jeudi 27 juin 2013


I had to divert my trip to the USA from Europe, so that I could once again be with my Indonesian friends.
My good friend Joe announced that he had made arrangements and that I am to arrive in Bali close to midnight on a Friday night.
Joe who is interested in many forms of exercise and sports and more importantly is interested in facilitating that interest among his employees was participating in the Bali Triathlon to be held a couple of days later.

 In the morning after my arrival, it was such a pleasure to see familiar places from Bogor. 19 members of his staff were there.

I had wanted to see his daughters M and M, and I thought I would catch up with them in San Francisco the week later, but they were also there, which was an added bonus. Brother Chee from KL had also come.

The main event was the triathlon and watching the incredible number of persons participating and their physique, one gets inspired to do more and more exercise! Joe himself was the first among the Indonesians to complete the Triathlon, even though there were Europeans ahead of him, most of whom had experience in such matters, this being Joe’s first.

The team from the staff members took the no 3 spot that made every one happy since the 1 and 2 spots were taken by Bali teams with the knowledge of the terrain.
Even though the visit was a short one, I was in Bali less than two days, the warmth and affection felt among the friends was overwhelming indeed. I am glad that in the past 14 months, I have been able to visit them 7 times and each and every time pass many hours in their company: and also enjoy the good Sundanese food among others. On each of these visits to Bogor, another destination had been added on: Bandung, Semarang, Yogyakarta to visit Borobudur and of course Jakarta.

My Cuban mother had commented that most visitors to Cuba fall in love with a person and thus when that relationship ends, the love for the country also evaporates. It is better to fall in love with the country, she advised me.
Slowly since 2008, I have fallen in love with Malaysia and the process is being repeated in Indonesia since May 2013!

Unexpected pleasures await you Bali, the gift was meeting a recent graduate from the Colombia University’s School of International and Public Affairs, with specialisation in Environmental Policy especially Forestry. It felt especially good to feel that connection since  a family friend, Tarek Carney of Jamaica recently graduated from SIPA with double major, and now has entered the UN Service for Refugees.
It is nice to thank the Spirits for encounters such as the one I had in Bali, Indonesia.

Within 40 hours of arriving in Bali I was on my way to KL and then on to Bruxelles.