A Travellerspoint blog

Magic Carpet Ride (Frank)

semi-overcast 34 °C

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We have left Emerald City (LA) after 5 enjoyable days….since I was last there in the 80’s I have noticed a few changes…the beaches used to thrive with sporting activities…the scores of beach volleyball courts at Santa Monica were empty…at Venice Beach which is nicknamed “Muscle Beach”, there were only 2 guys working out …there used to be 200..even I felt comfortable taking off my shirt there this time…the music blaring from ghetto blasters and beach house stereos have been replaced with people listening privately to iPods…instead of Pink Floyd blasting out The Wall, people were listening to Pink being played thru earphones…what has remained the same is high end BMW’s and Mercedes cruising Manhattan Beach…and while I wait for our final connecting flight in Singapore airport, drinking my Starbucks coffee, I also read what hasn’t change..Arsenal losing its Premier League opener to an inferior team that the Gunners outplayed but found a way to lose…Man U of course got a result by finding a way to win…some things don’t change even if the manager does…anyways, the 11 hour flight to Japan followed immediately with a 7 hr one to Singapore went very well…I’m not fond of flying and many people’s prayers including mine were answered……even though I only left home just over a week ago, I miss friends and family already (and my cat)…I rec’d an email from my eldest daughter Jessica who is vacationing up in Osoyoos for a few days with her son Chris, my 6 year old grandson…on their way to Osoyoos they were delayed due to a motorcycle fatality in Chilliwack…when they drove by the scene the victim was covered up by a sheet..young Chris remarked that it was the first dead body he has ever seen…later that night while saying his nightly prayers Chris prayed “God, please find that man and take him to heaven”…enough said….

Frank

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Posted by wildwoods 19:02 Archived in Singapore Comments (3)

Five Days in the Land of Oz-pulence

sunny 19 °C
View Adventures in Indonesia on wildwoods's travel map.

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The last few days have been more than we could have hoped for. The time with the girls was beyond fantastic. We MUST have had some awesome prayers and good thoughts going up for us because at the end of every day, we all looked at each other and said, “WOW, what a GREAT day that was!” And as an added bonus, we now know the LA Metro system like the back of our hands! It was, well, pretty much perfect. We took a morning flight out of Vancouver on Sunday, checked into our hotel and headed straight on to Manhattan Beach, where we were told ALL the sand on Waikiki Beach was barged there years ago from Manhattan Beach…and there’s still more than enough! The whole strip – from Redondo Beach to Santa Monica was beyond expectation. Even though I’ve been to California a number of times, I never took in the beaches. I highly recommend at least one trip to this area in a lifetime. We also got a great deal on Universal Studios, which we were all super impressed by, again, exceeding our expectations…and then spend the next day in Santa Monica, which had tons of stores (and great prices, too) for the girls to spend their cash on. Certainly, by the end of that day, we were getting a little over whelmed by all the opulence, decadence and perfection surrounding us. The last couple of days were pretty laid-back…strolls down beaches, relaxing at the hotel.

We were in a bit of a quandary, however. There seems to be a real lack of bugs of any sort in this area of the world. It was pretty shocking, actually...no ants, wasps, very few flies, no spider...like, NOTHING! I have a sneaking suspicion they have all gone ahead of me to give me a warm greeting in my new place of abode. They needn't have bothered!

It was very difficult to see the girls off at the airport this afternoon…lots of tears and hugs and watching them go through security until I couldn’t see them anymore. I’ve just received word, however, that they made it through with flying colours and it was a breeze! A shout-out to Auntie Stacey is in order, for meeting them on the other side and mothering them for the night. My babies are safe and loved.

Frank and I caught a taxi from the hotel by LAX allll the way to the motel in Anaheim. We were a little unimpressed that there was no shuttle and no inexpensive way to get to this motel. We are flying out of the little John Wayne Airport in Anaheim early in the morning, so we had to come out here to stay the night. However, it was a total “God-shot”. Our cab driver was from Eritrea. I (Heidi) was in Eritrea in 1992, and we struck up a very interesting conversation that put everything in perspective. He had fled the country in a little boat across the Red Sea and found asylum in Saudi Arabia. This cheery young man recounted his journey the whole hours’ drive. Six years in the military, escape to Saudi and asylum in the US after a couple of years, leaving behind a wife and small child. He told us of how his wife had to escape to Sudan and the desperately difficult time (and expense and ingenuity) it took to finally get her and their son to America. He has been here for over 7 years, and his wife just got here three months ago. I just can’t even imagine the culture shock the poor woman is experiencing. It was definitely a God thing that Amanuel (that’s really his name) drove us. I had gone from sadness at leaving my children behind for 10 months, to gladness that this is all a CHOICE. The truth is, I can come back to a free country whenever I want. The truth is, my kids are living with their father who loves and takes care of them. I cannot imagine going through what this family has been through. And with gratitude and joy shining on his face!

Frank has some more sombre words to share in the morning. Right now he is peacefully snoring away.

Til next time,

Love and Peace…

Posted by wildwoods 04:43 Archived in USA Comments (1)

Last Night in Canada

22 °C

Frank and Christopher

Frank and Christopher

Frank and Jessica

Frank and Jessica

Like Frodo and Bilbo Baggins, the Woods have left the Shire.

We’ve said our last goodbyes to family, neighbours, and many friends. I (Frank) am staggered by all the sincere good wishes and emotional send-offs that have taken place. Unexpected connections continue to take place that leave me in wonder. I have been very reflective the closer to the time of leaving has come. It is a strange feeling to leave a country I have always called home. Like Dorothy, I am wondering where the Yellow Brick Road is leading. Like the Scarecrow, I will need wisdom. Like the Tin man, a heart full of compassion, and like the Cowardly Lion, courage to face the obstacles that lay ahead.

Unfortunately, I didn’t pack my Ruby Red shoes… but I know we are in many peoples’ thoughts and prayers.

Onward to Oz!

~Frank

Posted by wildwoods 20:57 Archived in Canada Comments (4)

The Ten Year Week

rain 13 °C

The Ten-Year Week

Well, hello again, friends! I can’t believe it’s only been just over a week since I last wrote. This last week has been a most eventful and stress filled one! All I can do is laugh..slightly hysterically!

We have cleaned and moved from one suite – moved in with Frank’s daughter and family, helped a new tenant move in, had a family barbeque/interview at church/my last “singing Sunday” and I had the delight of watching my younger daughter have her wisdom teeth removed! Hmmm…what else? Oh, yes, Frank sold his truck! Yay! So, we had the funds to pay for our work Visa and flights…and we (or rather, me…Heidi) experienced the utter panic and terror of madly putting together and sending the Visa application to the Indonesian Consulate in Vancouver.

I had to send Mr Woods out on an extended coffee break…

I was calmly settling in to concentrate on compiling all our documents, filling out the forms, etc. I had a couple of questions, so I called our contact at the Consulate. He kindly informed me that, although the turnaround time for the Visa application is about 24 hours, THEY ARE CLOSED ALL NEXT WEEK FOR RAMADAN!

WHAT?!

Heidi, the epitome of calm and serenity (HA!) turned into Heidi-the-Insane…after pacing and crying and praying and emailing (our new friends in Indonesia now know I am slightly off my rocker) SANS King Frank, thankfully, we actually got our application couriered to Vancouver on Wednesday afternoon…we are praying that everything is filled out correctly and that there are no hitches…we should receive our visa’s via courier on Tuesday.

There was more drama in that week that I could regale you with, but I won't bore you with any more!

Despite all that, we are taking each day as it comes with excitement and expectation. We are saying our last goodbyes and striving to “leave well”.

Much love!

~Heidi

Posted by wildwoods 12:58 Archived in Canada Comments (1)

The Adventure Begins

sunny 13 °C

Greetings, Friends!

The King (aka Frank) and I are honoured and delighted that you have chosen to Adventure Forth with us through this blog. Please be patient with us as neither of us has done this before (written a blog).

My title says, "The Adventure Begins", but in truth, the adventure began months ago....or years ago, depending on one's perspective. I cannot believe the journey that has already happened over the last year that has brought us to this place. Our hearts desires are being fulfilled, and our faith and trust are being built daily (I will speak more to this in a later post).

As I sit here nestled in my comfortable home, drinking a big mug of freshly-brewed coffee, in my lovely and peaceful backyard with the sun just coming up through the trees 2013-07-24_001_001.jpg, I ponder what the months ahead may bring. I am not really afraid, more curious. I certainly don't want to be stung, bitten, or gnawed on by various creatures....and I certainly hope my body can handle the intensity of a humid, tropical midday. But, if anything, being gnawed on by a tropical bug or fainting from the heat will be an experience!

For those of you that are the praying type, we have a couple of requests:

~Our work Visas have arrived, but we don't have the funds, as of yet, to cover them! We have done our due diligence, but some unexpected things have come up. We believe, though, that if this is God's gig, He will provide the funds we need. (Matthew 6:25-34)
~Please keep our new friends, the Schmidt family, in your prayers. They are flying out from Calgary today, making their way to Indonesia. We are so blessed to have started developing a friendship with them while they were in Victoria, and we are happy that we will see some familiar faces when we arrive in Malang in a little less than a month.

Until Next Time!

Posted by wildwoods 07:53 Archived in Canada Comments (3)

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