Hello all!! Please accept my apologies for the huge gap of time since my last blog entry. I’m still getting used to this whole blog atmosphere and I have a newfound respect for people who blog regularly, because it takes a lot of time to do it well!

So the last time I wrote, I was leaving India and heading to Jakarta, Indonesia. 3 days after I arrived, I got quite sick.  It started off with me having a very restless night of sleep.  Over the next few days, I had a fever and felt like I was burning up, and a few hours later I would feel chills running through my body. I also had ZERO energy – all I did for 3 days was sleep.  I decided I needed to go to the doctor, and when I got there they did a blood test just to “rule out dengue or typhoid fever”. Needless to say, I was stressing and hoping it wasn’t either of those things. I was relieved to find out my hope came true.  They did find out though, that I had a virus that was eating away at my white platelets. That was what was causing me to feel so fatigued and feverish all the time.  Since it was viral, there was nothing they could give me to – I just had to wait it out. Within 2-3 days after the visit to the doctor, I started to feel a lot better but it took almost 2 full weeks before I felt back to 100%.  While being sick is never fun – especially while traveling – I considered myself lucky that it happened when I got to Jakarta and I was around friends who could help me access the help and care I needed. I might not have been so lucky if i was in a more remote location.

I spent the month of August catching up and spending time with my dear friends Sheuwen & Adam Kalmbach and their two beautiful daughters. I met Sheuwen & Adam while they were living in Boston back in 2007.  In June 2007 they moved back to Houston, TX but despite the distance, we were able to keep in touch.  Here are some family photos so you can put faces with the names:



Here are some photos of their 3-year-old daughter Kate (code name Kk):



Here are some photos of their 1-year-old daughter Lauren (code name Lolo):



The family has been living here in Jakarta for years due to Adam’s job.  It was fascinating for me to learn about the advantages as well as challenges of living the ex-pat life – especially while raising 2 young children.  Beyond all of that, it has been an amazing respite for me, both mentally and physically.  The physical factors were so luxurious after bouncing around India for 5 weeks. It was such a treat to have a bed to sleep in without bugs, to be able to use a machine to do my laundry, and to have some solitude when I needed it.  Mentally and spiritually, I don’t think Sheuwen & Adam really understand how much it has meant for me to be able to be here with them. Sheuwen and I have been able to spend a ton of time together, and I can honestly say that my spirit has lifted from that time.  It has been over 3 years since I last saw them in the States and it’s been a blessing to be able to catch up , ask questions, get wisdom and guidance, and have her help me unload some of the mental baggage that I’ve been carrying around.  Sheuwen is a loyal friend, with a loving heart and a caring spirit, so I feel like being with her is exactly where I needed to be.  And their kids! Kk and Lolo have given me DAILY doses of joy and laughter – whether it’s reading a book, putting a puzzle together, watching Dora, or having a karaoke party – we always manage to have a great time together!  Here are some snapshots of some of the things we’ve been up to:



One of the most amazing things I got to witness during my time here is watching Lolo learn how to walk! I have a greater understanding of the joy a parent feels when they see their baby take their first steps – what a transformation!!

In mid-September, I took a trip to Singapore with the Kalmbach crew.  I had heard so much about the country so I was glad to have the opportunity to visit for a few days.  Highlights include delicious chili crabs, experiencing a city with relatively efficient public transportation, and my quest to search for the huggable Coke machine (which it turns out I missed it by a week!)

 So that’s the quick update on August – mid-September, and I’m hoping to catch up on my travels in upcoming entries. Thanks for your patience and stay tuned for more stories and photos to come!!  

Finding joy in Jakarta

2 thoughts on “Finding joy in Jakarta

  1. Jules says:

    Wow Rach, sounds amazing, thanks for posting!!..I’m sitting at a desk in rainy Michigan…this is my update;)

  2. YAY, finally!!! : ) I’m so happy to see pictures of the family, give them all big hugs from ME!!!

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