PART 1 - i started to write this maybe yesterday - maybe it was the day before. no clue, really. jam karet.
it's 11:11 (for a change)
I'm lying on the beach with my trusty i-thing.
we are SO LUCKY to be alive.
we get to receive this gift?
we get to feel the magnificent power of the sun as it caresses our skin?
bathes us in light!?
dude. I am such a sun-worshipper, it's real.
must be an Aries thing.
When i was back in Padang, my friend Christina told me how whenever she goes home to America and comes back home to indo with an extra couple pounds and loses her tan, the indo women say in an almost jealous yet totally complimentary way...
"wow. you look so fat."
I laughed when she told me that... how funny that they thought it was a compliment.
sometimes over here... things happen like that. One person gets misinformed and then EVERYONE says the same misinformation.
ALL kids say "hello mister" to bule (white) women... like WHO told them that? And somehow it spread like wildfire...
I was thinking - HA. someone probably told an indo chick that you should call white women 'fat' and we would like it (just to mess with us)
-and now ALL the women in Padang walk around giving white women eating disorders.
(or maybe that's why there are only 5 of us. rarely does a western woman want to live somewhere that we are repeatedly called fat men.)
But then Christina explained that no... honestly... it IS a compliment.
think about it.
if you are muscle-y and tan and slender - then it probably means that you are out in the hot sun all day working hard and must not have the money to eat.
So, if you are pale and chubby - it means you are stoked - you have money and don't have to be in the heat...
So it's almost like saying "oh... you're fat? you must be doing well for yourself."
Whatever man. ya... it's burning boiling hot... but to me, this is H.E.A.V.E.N. - laying in the sun and absorbing all this sunlight medicine into my skin for an hour every day.
dipping in the ocean when i need a little cool off.
though its 85 degree water.
OK... part 2 i guess.
i don't know... i'm just structuring this blog as i go- and i have not many brain cells after last night's dance party mayhem booze-a-thon.
OH! good... this is part 2 anyways.
Last night was the epic full moon.
So many friends are staying on the island... Some in tents, everyone bunking up together sharing beds - waking up spooning someone new....
But seriously, its been a week and i feel like these are my family and lifelong friends.
we all feel the same way.
super bonded and like jam karet just stretched a week into months and months.
Brent is here - who actually IS my family/lifelong friend... but the rest are Cahn's family (who I am mildly obsessed with...)
and a bunch of various friends of John, Ainsley and Cahn.
Beautiful, beautiful people.
A handful of them work for surfaid and are part of habitat for humanity rebuilding the villages that were destroyed in the tsunami.
Brent arrived yesterday from Padang with about 6 people on his boat (including Ben- who i had already met in Padang, and shared his story of actually surviving the tsunami. He was carried away in his tent and hit a tree, which essentially saved him. He is here with his beautiful wife Rebecca -they've been together since about high school- and their daughter Inda who's eyes look just like the island ocean - a ring of turquoise around the pupil getting bright blue as they move out into the deeper water...
Also, Joey and Jackie who are badasses and work on a charter boat out here. Joey took some epic pics last night. i will share when i see them...
Everyone arrives at the resort in such a cool fashion... since it's an island, there is obviously no driveway or main entrance - so people just all of a sudden are here! appearing out of the jungle with big smiles always.
...and whereas sometimes in a group setting, when new people arrive it changes the vibe and everything shifts... here it just magnifies and intensifies the awesomeness.
Shortly after they got here, Brent and Birdie said they had to go over to Tua Pajet (the capitol of the Mentawais) to get supplies - a.k.a. more beer - and pick up some friends that were coming back to the island (Matt, Sas & Tom and their adorable baby Jonah.) Matt is from New Zealand and super awesome, loves to snowboard and is managing one of the building sites down south.
Tom is with surfaid too and his gorgeous wife Sas is an anthropologist who has lived in the Mentawai jungles and studied the monkeys here forever. Ironically, Beeker (our monkey) adores Jonah and squeeles when he comes over... They live in Tua Pajet and are such an awesome couple. I feel really grateful they are my friends.
ZaniGO was like... uh... duh. i'm coming too.
So off we went on an adventure.
Birdie started singing "electric feel" on the boat which stirred up the zanimal in me and lead to full dance off while the boat sped towards town - foreshadowing the night to come.
i took some killer photos in Tua Pajet, made friends with some locals in a store and learned to say a few new sentences.
We gave a ride to some of the villagers from Tua Pajet to the village where the wedding would be. (Pokorajat - on North Sipura)
It's really fun for me to talk to Indo people who don't speak any english... i feel like i am picking up Bahasa Indonesia more and more every day and i am so excited about it every day.
The taught me "Maeru" - the way to say "Bagus" (good) in Mentawai.
There are SO many languages out here.
I am mostly learning Minang (like west sumatra style indo) - but the Mentawai Island languages are totally unique... like the village.
seriously... the village is like nothing i have ever experienced.
but i'll get to that in part 3.
So anyways - we got back to the island from our Tua Pajet by way of Pokorajet, and there was a charter boat docked on the back of the island - and a bunch of new faces were in the bar.
I can't quite remember the sequence... but i know i was Vitamin T deep when the sun was going down.
Cahn's immediate family went to go sleep in the village, so there was SLIGHTLY more floorspace for sleeping, but pshhh... who needs sleeping?
We had dinner - then i sat in the back with Linda and Arielle (Linda is the indo chef and Arielle is the indo electrician that lives on the fishing boat and drives the little boat and goes surfing with everyone... he laughed at me SO hard that day when i went out with everyone at scarecrows. He's super cool. always smiling and has abs that scare me they're so ripped. (apparently that means he is a hard worker and not doing so well?? haha. ya. i don't think so.)
anyways - I had the BEST time talking to them. laughing our asses off... i teach them english, they teach me indo.
Linda is probably the funniest woman in indonesia. i kid you not.
she might be out of her mind.
so untypical of a Mentawai Island woman to be so outgoing and wild.
This is me, linda and yona (the other amazingly awesome woman i love. she's the bartender and funny as hell.) We all call eachother Siyang which means "sweetheart"...
and i teach them funny americanisms.
they tell me i'm crazy and laugh at how excited i get about learning indonesian
I think somewhere after our porch convo i came back in, drank some more, passed out for an hour powernap in the bar.
woke up with a pop-up mosquito net over me and decided i was fully charged and then i FULLY charged it.
danced like it was my job until ohhhh....5a.m.
we all did.
danced all over, under and on the bar... decided to take a midnight swim at 4am under the magical full moon.
HERE is the wildest magic of the week for me...
i wear a ring that i am totally infatuated with.
Susan gave it to me... its three cosmic stones - meteorite, moonstone, and this glass from the meteor craters in egypt or something.
i came out of the sea under the milky moon hanging overhead in all her glory... and the moonstone in my ring was gone.
there is just an empty hole.
the moon took her stone back.
and what's even more crazy... i looked in my datebook - which of course i havent looked at in days - because who CARES what day it is... and i saw something i wrote on TODAY's date -back in October when Ainsley invited me to come live here.
I wrote on last night's date "first full moon island swim of the year"
i was always going to swim under that moon last night.
and the moon was always going to take her stone back from me last night.
which means i guess i was always gonna party down like it was 1980 like i did last night.
Somehow i fell asleep around 5am.
come to think of it... i think Birdie may have switched off the generator because it would still be going probably if the power didn't switch off.
i put ALL my driving force energy into the party and it was so unbelievably fun.
Linda was dancing like it was her job too.
We were doing a follow-the-leader kind of dance-off the way we teach each other our languages.
dance is just another language.
so... after sleeping for maybe an hour, Brent came into the mosquito net that Birdie and I were sleeping under and woke us up.
I wanted to kill him.
But we had to go to the wedding.
oh. okay - sooo, part 3.
We staggered to the end of the beach and climbed on the boat to head to Pokorajet.
This pic is me and Ains right before getting on the boat.
Thank God I have Ainsley. Thank God the Mentawais have Ainsley. This woman is not only one of my favorite friends ever - but she is the archetypal goddess. She is humble, funny, witty, and unbelievably patient.
She has been basically the only woman with all these surfer boys for so long.
I think i kind of relate to being the only woman with a group of guys - but mine are always musicians who are WAY more sensitive and appreciative then testosterone-y aussie surfer boys.
But we love them nonetheless.
And its been such a treat to have Cahn's mother & grandmother, sister Shana, 5 year old neice Sophie, sister-in-law Angie, Sas, Rebecca, Jackie, Linda and Yona! Goddess Fest!!
We had a goddess party the other night when all the boys went to the village for a Mentawai bachelor party.
It was super fun.
So the pray section began on the boat - sitting right on the bow of Brent's boat - the very very front... (which is the way Jay used to always ride- out there like you're hovering over the water with the wind whipping past your ears that drowns out everything else. it is straight up magic.
i felt so peaceful and full of life all at once as we made our way back to Pokorajet for the wedding.
I think i was still drunk.
i was DEFINITELY still drunk cuz i was chugging tequila like 4 hours before.
But the water...
OH MY GOD.... the water.
drunk or sober... it was divine.
it was so glassy it was like... uh. glass, actually.
I just organically started OMing... sending the deep profound, powerful vibration of that sacred syllable out across the gorgeous water that was the exact color of that barbisol stuff they keep the combs in at the barber shop.
it was breathtaking.
and then it started raining.
i didn't even care... i was so deep in prayer... on my way to a church in this unreal mentawai village to see my friend get married.
the rain was tickling my face, my closed eyelids.
the wind was kissing my cheeks, the splash of the turquoise water was licking my feet.
my third eye was open so wide.
my heart expanding love out through the entire ocean...
across the country.
through the ring of fire and encompassing the globe.
in no time, we were in Pokorajet.
The church was so incredible.
Such bright colors everywhere.
Gorgeous voices singing from somewhere i never hear voices sing from.
it wasn't like american idol, where people are trying to sing a certain way because they think it sounds good when they do it that way.
this was guttural and natural and more beautiful then any singing i've heard.
The village seems to be ALL children somehow.
I think each woman has about 7 kids... so it actually makes sense that it is mostly children.
There must have been 50 children who periodically got up and sang and danced for Cahn and his wife to be Sue, during the ceremony - which was also a 3+ hour church service in Mentawai.
I picked up some words from Nick's poetic Indo lessons and our song writing sessions.
Nick actually sang a song in Wallaki fashion with Cahn's brother Jye - who is so cool its unreal.
He and his wife Angie have been together since they were 16 too and are pretty much the perfect couple.
They are so vibrant and full of life.
Just like these kids performing, sharing, singing their little hearts out.
Apparently they had been rehearsing for weeks.
it was so dope.
i was so moved.
and SO F-ing hot i thought i was gonna die.. i was literally dripping in sweat. kept getting tunnel vision and thinking OH my god how embarrassing is it gonna be when i faint!?
no fans. no electricity.
and of course i am trying to be all respectful and appropriate so i am covered with this shall that is the hottest shit ass thing in the world. My drunkeness is wearing off and Ainsley and I were sharing glances of death to one another.
The service ended - and we all headed back intot he village near someone's house - and hung out with some of the locals, plus Linda and Yona and Arielle (loooove them) - and the rest of our friends/family. (who are mostly all leaving tomorrow - i am SO super bummed about that... and DEFINITELY going to Perth to hang with them. without a doubt. SUCH a badass family. i can't even think about it. i have such separation anxiety thinking about them leaving.)
anyways - we all hung out mentawai style - ate some food-- (well, i tried anyways)--
...and met THIS little guy. i just about peed my pants when i saw him.
then swung by the aprty that was going off - Linda was def still srunk too cuz she was dancing up on a stage fully grinding.
They kept pulling me up on stage - but the entire village (and who knows - neighboring villagers too) - all staring at the stage and i felt like Oh shit... how is THIS appropriate?
I'm sitting here sweating and what is more offensive?
Saying no to dancing or dancing and looking like a hussy and more then likely face planting from starvation and heat exhaustion?
So i left.
and so did like 10 of us.
All bloodshot eyes. We pulled up to the island and we all simultaneously felt like crying with relief.
back to the driftwood kingdom.
(Cahn's family who slept in the village last night arrived back here later then us with the same reaction. hallelujahs for being HOME. we are SO LUCKY to be alive.
we get to receive this gift?
We are SO SO lucky to be alive)
So--- that's it.
aaand, i am well aware - this might be the worst blog i've ever written.
i have no intention of editing it.
the reason for both of those things are due to excessive alcohol consumption...
i'm back at the island post wedding now about to crash out like the ten people who are asleep around me.
i think i might juuuust be getting a hangover.
and i know the party is ALLLLL coming back here later... so best to rest up now.
(p.s. --- did you get the eat, pray, love. reference here? do i need to point this out?)
i should stop typing everything i think.