Pleased and surprised...All is intact in our package...Future photo update...

Last night I slept better using this flat soft pillow. Tom's new phone, my prescriptions, vitamins, water shoes and more arrived safely in the package.

"Sightings on the Beach In Bali"

Last night, during an especially high tide, massive amounts of ocean debris landed on the villa's lawn.  This morning Ribut and another staff member for next door are sharing in the cleanup duty.
With hundreds of photos we'd yet to post for "Sightings on the Beach in Bali" over these next many days until we depart the villa, most of our photos will fall under this category.

The activity of the beach has been a constant source of pleasure for us during the total combined four months we've spent in Sumbersari after a two month break in between, when we traveled to Singapore, Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand. 

Our bags of Crystal Light iced tea.
What a whirlwind of amazing discoveries there have been these past six months, all interspersed with the quiet contemplative periods we've spent on this glorious beach.

Soon we continue on, heading back to Australia as we'll begin to wind down the two years we'll have spent in the South Pacific before heading back to the US for an over two month stay; six weeks in Minnesota, three weeks in Nevada.

There are countless rivers to be crossed.
Looking back, we have no regrets about any of our decisions over this extended period living on this side of the International Dateline, a day ahead of most of those we know and love.  The time zone differences have been tricky when talking on Skype or using a chat but somehow we've managed to make it work.

Going forward, we won't be so lazy and laid back especially now as I continue to have more good days in a row than bad after this lengthy four month recovery period after injuring my spine in June. 

It was a long haul, eliciting as much worry as discomfort while desperately attempting to stay positive and active when situations called for it.  The cruise on the Mekong River was most challenging but we ended up seeing most of the highlight and having a wonderful experience with all the new friends we made along the way.

Curious cow.
Now, as we contemplate departing the villa in such a short time, we're absorbing every aspect of our surroundings from the playful dogs on the beach, the kids swimming in the river, the changing tides, the sounds of the waves and the sunsets, breathtaking almost every evening.

Yesterday afternoon while in the pool, I heard my phone ringing.  No one ever calls my phone. Everyone always calls on Skype on my laptop that elicits that usual Skype sound.  Over and over it rang, more times than one would expect.

Finally, I dashed out of the pool a few second too late for the last ring.  I noticed it was Gede's number, immediately returning the call.  He was at the post office in Melaya Beach and had a question, "Your package is in Negara.  Would you pay the driver an extra IRD 100,000, US $7.66 to come this way to deliver it today?"

Coconuts are easy for the picking having fallen to the ground.
Having been concerned about the box arriving at all in this remote location we didn't hesitate to agree to pay the extra charge.  With customs fees surprisingly low (providing everything we purchased was in tact in the box) at only IDR $315,000, US $24.13, we were all over it. 

In retrospect, in addition to the cost of the merchandise in the box, the total cost to ship the 25 pound, 12.3 kg including fees generated from the US utilizing Express International Shipping and the customs and delivery fees on this end as stated above, the grand total was IDR 2,829,540 US $216.79.

Considering we probably received the package two days earlier by paying the "tip" it took a total of 12 days to arrive from Nevada, USA to Negara, Bali.  Good thing we opted for express shipping.  Otherwise, packages such as this can take months to arrive.

Lush green farm fields.
When Gede walked in the door carrying the box, we were both excited to open it.  Tom said it felt like opening Christmas gifts, something we haven't done since 2011.  He was so anxious he ended up opening the box with a wine opener, the first item he grabbed out of the kitchen drawer instead of using a knife or scissors. 

One by one, we pulled the items out of the box ranging from Tom's new smart phone, underwear and water shoes to my three new sleep shirts and two swimsuits.  It was all there.  Not a single item had been opened or tampered with. 

Much to my surprise the one year's supply of the three medications I take daily were also intact, none of which would be of any concern to an inspector.  Also, Tom's several bottles of vitamin B6 (to prevent kidney stones) were also OK, along with a few other other-the-counter items we hadn't been able to find these past years.

Many small shops on the highway are cluttered and worn.
The replacement credit card was safely in its envelope in the box along with all the other unopened snail mail we'd been expecting.  Within 20 minutes we'd activated the card and gone through all the pointless paper mail, all of which we should have received online.  I'll have to get back to work on a few accounts who should not be sending paper mail.  Why should we be paying to ship paper?

Gede hung around for awhile to ensure all was well.  We reimbursed him for the expenses and soon he was on his way with a big smile on his face.  Like the two Ketuts and Ribud, we'll be leaving each of them very generous tips before we depart rather than doling out smaller increments along the way. 

This morning, we finished removing any remaining packing materials from items in the shipment, placing most of the items into our suitcases.  Other than our third checked bag that contains toiletries, shoes and extra cords, etc., I'm completely packed and Tom's not far behind.

Ocean view along the highway.
A grateful thanks to Eric at MaillinkPlus and Gede for facilitating the arrival of our package and to the people of Indonesia for respecting our stuff both in safe handling and fairly assessing customs taxes. 

Today, Egon and his wife Francoise arrive to spend a few weeks in their villa next door.  Currently, they're on the four to five hour harrowing drive from Denpasar.  In 11 more days, it will be our turn.

Hopefully, nothing about your day will be harrowing!

Photo from one year ago today, October 18, 2015:
Papaya tree growing in the yard in Fiji.  For more details, please click here.


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