Friday, December 24, 2010


Hi from the sunny and idyllic Gili Trawangan!

We want to wish all of you out there a merry christmas wherever you are! We are at this moment enjoying a white christmas on the beach with blue green water and a car and scooter free island! It's as perfect as it can be but also strange for us to think it's christmas eve...

Tonight we will share some presents and after have a good dinner at the waterside :-)

Have a peacefull and gooood christmas with your familly and loved ones!

Ho ho ho from family Frohe and Romeyn <3

Sunday, December 19, 2010


We are fortunate in so many ways. Fortunate to be able to be here 10 months, do what we do and experience everything we do. Fortunate to have been born into the lives we have in the western countries with money and all the opportunities we can imagine. Fortunate to have the luxury and freedom of choice in every situation we are in. But I realise more and more for each day here how much we also lose or miss because of all this wealth. In Norway as an example I know that we complain all the time about something instead of appreciating what we have and what we do and we are the richest and wealthiest country in the world. As people in Norway and Netherlands we have the opportunity to change what we want in life whenever we want, although many of us don’t realise this, we are stuck in our own patrons and think we have to search for happiness somewhere new and outside ourselves.

The Balinese peoples fortune in my eyes is that they are born into a way of living that contains a lot of spirituality and to live in the moment, sounds so simple, but did you and I grow up this way? I think as a child we all do and we all are spiritual, but we learn to plan everything ahead what to do and how we will do it, we forget to live in the moment. I know this is a cliché and that a lot of us are aware of this lately, it’s modern to be spiritual and to seek other happiness than in materialism and career. But I realise here that we still don’t know how to easily change and think different than we always have learned in our culture and upbringing, even tough we know things through knowledge and traveling. Who can blame us? We are also just living within our own boundaries with our own references.

I have to think about papa, I remember how he was to me as a child and how he let me stay spiritual and dreamy as long as I wanted it and needed it, later in life he also never made any stress out of anything and always took the day as it was and didn’t plan anything in terms of having to feel obligated to things or worry about something yet to come. The stress inside me and that I also often forget to live in the moment comes from later in life and the culture and society I grew up in.

In Bali they don’t worry so much about what is going to happen tomorrow, they have a saying that I hear here a lot: ‘…like the river flows…’ It symbolises the way they look at life, they don’t plan much ahead, they are not afraid for what will happen next and they believe strongly in the flow of the river and that it takes them to were they’re supposed to go. There are absolutely less fortunate sides about thinking this way, Balinese often don’t plan things efficiently and on time, they don’t always stand up for themselves and they are too (in western ways) humble against another person, being on time is a wide term here. And children don’t were helmets on the scooters and they drive from age 10. Probably I will find out more in the rest of my time here. And still I have to say, I would like to think, feel and look at the world more like a Balinese, if we all did, we would have had A LOT less wars on this planet. We look at Bali with our organised and western look and then think they don’t work efficiently…but who am I to say who is right?

The fortunate anyhow side is clearly that they are much more in touch with them selves inside and they know from childhood already that everybody is the same inside and live on one planet. Off course western/material greed has taken over a lot of the culture also here, but still they have a totally different way of dealing with it. Yet….I hope it will sty like this.
Yesterday I took a taxi from Ubud back home together with Els and Loek. The driver was a dedicated Balinese Hindu who really enjoyed to tell us about the Balinese way of life and the religion. When he understood that I know a few things and that I was very interested to know more about different things, he didn’t stop talking, laughing the typical Balinese way and explain things. He was such a happy man, he told about all different traditions, offerings, ceremonies, way of looking at life, the world and God. It was all so logical for him and he could explain it in such an easy way. God is in us al, but also in the trees or in the animals and everything around us. We are all the same, but also every person is unique. He lives today and doesn’t know what he will do tomorrow, even tonight, he said, I don’t know what will happen, and then he laughed… The greatest thing here is that they don’t want to force anything on you, even better, they don’t even care what you believe. In their eyes we are still the same inside and good and bad is in and outside us all. This they try to keep in balance by for example offering a lot.
He told about karma and how you can learn and change your whole life, if something did not go well you have to evaluate and then change it. It all was so simple for him. And this is wisdom that we western people read in books and here from great thinkers, writers and spiritualists. And there you are talking to a Balinese taxi driver and you have the first seat to one of the most essential and spiritual lectures you can get, fantastic! :-) He also had a great fun trying to teach me some Balinese, haha, I think I will stay with the Indonesian in first place, but it’s nice to know some Balinese too. I love Bali!

So who is more fortunate? That’s the question.

I could go on telling about the culture and the Hinduism here, and I am still learning. There will come more thoughts and philosophies from me for sure.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Visits on Bali :-)

We are here for 3 month already, time has really flown away, the weeks pass but the feeling is different. I think it comes from the fact that we don’t realise so often which month and time of year it is. Even though we know about the snow back home we don’t feel the season change here, besides that the rain season is coming. The body is so used to that it should have been autumn and winter right now that it still thinks its summer. But we have been buying a few Christmas gifts and we here music all around here in the shops and everywhere. So its slowly coming to us ;-)

At the moment we have a lot of visits, a few weeks ago, Aina and Tonje (daughters of Anders, my brother) came with a friend and stayed in Bali for 3 weeks. They will leave Saturday. Together we have been to Padangbai, Ubud and temple Pura Tanah Lot and off course a number of times just at the closest beach. We have had a lot of fun together and for me (Iris) it has been a great thing to get to know them better than I did before, we match good together and have a lot to talk about, pity that Sofie just misses out to meet them this time. The last nights we could also offer the girls a room in the old villa we lived in before, because we moved BACK TO OUR HOUSE! :-) It’s great to finally live and settle for real in the house, which is ours for the rest of the time here! We have finally emptied all of our bags and suitcases and made an own place for everything somewhere in this cosy house. We love this house!

Last Saturday Els, Loek, Marion and Jort came from NL and we picked them up from the airport. After an almost 30 hour travel they were pretty jetlagged and tired. Monday Loek, Jort and Marion were sick, stomach trouble and throwing up. We were never sick like this (besides Rino’s fever in India) until now, and 3 of the 4 catch it the 2nd day. But luckily it was quickly over for all of them and Wednesday everybody was eating normal food again. This week we have room for everybody in the house, next week somebody has to sleep in the villa. But that’s no problem, we have rented 3 scooters extra. It’ s going surprisingly well with driving the scooters. Loek and Jort both needed a few times to get used to drive left and to understand this traffic a bit, but its going perfect :-)

This Saturday we will pick up mamma, Sofie and Roger on the airport also after a 30-hour travel. Hope they will be luckier with the ‘Bali belly’ and not get sick and feel so bad. So for 2 weeks we will be a group of 9 people and 23 of December we go to the Gili islands for 5 days and to celebrate a white Christmas on the beach of Gili Travangan :-) The Christmas music on the IPod is ready to be plaid on the beach ;-) We look forward to go and we do the sun dance every day so we don’t get rain on the Gili’s when we are there.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Trash = Cash

Last weekend (27nov) we were in Ubud again, this time mainly because an event at the foundation. The 2 weeks before we had a big group of American students doing a project with our teenagers at Sjaki. The students are coming from a university in California and are traveling around the world for 4 months in 10 different countries. In every country they did something good for people. And on Bali they were spending time with our teenagers and us making a lot of stuff. The project slowly took form prior to the time should come. It became a project were they made different items out of all kind of trash that we and others had saved up the last couple of months. The two weeks ended with an event/thank you party with the students and teenagers. All kind of people were invited to come and all the children and parents also. The items made during the two weeks were sold this day by the American students, there was a band playing and there was food and drinks for everybody! :-) It was a great success and the teenagers, children, students and other guests were dancing for hours during the middle of the day in a HOT HOT Ubud. Everybody was sweaty and happy and Sjaki made a lot of money during the day! :-) It was a fantastic experience seeing all the children and teenagers having such a great time dancing and jumping around to the music with all the other happy people. The Americans were great, they loved the teenagers and the children and were very enthusiastic. They also gat a lot of trust from the teenagers witch also is a big complement to them.

In the evening we made plans to eat with one of the girls we had talked to the most and from there we headed over to a lounge/disco where we partied together all of us to celebrate the successful day and as a goodbye party for the Americans who were leaving for China last Monday.

It was a great weekend but also really cool getting to know the group Americans, I must say I admirer the way they travel, their university has made a programme/semester about seeing the world and connecting it to a number of subjects they have in school. They visit Argentina, Russia, Turkey, Egypt, Jordan, Israel, Kenya, India, Indonesia and China. This all in 4 months. The students are all around 20 years old. What an experience it must be! They enjoyed it that’s for sure, and we enjoyed them:-)

Sunday we finally bought our sets with traditional Balinese clothing, so now we can join all kinds of ceremonies here and look completely like we are supposed to here :-) Iris’ blouse had to be made by a tailor, because it should be custom-made, the sarong and Rino’s clothing we bought at a marked. Picture will come later.

To see the products made with the Americans and pictures from the weekend see here. (Because the blog is available to everybody I exclude pictures of Sjaki’s children and teenagers): I dont know why but some pictures are not uploaded well on the webalbum, so they look damaged, sorry about that.