men running a laundry service (the one I use for the laundry I don’t do by hand), Wayan and Komang. (PS – you will start to learn as I name new friends that many people have the same name here). Wayan speaks English fairly well and Komang just smiles. I usually prepare my Indonesian phrases before going there so that we can communicate… although laundry is fairly straightforward… main vocabulary needed: separate.

Then I pass Leslie’s homestay where they know my face and smile and wave.

This is my 3 minute walk down the street. And that’s not counting the walk through the family compound where Pasek, Wayan – their parents and their children always greet with enormous smiles. Or the construction workers finishing the new building in the front – the construction workers that work for nothing, yet have the biggest smiles I have ever seen in my life.

Then there is the places we go, like Mingle, where it is our Balinese “Cheers” (please replace beer with coffee)… where the staff is like family, and when we come in they greet us with hugs, kisses and handshakes. Where we often spend hours on the upstairs patio, while periodically being visited by rotating staff. Even the Australian owner comes in at times unfazed by our continued presence. We often joke that we will just move the building, the staff and everything about this place back to Vancouver when we leave… they have become friends and a staple to our lives here.

I suppose seeing the same tourist/foreigner for more than a week or two is less usual, and of course, as smiley as we are, we have made many friends, in many places. And I am fortunate enough to be here, passing those places every day.

I realize now that I have much more to write, but I have been back and forth between the internet and must sign off on this entry. I will go home to sleep, with a rat trap (finally) above me, so there might be less chatter found tonight when I go to sleep. Perhaps I can just sing my cat and mouse song again. Juk meng, juk bikul, juk meng, juk bikul! (hopefully this will be so funny and adorable to you when you can hear it!) Actually, one of these days I will post some recordings so you can listen to the wonderful, interesting and awesome music I am discovering on this side of the planet. Even on days that I am not doing much, I still discover much about this place, the people and their culture.

Many hugs to everyone… miss your smiling faces too! XO

Remembered to take a picture this morning!

Yum Yum Yum


An Ode to Bubur

Dear Reader,

Thanks for your patience, your good thoughts, and your loyalty in reading my adventures. I am now back in business, roaming around (carefully) and ready to experience Bali again. Unfortunately my lungs are still affected and are still undergoing some healing, but they are also getting better every day. Typhoid is really a strange thing. It must be different for everyone because I am not sure if everyone has a lung infection quite as bad as I did as a result of the fever. I am not singing yet – and it’s not because I don’t have a voice, I do… but the air power is limited. Now at least I can get through a whole phrase without choking on it, unlike last week, as I tried patriotically to sing the anthem for each of the Canucks’ games; it was really quite pathetic. Barely made it through a word without running out of breath (that’s how dedicated I am, my dear Vancouver!). My prediction now is that I will be singing within a few days again. Wahoo! (although I did predict that a week ago too… oops)

As for what I’ve been up to, really it’s been quite bland. Bed bed bed. Bed. Internet a few times. Eating rice porridge (a.k.a. bubur) Oh I guess that’s worth mentioning. The family that I am staying with has been wonderful to me. Leslie had moved down the road to stay with her favourite Ebu and I was feeling rather alone (even though she was here to visit and came once at midnight after a phone call when I was really scared! Thanks Lele!) and the family took it upon themselves to be my caretakers. They checked in on me morning, noon and night, bringing me bubur and a boiled egg to eat three times a day. It is THE cure for typhoid… apparently. Who in their right mind would deem watery rice to be any percentage of appealing? Well, it might just be an insane woman named Chelsea. A strange phenomenon of a strong bond has occurred between myself and this infamous rice gruel.

The first time they gave it to me I dumped it down the toilet. I saw a big bowl of white, watery rice and thought: bleck. empty calories. fruitless carbs. no taste. I couldn’t bring myself to eat more than a few bites. In rebellion, I tried to eat somewhat regularly – some chicken soup, eggs and toast, fruit… I thought this would be ok, but it just sat in my stomach, like an equally rebellious lump, somehow giving me the dreaded feeling that I was moving in the wrong direction. This is how I gave in to bubur. After a week of eating it, morning noon and night, I was feeling a bit better. My stomach never gave me any grief during this time and I have come to believe in the power of this rice gruel …grueling rice…? one of the two!

Anyways, I’m sure you are much more tired of bubur at this point than I should be. I am now down to once a day… in the mornings. Am gradually introducing other food to my diet which is also exciting and promising news. However, I may just stick to this dish in the mornings for my remaining time here, so I will be sure to take a picture for you one of these days.

As of other news, I have been taking care of myself by getting massages and have recently discovered the power of infrared sauna. I sweat so much I couldn’t believe it. After my first treatment, people were telling me how fresh and healthy I looked so I am pretty much convinced of its magic. Don’t worry, I haven’t completely lost my mind. I do realize how odd I am after professing my new crush on rice , to now disclose this secret affair with a sauna in tropical village.

I know I have a lot of catching up to do in this blog, so watch out for many new entries to pop up soon, and frequently. One of my news items is my new neighbour, Lisa – who moved in around the same time Leslie moved out and sweetly came to introduce herself while I was sweeping my porch. Turns out she is an anthropologist who is interested in the musical aspect of culture! She is doing her undergrad in Delaware and received some funding (due to severe intelligence) to come here for two months so that she could check out the music scene and learn some gamelan. She also has a blog you can check out at  http://lisasmusicalbali.tumblr.com/. While I am unable to take lessons, we have been roaming around a lot together while Leslie is drumming away!

Three days ago, Leslie and I went to meet our friend Sudi’s mom and dad, finally! I am eventually going to study some singing with him but have obviously had a bit of a kink in my plans… so we were a little later going there to meet them. Sudi’s mom invited to a women’s gamelan rehearsal the following day… and I ended up going with Lisa and we met up with Leslie afterwards for dinner. I thought we were just going to watch the rehearsal, but when we arrived, she invited us to play! I was very excited about this since I haven’t played gamelan in over a year and although my left fingers were sore from the damping afterwards, I was very happy to have played again.

Yesterday we decided to hire a driver, and a new friend – introduced by Leslie – named Agus. He is really adorable and fun to hang out with. I am still unable to drive my motorbike because of my lungs but cars are ok for me to travel in. I love to explore and although there are places I would definitely like to see here, I thought I would just get him to decide what would be worth seeing in an afternoon. Our first stop was some rice terraces that Leslie and I had been to one evening – but unfortunately I had been without camera. This time I was able to take some pictures for your viewing pleasure.

Our second stop was to a coffee plantation. Very interesting place! They harvest a very special coffee made out of a berry (will post a picture of this). They also are a home for an animal called a Luwak, which eats the berries, digests and expels the berries appropriately, after which point, this delightful substance is then cleaned, processed and sold for $500 a pound. Apparently it makes a coffee that tastes like no other. No kidding?

Anyways, after making our way through a path surrounded by coffee berries, pineapples, bananas, salaks (special Balinese fruit), passionfruit and chocolate pods in the trees, we sat down at a table where we were poured several flavours and varieties of coffee and tea (minus the really expensive one). Ginseng coffee, Bali coffee, Lemon tea, Ginger tea, Ginger Cocoa, Cocoa… that’s all I can remember at the moment. We drank this as we looked over a view of garden and jungle-ish terrain. We met a chicken with a perm, two large bats and some sort of local eagle – unfortunately chained to a tree for visitors to see. Definitely not a good feeling in my stomach witnessing this ignorant attitude towards wildlife, but it is an unfortunate reality in many places around the world – including where we think it doesn’t happen, like in our own country.

Besides that detail, it was a wonderful experience and a beautiful place to relax for a few minutes. We then made our way towards one of the local volcanoes, Mount Batur. We were so lucky with the weather! Apparently it can be completely invisible at times because of the cloud coverage but as you will see below, we were able to see gloriously! We then went to a restaurant (buffet) where I learned that you can also barter for food prices. We sat on a balcony overlooking the volcano and surrounding area. This made the price worth it! When we were on our way out, the clouds started coming in at a fast and steady pace, and looking back, we were barely able to see a thing. Such great timing; so lucky!

On our way back, we passed by some more beautiful scenery, and a children’s birthday party! It was just brief, but not too quick for Agus to pick up the sounds of a familiar children’s song that he started singing. Of course my ears piped up ambitiously and I inquired. It is a song about a cat and mouse. A fat mouse that the cat eventually catches. He sang the whole thing and I sang along after a couple repetitions, and because we were on the subject he taught me another one about a fisherman. When we got back, we hung out on the porch for a while and I was able to record the songs he was teaching me and learn them a bit better. Leslie then came over with the guitar and the four of us sat on the porch well after it got dark singing about cats, mice and then also some ridiculous songs from the 80’s. A Balinese specialty.

Now I have spent the majority of the day here at a little cafe that has wireless internet, writing this blog and trying to figure out how to insert pictures better but am still not sure. For now I will leave you with an album of photos that go along with this blog entry, and I will be updating soon again, more healthy and happy than ever!

Thanks again for your notes and good thoughts. They have definitely been with me the whole time.


Dearest Reader,

You haven’t heard from me because I am still sick… and I didn’t have anything much to tell you besides that. I just confirmed yesterday that it is a case of Typhoid – not the most pleasant thing in the world. After I last wrote, I decided stubbornly to go to my lesson the next morning but just tell Bu Candri that I wasn’t all that well. I had a good lesson, but half way through, I definitely knew I wasn’t well yet. I was feeling very weak and not much like driving home. When we got back to Ubud, we went to eat and after that, I wasn’t sure if I could make it around the corner to get home. Thankfully we did, and I went straight into bed and realized I had a bad fever.

[PS – Dad, if you do not feel like reading about this experience, you are not obligated… I know you have a hard time imagining me in pain! But it doesn’t go into much detail, so it might not be so bad… it’s just a general overview with some good outcomes at the end]

After that, I spent three days barely leaving my bed with that fever. Leslie was beside me much of that time reading stories and helping me unscrew water caps – ordering me to drink regularly (such a sergeant!).

After three days, we both thought it would be wise to get checked out at the doctor – have my blood taken and the like. I didn’t really understand the results but knew that I tested positive for three different types of salmonella poisoning and knew that wasn’t so great. After that first day taking medicine, I didn’t sleep for two nights because my breathing was constricted due to the deep congestion and snore-like sounds coming from the lungs, and I was nervous to fall asleep. Yesterday I decided to go to a different doctor to get a second opinion and with my results he confirmed that it was indeed Typhoid Fever. He said it is quite common here but for some reason they had given me a very general antibiotic that wasn’t specific to Typhoid. He gave me another prescription that after I bought it, I realized there were no instructions on how to take it. Thank GOD because when I looked it up, I found out it was quite a harsh treatment of antibiotic that wasn’t approved by the FDA and included some really weird side effects and possible permanent reactions.

I have decided NOT to take it, and continue with my “lighter” antibiotic. My fever HAS gone down, and Leslie reports that I am a lot better than yesterday and the day before. I have written to a couple specialists and will find out a bit more.

These are all good things to experience in some ways because if I was traveling by myself, I would want to know how to handle these situations: to research medications, to bring a thermometer (luckily Leslie had one that I used sometimes every five minutes for entertainment), to scope out pharmacies, hospitals and doctors nearby… all of those important things that could make a big difference when it comes to something serious.

Needless to say, I haven’t been doing a lot of music research. I will probably be taking another week to recover. Thank goodness I am staying until July 21st (oh right, haven’t had a chance to tell very many of you this yet) to make up for lost time. My mom just drafted me a bit of extra cash so that I can go and get some massages while I’m recovering. Thank you mom!!! I have such a great family.

Well, going to go get one of those massages now. Then another good night’s sleep, hopefully waking up tomorrow with a little more light in my step.

Love to all. Oh, and don’t think I don’t have anything to say about the Canucks or the disgrace of the city afterwards. I will be writing about this when I am better.


Sick Day

Dear Reader,

Sorry to keep you hanging for  a few days. I was planning to write this morning because I had some time to myself… but instead, I woke up feeling very sick, unable to move at the fear of having to do the most horrible thing when you’re sick… and I managed. For 2 hours. The rest of the morning, I’ll leave to your imagination (or if you choose not to, I won’t be offended). I ended up finally falling asleep at noon, waking again at 4. Found a sweet note on my bed from Lele explaining she had gone to her lesson and that if there was ANYTHING I needed, to call. I called when I woke up to see where she was and she then took an “almost doctor Tilley’s” order for some crackers and gatorade for me. Thankfully it was just what I needed. I then rested for another hour or so and got up. She then also decided it would be a brilliant idea (and it was) to read me a story… so my whole day was mostly laying down. Now I am at the internet out of my own stubbornness to check email, write something to you and drink some wonderful ginger tea to soothe my tummy even more.

Leslie did say this happens to everyone here at some point… and I don’t think it was one particular thing I ate, but a culmination of things I ate eventually catching up with me. “Bali Belly” is the alleged name.

It has been another wonderful few days of learning, exploring and dancing! Although, the dancing is damn hard, and hurts! I would like to write about it more in detail as today I don’t have much time here and albeit my stubbornness, I will be going to bed sometime soon. For now, I will finish publishing the entry below, filled with pictures for your viewing delight.

Love always,