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Bali August 17, 2005 Español

Posted by Belle in : Bali, Indonesia


The day we arrived in Bali Wences had to go back to Chile for his quarterly board meetings. He made sure we were all set up in the Bali Marina, in Benoa Harbor, and then sped off for his plane. I don’t know how he can go from life on the boat to back to back meetings. Oh, that’s right, he has two days of traveling to slowly get him back in the groove. What a way to adjust! The wonderful world of air travel! The thought of traveling with these two kids for more than 20 hours in the air, well, let’s just say I would rather sail at this point.

A day or so after Wence left, Ricardo left. Poor Dio. His best friend was all of the sudden gone. It was hard for me to imagine how Dio was going to take it. He and Ricardo spent hours together each day, playing, fishing, going on dinghy explorations. I was not sure who enjoyed this time more, Dio or Ricardo, but they loved each other. When Ricardo left he gave Dio a beautiful wooden elephant family as a parting gift. Dio was so happy with his new toy, he hardly noticed ricardo’s absence the first day. It was the second day, and the third day that were hard. Sharing a room had made them very close. Now Dio felt alone. It would take him a while to get used to. “Cardo? Where he go?” He would ask. I would explain that Cardo was on a plane, like papa. That Cardo had gone home. On the third day Dio looked at me and said, “Cardo gone, mamma.” Yes, I told him. “Cardo gone.”

We were happy to be in a marina, feeling just a bit safer there. The next day I went to the Bali International Medical Center after Newton, a Brazilian doctor cruising with his wife and eight year old son, listened to my chest. At the center they told me I had bronchitis and suggested I stop breast feeding for two weeks and take antibiotics. That didn’t sound like something I wanted to do, so I decided to try to fight it on my own. The next day we ended up back at the BIMC with Theo. He had dozens of red bumps all over him. I was not sure if they were mosquito bites, the chicken pox, or some strange Indonesian skin infection. They were so red and menacing looking. They looked like more than just mosquito bites. Turns out they were bites. Poor little guy. The doctor suggested I put him in long sleeved shirt and pants at night, and put him under a mosquito netting. They do not have malaria in Bali, but they do have dengue fever. Children die of dengue fever, so I decided it was time to get serious. We had been so lucky so far in Indonesia. There really had not been any mosquitos, but now I realized, that was not generally the case.

Since Theo has outgrown most of his clothes, because who would have thought that a three month old baby would be wearing 9 month old baby clothes, we decided to find long sleeved, as light as possible, cotton shirts and pants for the kids. We set off to Kuta, the shopping mecca in the area, with Liz and David. In one of the first places we walked into, I asked if they had anything for kids because they had just what we were looking for, but only in adult sizes. They offered to make some for the kids which sounded very fun to me, so we had fun suits made for the boys. I call them mosquito nets, or malaria suits. Dio looks like some kind of karate prince.

A couple of days later we went to Sanur beach. Liz and David walked in the low tide beach with Dio while I had a pedicure in the shade, feeding Theo. In Sanur and Kuta beach there are dozens of women wandering the beach offering manicures, pedicures, massages, braids, clothes, whatever. My first reaction was nonono. But then I looked around me and noticed everyone was getting something done. A huge, gross Australian was getting a full body massage while he snored away. As I sat in a chair in the shade with Theo, looking enviously at the dozens of bodies around me being kneaded with sweet smelling oils, a woman named Anna came over with the usual request. “Massage?” It seemed impossible to have a massage and take care of Theo at the same time. “No thank you.” She casually looked at my fingernails. “You have nice nails”, she said. Then she looked at my toes. “How long has it been since you cut your toe nails?” We both stared down at my gnarled, cloven feet in wonder. “I did not know they grew that long,” she said sweetly. And that is how a pedicure can suddenly become a necessity.

Luna and Nicole began to be frequent visitors to Simpatica. I was always happy to see both of them, but nothing could compare to Dio’s joy. I guess he is over his Kiwi/Argentine flame, Sophie. He loves to hug Luna. Luna is on the petite side so a hug from Dio can send her flying. She’s great about it. We went with Eric, Nicole, and Luna to a different part of Sanur beach, walked for a while, and watched the kids play. It’s so nice to watch Dio play with Luna. Nicole and I decided that the next day we were going to make a trip to Kuta, SANS enfants, and shop til we dropped. Little did I know I would drop before I even got out the door. I felt so exhausted that day. All I wanted to do was stay in bed. I went to Kuta with Nicole anyway, hoping that going out would wake me up. At first it did, but after an hour or so, I began to feel terrible. I knew I had a fever. At one point, all I wanted to do was lie down. And what scared me was that the side walk was beginning to look like an acceptable bed. I cut the shopping short and went home.

That night I woke up early in the morning with a strong pain in my ear. I realized I was also sweating profusely. I got up to get some Tylenol and all of the sudden was overcome by the pain in my ear. I woke up moments later staring at the ceiling. It always seems to take forever to wake up from fainting. For what seems like an eternity I stare up at whatever seems to be there and wonder who I am, where I am, and what I am doing. Slowly all of these details come back to me and then I realize I have fainted again. Shortly after realizing my identity, I noticed I had a very bad taste in my mouth, actually the worst taste in my mouth.I realized I had two partially dissolved Tylenol tablets in my mouth. That was enough to get me off the floor and to the trash can. A half hour later I practically crawled to bed.

The next day I went to the Bali International Medical Center again. By now they knew me by name. Although the pronunciation of Casares was very creative. They told me I had an acute inner ear infection most likely as a result from the bronchitis. They said I would probably get a perforated ear drum which would allow the fluid to drain and then the pressure and the pain would go away. Either way, hole or no hole, I was supposed to come back to them. If the hole happened on its own, they wanted to see it. If it did not happen on its own, they would make one for me. For the first time I found myself praying for a hole in my ear. Later that day my prayers were answered. Almost enough to make me go to church. The pain did lessen, but I could tell that the hole was too small for all of the liquid to drain out. Back to the doctor. Every time I went to the Bali International Medical Center I went at the same time, 11 AM. And every time I saw a different doctor. Strange. I wondered what the doctors did when they were not working at the center. This doctor looked through my files, which by this point was getting rather impressive, and finally convinced me to take antibiotics. She told me I had the symptoms of pneumonia, fever, coughing, white patches on the x ray. I guess I was at my breaking point because I finally agreed. Three days of shots and oral antiobiotics. Six days no breast feeding. I was afraid I might lose my milk, but as the doctor put it, I am the one who needs to take care of the baby and I cannot do it with fever, fainting, coughing etc. If I let it go it would probably get worse and who wants to be hospitalized. I called Liz and David and took the first shot that day. Since they had no IV, which is how it is usually administered, I had to take a slow shot in the vein. I’m bad enough with regular shots, this one sounded worse. Luckily though I had so many shots in New Zealand that it did not freak me out so much. I kept imagining Theo smile, then Dio smile, then Wence smile.

The day wence got back we went to meet him at the airport. All five of us. Of course his plane was delayed over an hour and they lost his bags. But I will never forget the way Dio hugged his pappa when he saw him. It was as if it were a miracle. Dio held Wence’s face in his hands, smiling, “pappa in the plane! Pappa!” I couldn’t help crying.

Moments after we returned to the boat, Wence had already planned out our next few days. We had talked about getting away, just the two of us, and since I could not breast feed and needed all the rest I could get, it seemed like a good time. That afternoon Wence and I hired a cab to take us to do a couple of errands. Wence talked me into letting him get his hair cut while I waited. At first I thought I was going to have a waste of an hour, but I found a beautiful shop next door and tried on half the clothes they had and some that were not even out of the arrival boxes yet. On our way back to the marina, I asked the driver if he went to a temple to practice his religion. At least once a week, usually, he said. He made it sound very interesting and relaxed. My kind of religion. Then we asked about the muslims in Bali. He said I should ask the Muslims if they go to the mosque to worship. He laughed and said, pretending to be that Muslim, “No. I’m making bomb.” We all laughed. Obviously unaware that one month later three bombs would go off in Kuta, the part of town we probably frequented the most.

That night we went out to dinner with Eric and Nicole in Seminyak at a place called Ku de Ta. It was tres swank. Drinks that had names that sounded like bad poetry or lyrics from a Barry Manilow ballad. We had a great time. Everything was fragrant and yummy. After dinner we went outside and saw probably the nicest place to watch the sunset on Bali. Couples from all over the world were sprawled on huge couches overlooking the sea, sipping pastels liquids in martini glasses. Candles everywhere. It looked like the restaurant was becoming an outdoor club before our eyes. The music changed, the vibe picked up, and everyone started strutting around, checking everyone out. So us old fogies immediately left.

The next day wence took me to a beautiful place in Ubud, overlooking a valley with a river, rice patties, beautiful trees. It was such a wonderful spot, we did not want to leave. We hardly saw any of ubud. We had massages, went for walks to the healing springs, where we swam and then lay down on a comfy bed with mosquito netting that was right next to the spring. We ate healthy, yummy food. For two days we just relaxed. It was great knowing that the kids were being well taken care of with David and Liz. Otherwise I do not think I would have agreed to going, and if I had I would not have enjoyed myself.

We met up with David and Liz and the kids after two days at the heavenly spot in Ubud at the elephant park. We had been wanting to take Dio there and since it was so close to Ubud it seemed to be a great time. He LOVED it. He rode an elephant with me and Wence and then again with Liz and David. While Dio was with Liz and David watching elephants play basketball, that’s right, basketball, imagine the dunking potential…I went off to breast feed Theo. Shortly after he started, however, he threw up. Not exactly the reception I was hoping for. After two days theo throwing up off and on we went back to the Bali International Medical Center where I finally saw a doctor I had seen before. She was the first one I saw. The one I like the most. She looked up the antibiotics that I had been taking and said it probably would have been better if I had waited two more days to breast feed. Iwas so mad. Obviously not at her. Now my baby was sick because of the antibiotics. She said that by now it was safe to breast feed, but his stomach had been disturbed. She gave us something like powdered yogurt to help his stomach heal. It worked. A few days later he seemed ok again. Poor little angel. When he is sick, he does not complain. He even smiles and is cozy. But he looks pale and tired and gets circles under his eyes. It’s scarey when little babies are sick. Thank God they are so resilient.