Tuesday, November 08, 2011


For the past few years, I've taken the time around my birthday to look back on some of the things I've been blessed to do in my life.

This year, I'm not doing it for the mere fact that I don't think I have anything significant to add to the list. I could, of course, add that I had run off the edge of a mountain. Been in a boat that almost capsized in a storm. I had quit my well-paying job to be a full-time student. I've read countless books. Filled hundreds of pages with words. I've had more job interviews than I ever thought I'd want. I've prayed, believed, and still watched doors close to opportunities I thought were certain. I've sold even more stuff so I'd travel lighter.

I've served. Learned. Changed. Moved. Waited. Worked. I've shed some pounds. In a way, it feels like I've been spending time in autumn!

It's been a year of not only loss but also gain, though at this stage of the journey, it's hard to verbalize all I've gained.

My dissertation is moving along. Two friends with Ph.D.s in different fields recently told me on separate occasions: "The dissertation journey is a lonely journey." They spoke from experience. I can attest to the fact that working on a dissertation is possibly one of the hardest things I've done in my life.

Along the way, I've gone round and round about what I want to do with my dissertation. For a while, I thought I would want to work at a university and teach full-time. But the more I interviewed with tertiary institutes, the more I realized the activator in me would die a slow death in their mazes of bureaucracy. I could never just talk (or write) about things that need to be done. I have to be part of doing, of bringing about change in the world we live in.

And so, on the brink of another birthday, I shall continue to push in, wait, surrender, push some more, and walk believing that God is weaving something far more beautiful than I could ever hope to forge myself.

I certainly look forward to looking back from the vantage point of my 44th birthday. In the meantime, I'll do my best to enjoy this current season of seeking, shedding, changing, learning, writing, rewriting, asking, discerning & growing, knowing that even once I've completed my degree, these verbs will continue being central to my life.

Hopefully I'll have a job by then again, though, a place to call home. A place to hang my reticulated giraffe.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

What have I been up to?

A few of my friends have been giving me grief for not having posted on my blog recently. It's not that I have nothing to write about. Much has happened. But most of my writing has been devoted to my dissertation, which is coming along s-l-o-w-l-y. But it's coming.

So, here's a photo overview of the summer, albeit with gaps as I don't always think of taking photos.

On the flight from Jakarta to Singapore (and from there to Chicago, and then Cedar Rapids)
I had a clear view of Krakatoa, one of Indonesia's hundreds of active volcanoes

I had hardly been home when my friend Nan (at whose house I'm staying) and I
went to Des Moines for a Michael Bublé concert. It was a fun evening with great music
The next day, we drove through to Lincoln, Nebraska, where we attended a Beth Moore/Living Proof conference.
Beth is one of my ultimate favorite Bible teachers, and I love seeing her. As a frequent reader of her blog,
I got to meet her backstage afterward with other members of the blogging community
After the event, Danette, Nan and I went to explore Lincoln a bit. We went to the quilt museum
and saw "Tree of Life." I'm still trying to figure out if I liked that movie or not...
It has great moments, but the long interludes were like lullabies to me
Back in Cedar Rapids, there have been many fun moments, such as the balloon glow at Brucemore.
With Danette is Melody, another of our friends. No photos here of evenings spent at Melody's house,
having thought-provoking conversations by her swimming pool
Pam got married this summer. All the girls in this photo are part of a Bible study group that has been meeting for several years, all dear friends of mine here in Cedar Rapids.
From left to right, there's Danette, Connie (who came to visit me for the trip to Sulawesi), Pam, Karen (who visited me in Kenya in '07), Steven (Pam's singer/songwriter hubby), then Beth, me,
Jodie and Nan (who visited me in Kenya in '07 and Indonesia in 2010)
Some pretty cone flowers in the area

At the end of July, I went to California for some meetings with Genysys, a group I'm joining.
Though I saw the Clarks (with whom I lived while studying in California), met Jessie's baby, even went to Jeremiah's wedding for a bit, I didn't take any photos except this one at Din Tai Fung (my favorite Chinese restaurant)
with my friends Mary and Shawna. I also saw my friend Melissa Tan (from ORTV).
With my frequent moves around the world, it always does my heart well to reconnect with friends that go back in time!
Our Genysys meetings were held at Rubel Castle in Glendora.
The meetings were instrumental in that I got introduced to a topic Ray Rood (founder of Genysys and
former professor of mine at APU) had researched in 1991, and which I will be resurrecting through my dissertation.
I'll write more about that at another time...
The Iowa State Fair is among the top 100 things to do in the USA during the summer, so it was fun
to go to the fair in Des Moines with friends. There are all kinds of yummy treats to enjoy at the fair,
especially fried goods (which none of us friends tried.)
The newest of the fried treats at the fair this year was fried butter. Imagine that!
One of the things the Iowa State Fair is best known for is the butter cow sculpture. All of this is made of butter, yes
One of my favorite things to see at the fair are the horses
Connie (in purple) was at the fair with her family as her nephew had some sheep enrolled. Danette, Nan, Sara and I
hooked up with Connie and explored the grounds
My other favorite thing at the fair was to visit the hall where they had a bunch of baby animals: these ducklings,
newborn piglets, calves and more. And we watched as little chicks were hatching from their eggs
The sand sculpture (here, still in progress) was rather cool, too. This year was the 100th anniversary of the fair
having a butter cow, hence the sand sculpture them was the butter cow, also
Back in Cedar Rapids, it was an unexpected blessing when Vivian and Tilana Whitcomb passed through town
and I got to spend a morning with them, catching up. Our times in Taiwan overlapped in the late '90s till 2002.
They now live in Doha (in Qatar), so it was a bit bizarre for us South Africans to meet up in the Midwest USA!
In between my research/reading/writing, I take time to stop and try to enjoy every moment, such as this moment
when I got to watch a little ruby-throated hummingbird. These little birds are amazing creatures!
Not only can they hover in one place such as in this photo, but they are the only birds that can fly forward,
backward and sideways
Another day, I'll give you an update on my studies and possibly on the road ahead, which, not surprisingly, continues to be a journey of faith and an amazing journey, for sure.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

What are you currently reading?

I was in a bookstore today and was actually proud of myself for not buying another book. I was very tempted to buy a Henri Nouwen book. But I didn't. Not because I won't get around to reading it. I'm just tired of having to move my library around the world. So until I know where home will be next, I'll try to only buy electronic books, as in, books for my Kindle. Except, my Kindle died some months ago. It just died. No clear reason why. Personally, I think it had been x-rayed too many times in Jakarta, since I constantly had it in my bag, and whenever you walk into a mall, your bag has to be x-rayed. For bombs.

I'm glad I no longer live in a place where bombs are a day-to-day threat. But that's besides the point.

I was talking about my dead Kindle... Amazon said I could send it in and get $40 off a new one, but after having weighed all options, I decided to go with buying an iPad instead, download the Kindle app, and voila, all my Kindle books were back in my hands, complete with what I had underlined etc. Just like that. Got to love technology!

I actually prefer the iPad Kindle app far more than the Kindle itself. Funnily, it feels (or rather, looks) much more like a real book than the groundbreaking e-reader does. In my opinion, at least. (The only con is that it's harder to read when you're out in the sun.)

Other than being easier to tote around the world, electronic books are also much cheaper than printed ones. Plus I love that you can just look up a word when you're not 100% clear on the meaning. I usually just guess the meaning from context, not even stopping to think about it, really. But when you know you simply have to click on a word to read its definition, it really isn't distracting at all to look up a word.

So, other than definitions of words, what am I currently reading, you may wonder? Most of my current reading's for research purposes. Someday, I'll get to read novels again. I hope.

I carry two "real" books in my bag (got to have choices, I believe...): Convergence and Stewards in the Kingdom. And though I have a whole lot more, the books I'm currently determined to finish are Leadership Above the Line, The Insider, How I Changed my Mind About Women in Leadership, The Gospel According to Jesus, The Tangible Kingdom, ReJesus, God at Work, and The Forgotten Ways. (I know, you're just dying to read my dissertation, aren't you? Actually, I am, too... It's not coming fast, though, but dissertations never do. And I'm just being sassy about you dying to read my dissertation. Dissertations aren't NY Times Bestsellers, I know.)

When I really get tired of reading the stuff from my research list, I read one thousand gifts. Or I watch a movie... In fact, I watched a movie the other night that made me cry. I cry for odd reasons in movies. Watching Temple Grandin (a true story and a must-see if you like true stories), I simply couldn't stop the tears from welling up as she overcame one obstacle after another. Hers is an amazing story. See it if you can!

In fact, reading up on Dr. Grandin's story makes me want to read her book. I'll simply have to put it on my list of books to read some other time...

How about you? What are you currently reading? 

Friday, July 15, 2011

Worthwhile reading

With much respect and gratitude for the work this woman has done... She has paved the way for change.

A Liberating Woman: A Reflection on the Founder of Christians for Biblical Equality | Christianity Today | A Magazine of Evangelical Conviction

So, I quit Facebook

I have really liked Facebook. It's been a fun way to reconnect with old friends, but especially a good way to stay in touch with my friends and family who are scattered all over the globe. After all, having lived in as many places (30-some homes on 3 continents) as I have, it's never easy to keep in touch with friends.

In that sense, Facebook was great. But I've found that I can easily turn to Facebook when I want to take a quick study break, only to discover 30 minutes later (or longer) that my quick break hasn't been that quick, and that my thoughts have been completely interrupted.

So, I'm bidding Facebook a fond farewell.

Seeing that some people might be curious as to whether I've gotten my dream job or where in the world I end up next, whether my dissertation's complete etc., I will be more diligent again with keeping this blog up to date. Or such is the plan, at least.

I'm sure I'll miss the glimpse into the lives of my friends. Hopefully those who truly want to keep in touch will still do so in the more old-fashioned ways.

Adieu, Facebook! G'day, better time management... Our re-acquaintance is way overdue.

If you're an occasional follower of this blog, the easiest way to know when I've posted an update is to add a (free) subscription to Google Reader, or whichever RSS feader/system you prefer. As a gmail user, I just think most of Google's tools are pretty convenient and super easy to use.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Things I look forward to about being in the States

There are so many things I'm looking forward to in the US:
  • Working on my dissertation. After basically not doing a ton of writing for the past year, I am more than ready to dig in and work hard at getting this done, and done well. I look forward to seeing the various experiences and ideas all come together...
  • Being with friends who've known me for a while, who've walked through my time in Kenya with me, who know me as more than a preschool teacher. Not just one or two, but a variety of friends from different walks of life
  • Talking long talks to these said friends about things we're all passionate about and being inspired and challenged by them
  • Getting face-to-face time with good friends rather than having to rely on Facebook, e-mail or Skype to interact with them
  • Having the freedom of driving my own car
  • The joy of a quick run to the grocery store, picking up ingredients to make a great salads and amazing dishes and enjoying these with good friends
  • Seeing a few good movies! Due to bizarre political issues, Indonesia rarely gets any current English movies
  • Sweet corn season in Iowa. I can eat Iowa sweet corn every single day. It's so good, I don't even add salt or butter. Just cook it for 5 minutes and that's it!
  • Sane traffic, and traffic rules that make sense to me... In Jakarta, much of the time on the road is spent taking obscure, roundabout routes for what could be a simple trip (e.g. in the US or in SA, the trip from the freeway exit to my house would include two simple right turns. Here, it is one left turn, two U-turns, and another left turn!)
  • Feeling safe when I cross a road on foot (the bizarre road rules here are to eliminate traffic lights which supposedly slow down traffic. However, imagine having to cross a 3-lane road on foot with a constant stream of trucks, buses, cars and scooters coming at you!
  • Going for early-morning walks with my friend Nan and her dog, Rocky. Enjoying open roads, fresh air, birds, no early-morning traffic, no early-morning humidity
  • Going to a great church with great friends and hearing nourishing, thought-provoking teachings
  • Going to a Beth Moore conference in Nebraska with friends
  • Taking in some other road trips from time to time
  • On days when I won't be in the library, writing, finding a cozy spot in one of many favorite coffee shops and reading
  • Taking a trip out West to see my sister and her family
  • Writing, writing, writing...
  • Somewhere along the way, finding out if the next season will mean I move to Malaysia or not
  • Getting my "cup" filled, and writing from a place of fullness
I'm sure I'll think of more...

Anything you miss where you are living now, or looking forward to having, should you be going on a trip home soon?

Things I will and won't miss about Jakarta

Recently, I started making a mental list of things I will and won't miss about Jakarta. It's part of the transition process. At least, for me it is, especially since it's not l simply want to get out of this place. Nor do I dread leaving. So it's good to acknowledge some of the process of letting go...

I will miss . . .
  • friends who have crept into my heart, some over the course of the year, some just in the last few months
  • some Indonesian foods, like beef rendang and chicken sate
  • being close to some pretty amazing sites to explore on weekends
  • cheap taxi rides
  • working with little ones and introducing them to the amazing world of reading, writing and arithmetic... I especially love seeing the light in their eyes when they understand concepts for the first time
I won't miss . . .
  • having to take taxis to get around. Though convenient and affordable, I'm far too independent to be dependent on strangers to drive me places
  • teaching preschool. It's been a season through which I have learned much and for which I am thankful. But I won't miss being a preschool teacher. It's what I did, not who I am
  • Jakarta (neither the traffic, nor the heat, nor the crowdedness, nor life in general here)
I don't regret having spent this year in Indonesia. I gained much insight for my dissertation. I gained interesting insights into my field of study. I had fun experiences. I made dear friends. I also had some unforgettable experiences relating to my job search... All in all, it's been a good year. And one that I'm OK with it being over.

Now, what are some things I'm especially excited about for the next season...

Tuesday, June 07, 2011


My mind is all over the place. Sort of like my stuff right now.

Packing up one's life is never fun. At least not for me. It doesn't matter that I've done it often. Way too many times. I think I live a fairly simplistic life. Compared them whom, though, right? When I pack to move, I'm always astounded by some of the things I have. Things that I move from place to place. As much as I don't mind starting over (buying new silverware, again, new plates, again, outfitting an entire kitchen from scratch, again), having old stuff, for me, has more value than just the price.

It's about having a history, a story. There's this little ceramic tumbler that dates back from college days, given to me by a dear friend. My kicker espresso maker. My favorite cheese cutter. Pieces of jewelry that have memories attached. Little things that make transitions a bit more palpable since it doesn't feel entirely like I'm moving into a stranger's house. Again. Then there are bigger pieces. Framed photos. My giraffe painting. My favorite carpet. A quilt friends made for me. Things that are simply me. Mine.

Believe me, I've gotten rid of a lot of stuff. Again. In the end, it's pretty amazing that right now, my life fits in just 4 pieces of luggage and 8 boxes. Maybe 9.

Simplicity, right? Except, in two weeks' time, I'll inevitably have to start buying again... Toiletries I'm not lugging around the world. Some of the bigger stuff can wait till I move into my own place again. Wherever that may be.

But when I start over, again, there will be evidence of a life once lived on a different continent, at a different time in my life.

Monday, June 06, 2011

Adele's Update: June 2011

Last days as "Ms. Adele, preschool teacher." At the end of next week, I'll move on and be a full-time student for a while.
I know I'll miss these pumpkins. I've learned a ton from them this year...
It's been a very long time since I've written a general update. And since a major change is underway in my life yet again, it might be good to bring you up to speed on the constantly-changing world of Adele...

Weren't you going to Indonesia for two years?
When I moved to Indonesia last summer, I thought it was for two years. The plan was to teach little ones at the new city campus of an international school. The teaching load would've afforded me the time and energy to devote my evenings to completing the final phase of my studies: my dissertation. And then the plan was to go try and find a teaching position at a university somewhere around the world in my field, Transformational Leadership.

However, a month into my time here, I was asked to move to our other campus in southern parts of Jakarta. The move meant a drastic increase in my teaching hours, and I realized right away that this would have long-term implications on my plans to finish my dissertation and move to things that's more up my alley. So I renegotiated my contract with the school and agreed to stay on for just one year rather than the original two.

So what's next?
This meant that I had to start my job search anew January. Though it would be way easier to find a position in the international teaching circuit (I could've even stayed on and just moved to teaching high school, what I'm trained to do). But that's not my long-term goal nor my passion, and I thus decided to step out in faith and apply for university positions again.

One opportunity in Kuala Lumpur looked very good. We started a dialogue, and somewhere along the way, someone higher up at the university sidetracked my application and asked me to instead consider a position at a partner institute. It was a position that would afford me amazing opportunities to work alongside a brilliant strategist in the field of transformational leadership. Everything about the position seemed to fit perfectly. All in all, I had 13 interviews, two of which were formal presentations to a panel. Everything looked very positive. But in the end, I was told they thought I'd be bored in the position, that I'm an abstract thinker and they needed a concrete thinker... I would still love to work with this group somewhere down the line in a different role. Time will tell.

So I went back to visiting with the university in KL about the original position there, the one I first applied for in January. They told me they'll make a decision by July... It's a great position, and I'd love for it to work out. But I won't just hang around Asia and wait to hear.

Where are you flying to when school closes?
School closes in two weeks' time, and I get to return to Cedar Rapids, Iowa to focus on working on my dissertation. Cedar Rapids is home for me when I'm in the US. I could go home to South Africa, but studying wouldn't be as easy there. Hence, I'm going to Iowa, where I have a car and community, and access to great university libraries.

I am very excited about diving into my dissertation and having time to focus just on being a student. I am excited about living with good friends for the next few months. I'll be staying at my friend Nan's house and making use of one of the college libraries in town for my writing times. I look forward to just being with close friends. I look forward to having the freedom to get into my car and go places. I look forward to getting as much of my dissertation done as is possible! I look forward to going to a Living Proof event the weekend after I arrive. I look forward to doing some traveling around the US. I look forward to going to see my sister Liesl and her family, and helping them as they move. I look forward to seeing my adorable nieces. I look forward to getting my cup filled doing things I love, seeing people I love... and then writing from a place of fullness.

Once I know whether I got the job in KL or not, I'll obviously post an update. But for now, my goal is to be a full-time doctoral student for the next season.

What the season after that will hold, God only knows!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

A Change in Perspective

I felt, the other day, what it’s like to fly. I ran off the edge of a mountain and soared, feeling the cold mountain wind directly on my face. After about five minutes, I landed in a tea plantation. Crash-landed, actually. But it didn’t hurt. I just laughed and laughed.

It was an amazing feeling, and if weren’t for the fact that the weather completely changed minutes after my take-off, I’d’ve gone up the mountain, paid another $30 and done it again.

Paragliding was one of the most amazing experiences: simply sitting in a harness, looking at the valley below with its tea plantations and the rows of traffic snaking their way over and around the mountains, some villages, and umpteen shades of green covered the hills. And in the sky was just a splash of blue from my paraglider plus a spot of yellow—my pilot’s jacket.

See, the week before, friends from church had mentioned that they had paraglided during their Easter break.

“I want to do that, too!” I blurted out.

“Oh, we can go again,” someone said.

“OK, how about next weekend?” I wondered out loud. There’s no point in wasting time when you only have a few weekends left in a country, is there?

Others piped in, a short discussion ensued, and before our ways parted minutes later, we had all agreed that we’d go to Puncak the very next weekend.

So, last weekend, after our Saturday night small group, we all squeezed into Diane’s van and headed to Sentul (a town in the mountains an hour or two outside Jakarta where the core group of adventurers live). We spent the night there and decided that the eight of us will head out earlyish the next morning, packed onto four motorbikes.

Stopping halfway to our destination to stretch our legs
Some fruit stalls on the side of the road
It was still foggy when we crossed the mountains, inadvertently joining some large bikers club. Helmets and motorbikes despite, you could spot the bules (/’boo-lays/, or foreigners) a mile away with some very, very white arms standing out in the crowd… (Rest assured, I wore my heavyish brown winter jacket for protection. I’ve seen too many scooter accidents!)

Spot the foreigners...
We fought our way through the Sunday migration of city folk going to the mountains, and we killed some time close to our destination, waiting for the fog to lift.

We killed some time by taking a side road toward Taman Safari, an outdoor safari park.
All the vendors on the side of the road sell bananas and carrots for people to feed the animals
A vendor at a tourist spot where we stopped
Just looking at all the tourist stuff
Kiptoo checked out some of the bamboo balls...
... and hung out under some of the bonsai trees
Then we went to a little tea house/restaurant. Kiptoo wanted to pose with the napkin holder,
since Sinarmas Pulp and Paper is the company that owns the school where I work...
Enjoying some jokes over our snacks.. Katie is also leaving Indonesia soon.
She's not laughing because she's happy to leave. She's laughing at the very immodest drink stirrer,
which is a very odd thing to see in this very modest country...
Sally, we discovered, has a very odd habit of putting ketchup on individual fries... Is it an Aussie thing?

When that seemed to be starting to happen, we headed farther up the mountain, disappointed to find that no flights were happening. Not yet, at least. We spent another hour or so sipping Indonesian clove tea at a mountainside warung (kiosk).

Finally on the mountain. But as you can see, it's way foggy. So foggy that you cannot even see Diane in the picture!
Why's Diane hiding behind Brittney and Tara??
Fun conversations over some clove tea while waiting patiently for the fog to lift
We tried some steamed bananas. It is served with chocolate and grated cheese. Kiptoo and I decided that
a) bananas should never be steamed
b) one should never put chocolate and cheese in the same dish, especially not on steamed bananas!
Brittney, Lisa, Adele and Tara. And 99 bottles of soda on the wall...
Finally, we decided to give up and head back down past the ever-growing snake of cars making their way back to the city. But then I felt it: My phone was ringing in my pocket, and Mr. Pilot Dude announced that the weather had changed, and we’d be able to fly.
“Shall we go back?” I asked my seven friends.

“Why not? We’re not too far!” our lone Aussie, Sally, suggested. The four bikes turned right around and wiggled our way through back up the mountain, only to find that it was once again shrouded in a thick fog.

I didn't want to risk losing my camera in the crazy traffic down,
so no photos of the ride down and then back up the hill...
Back at the place, we headed up the hill once more
following these guys who had been hauling building sand up the hill for hours
and kept doing so... What a job. What a life!
Some members of the group decided to take on the zip line as a fun second option. (Having had an unforgettable zip line experience just 3 months prior, I decided to forego.) But then, as quickly as the mountain had hidden in the clouds, she lifted her veil once more.

Killing time once again by enjoying the zip line. You can see how foggy it still is!
Tara and Katie, coming in for a landing...
And it's a safe landing!
Who's next?
Coming closer...
It's Sally...
... and Lisa, happy to be back on the ground again
“Let’s fly!” the pilot exclaimed. “Who is first?” The group graciously agreed that Sally and I should go first, seeing that we were the ones leaving Indonesia the soonest.

I strapped in and only then I got a few butterflies. It’s a bit crazy running off a mountain, I thought to myself. What if the chute doesn’t open?
Suddenly, the fog lifted and we were called to gear up
We're excited to fly. Can you tell?
Here, I think I was starting to wonder if I were nuts for wanting to run off a mountain...
Sally and I, both ready to fly

Not that that’s an issue. You don’t run first and hope it opens. You stand on the mountain and some guys lift two corners. The wind does the rest. It fills the chute and almost immediately lifts you off the ground. At the same time, the pilot, who’s strapped in tandem behind you, says, “Walk!” Soon after, he’s supposed to say, “Run.” I was told not to jump under any circumstances. Just walk and run.

Except things didn’t work like that at first. A side wind twisted the chute right away, and the crew jumped to let out all the air and straighten the ropes again. I’ll admit that I felt a bit queasy right then again, wondering if this were really a safe adventure.
Here, the corners of the chute is being lifted so it can catch some air.
We're standing in the exact spot where we girls had posed early on, when you couldn't see a thing behind us
My pilot dude is fixing the ropes after they got twisted by a side wind.
Notice I'm looking less excited over there. I'm wondering if this is a good idea...
And we're almost ready to run!
Moments later, the chute once again filled with air, and we may have only run three steps before my feet were off the ground. We made several sharp turns to get into the wind well, diving hither and thither, bringing some of the same thoughts back to surface of whether or not this really was a safe thing to do… Those thoughts instantly dissipated when we straightened into a glide and sat mid-air, the verdant valley spread below us.
Off we go! We had to make several sharp turns and maneuvers to get into the wind...

It was incredible.

After a flight of close to a very long and leisurely five minutes, we approached the tea plantation with the landing strip, and I noticed a couple and their toddler walking right in the narrow pathway.

“Lift!” the pilot shouted. This was the signal to lift my legs straight forward. The next command was supposed to be, “Run!” But that one never came. We were approaching the narrow path fast, and the family below just kept walking slowly until the pilot shouted, in Indonesian, “Get out of the way!” Or so I assume, at least, judging by how fast they dived off into the tea fields to the right, and we crashed into the tea bushes to the left.

I just laughed and laughed. “You should’ve run, not sit!” the yellow-jacketed-pilot dude said with a smile, pulling me up. (I didn’t succumb to the temptation to tell him that he never told me to run like he said he would, and that I’d have proof since I had my camera rolling all the way.) I just smiled and said, “That was AMAZING!”

And then I photographed Sally coming in for her landing right behind us. Their landing was a smooth one with no obstacles on the strip.
Sally coming in for a landing
Some kids from the local village help to fold all the gear after the jumps
We were relieved of our harnesses, and told to wait patiently until we were able to drive back up the mountain. “Sorry,” yellow-jacketed-pilot dude said. “Right now, the cars can only come down the mountain. We have to wait an hour or so before our car can take you up.” Which made me extra thankful that we had come on motorbikes in the first place, since there are no weekend travel restrictions for those. The traffic-in-one-direction arrangement on the mountain is to help with flow.

Sally and I played around in the tea fields, sorry to hear that none of our friends would be able to fly after all. The wind had become too erratic. When our friends pulled up on their bikes some time later, they all assured us that they were OK with only us having flown. Everyone had had a fun day, after all, and they were determined to make the same trip back in a few weeks.
Sally's pointing out the spot where we flew from
... while I am ready to fly again!
Marlboro Dog came to check out what the crazy bule girls are doing in his field...
When we headed back to the road to be picked up by the rest of the group, I spotted a Land Rover almost like my old TDi
and decided to take a photo like I've done on some safaris in Kenya...

The hill from which we flew, from a different angle
Some of the traffic passing by. By this time, the traffic had calmed down a LOT!
We finally got picked up and then headed straight to Cimory, a famous restaurant in the area
... and then we headed back over another mountain, back to Sentul. The sunset was spectalar! I took these shots on the fly,
so pardon the wires in the frame. The colors are too good not to share them, though.
I really miss seeing amazing sunsets in Jakarta!
More of the sunset
By this time, my behind was more than ready to get off the motorbike. Diane (you see only her helmet on the right)
is an excellent driver, though. I'm glad I got to ride with her. :)
At Brittney and Leanne's house. Leanne (on the couch) couldn't join us since she had been sick all week.
You can tell how tired we are of being on motorbikes for such a long trip!
Would I paraglide Puncak again if I had the chance? You bet I would! Though there were moments when I was a bit scared, it was nothing compared to the many times my life flashed before my eyes as we weaved through oncoming traffic!

The experience was somewhat akin to when I scuba dive. Though the sound and the touch of the wind on my face was different from the sound of bubbles and cold water on my face, it’s also very similar: It’s the exhilaration of seeing the world from a completely new angle.

It’s about fresh perspective.

And that, I like.