Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Butterflies and Flowers and Maybe an Animal or Two...

While waiting for our flight off the island, you usually spend a day or two, or just a few hours at the Rimba Hotel. Before we left to come back to the states, our family spent two days at the pool for some fun and relaxation. While there, I went around and tried to capture a picture of the most brilliant blue butterfly I have ever seen. I kind of got it as you will see in the first picture, but it was very difficult to focus in on a fast moving object. Never the less, I did get some decent pictures.

While taking pictures of the butterflies, I took pictures of the local plant life.
Oops, missed this one with the butterflies! Camouflaged.....

And now......... last but not least....... The Animals........!!!!!.
Ha Ha Ha Ha!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Walking the "Hill"!

One of my new "hobbies" is to walk the road from Tembagapura to Hidden Valley with some really good friends. I can't remember the exact numbers, but I think the walk is a little over two miles... one way... and the elevation change is about 3,000 feet.... and the road has about a 20% grade... for most of the road. Maybe it's only 2,000 feet.... I can't remember... Let's just say it's a tough walk!!!! The first time I ever walked it, I was cussing out the whole group of women that were walking, and I was seriously reconsidering my mental state!!! I have no idea how long it took me on my first trip up the hill, but once I made it to the top, it felt like I was on top of the world! AND, I could not wait to do the walk again! It was an awesome feeling!!!
The next time I did the walk, I got better and better. So then I started doing the walk once a week. Since I have a very competitive nature, I started timing the walk. The first time I timed the walk, it took about 45 minutes to get to the top. After the next few times, that was getting too "EASY".... yeah right.......... So then I start doing the hill TWO times a week!
One day I finally remembered to take my camera with me and took these pictures as we walked up the hill. On this day, with all the stopping to capture a photo, it took 40 minutes to get up the hill. So I am thinking..... if I can now do the hill in 40 minutes messing around..... What time can I get by just busting my butt to get up the hill??? So my last time up the hill before I left for vacation was................. (drum roll here).............................. 34 minutes!!! WOO HOO!!!
It was very exciting and very rewarding!
Here are the pictures. The beauty of the mountains........ You just can't capture it. But I tried...
This is the start of the walk. That's Mt. Zaagham. It will be in most of the pictures, and you can hopefully see the change in elevation with the pictures.
The group of women for this days walk. Also the big trucks and buses on the road. They are BIG!
The steepness of the road... Mt. Zaagham and Tembagapura.
Around another turn.... You can no longer see Tembagapura.
On this particular day, we met these ladies on the road. On the back of the lady on the right is a one to two year old child!!! This road is a tough walk with just a water bottle on your back!! Imagine carrying a 25-30 lb. child!! OUCH!
Mt. Zaggham. We are getting there....
Just a picture of what the roads are made of. No small gravel here!
Some small vehicles on the road.... Almost there. Our last major steep part around the corner...
This is just after the last steep climb.
WE MADE IT!!!!! Michelle and me with Mt. Zaggham in the background. Sorry Susan..... Susan, another of my walking buddies, was in this picture also, but she was squinting so bad that I figured she would kill me if I put her picture on here! :) Next time....... ;)
I know, I know..... I don't even look like I worked up a sweat. That's because I don't. Seriously! It's not good for you.... So I take two bottles of water along. One to drink, and the other to dump on me to keep me cooled off!!!
Walking back down the hill..... The clouds are moving in....
Now here is my FAVORITE sign in all of Tembagapura!!! Like really people!! No one drives this road except for the people who live and work here. You have to have a special permit to be on this island! If you come here, you know you are going up to Tembagapura..... One road in..... The same road OUT!! Albuquerque is NOT 50 miles from here! :)
So it's my favorite sign, and I finally got a picture of it!
My new "Hobby"! I am missing walking the hill while I am back in the states.... and I am sure I will really be very out of shape once I get back...... AND I will probably really hate the first time back up the hill! But I am looking forward to the time when I can do it again. My new goal is to get my time under 30 minutes. I will let you know when I accomplish it....
Until next time....

Friday, June 11, 2010

Mersades on a camel!

Here are a few pictures to add to Mersades trip to Australia. The kids got to ride camels! She wasn't quite sure she liked it.... as the pictures will tell!

Mersades having a great time, and not even knowing it!

Were Back......

As most of you know by now, we are back in South Dakota. We spent yesterday shopping for some much needed shoes and clothing. Finding lots for the kids, but not a lot for mom.... boo hoo :( Oh well, I will just have to leave them with Grandma and go on my own! :)
We are all doing fine. Flights were all on time, and not bumpy.... Well maybe into Denver, but that's always the case.
Since I am back in the "real" world... and hopefully have better internet service... and more free time (rolling eyes)... I will try to get some more picture posts done.
For now.... Adios, Sampi Jumpi, or Later Gator,

Sunday, June 6, 2010

On our way home!!!

I just wanted to let everyone know that we are on our way back to the "Mother" land..... aka US of A! There were a few tears when leaving the Timika airport today..... of course not mine.... (FREEDOM!) but the kiddos are going to miss Daddy-o.... Chris will join us in a few weeks.
We are now in Cairns Australia. Orthodontists appointments tomorrow (Tuesday), then continue our flights back on Wednesday.
We love and miss you all!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Birthday Cake...

Normaly when I make a "fancy" cake, as some people call them, I do it all myself. I don't let people help me, because I have an ideas in my head, and just go with it. But because my friend asked me to "help" her.... I let her "help" me. There is a first time for everything! ;) The cake was for her son's seventh birthday. Even dealing with the humidity, I think it turned out pretty sweet! This is the first birthday cake I made in the jungle...
Mmmm, Mmmm, Good!