Today is the Balinese holiday in honor of Saraswati, the goddess of learning.  Paradoxically, no one is allowed to read or write on this day.

I landed safely in Bali yesterday afternoon and spent the rest of the day with Bob and Resa from Yakeba.  They took us to buy SIM cards, and Resa got bitten by a monkey sitting outside the roadside shop!  See the little bugger below…

Biting SIM card monkey in Bali

Biting SIM card monkey

On our way to the airport to pick up our Ethiopian colleague Nardos last night, we all went out to eat Masakan Padang, which is Indonesian fast food.  I ate calf brains!

Masakan Padang

Masakan Padang

Adrian, Resa and Joy Lynn (eating calf brains)

Adrian, Resa and Joy Lynn (eating calf brains)

According to the Indonesian Penal Code, any person attempting to bring drugs into the country is executed… so you can imagine how we panicked when a security officer at the airport informed us that Nardos was being questioned because he was carrying 23 kilos of Kolo, which is just an Ethiopian snack food that apparently looked like drugs to the customs agents.  After I convinced a security guard to let me inside the arrivals terminal (Franck was required to jump through hoops then buy an official pass, because he is not a girl in a short skirt) I ran up and down the lines of arriving passengers looking for Nardos.  We found that he had eventually been released with a warning “not to bring this food into Indonesia again.”

Arrivals at Denpasar International Airport

Arrivals at Denpasar International Airport

We are all now safe and sound here our Balinese apartment, eating breakfast, listening to music and getting some work done out on our balcony.  Check back to read about our first workshop with injecting drug users at Yakeba on Monday!

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