After vacationing with Josie and Bryan in Bali and the Gili Islands, they jetted their way back to the States with a pitstop in Tokyo. They had just enough time between flights to experience the glory that is Japan and, in turn, fuel their hankering to return in the hopefully-not-so-distant future. Meanwhile, Adam and I caught a ferry and then an epic cab ride and finally a fishing boat to a little, lesser-known island on the southwest side of Lombak called Gili Gede. Gili Gede is an island free of cars and accessible only by local fishing boats. It has limited electricity and no running water (i.e., salt water showers and manual toilet flushing). But what Gili Gede lacks in modernness, it makes up for in heart.
Gili Gede is just on the cusp of a tourism takeover. In preparation, you can find the local men and woman working hard to build up the infrastructure, one head-mounted pail of cement at a time. And to do their part, children sit in a circle under a big tree learning their English ABCs. They are eager to practice speaking with you and run to you with delight at the chance to see themselves on a camera screen.
Adam and I relished the last five days of our half-year adventure on this quiet little island in a tiny little hut at Madak Belo Guest House (the one in the first picture to be exact) reading books, going for walks, sunning, playing backgammon, and daydreaming. The beaches weren't perfect per se, and the food was sometimes repetitive (a lack of refrigerators will do that), but the experience was undoubtedly unforgettable. It was the perfect way to conclude our post-PhD escapades.