Going Outside to Play

Although Indonesia was quite a beautiful place, it was also incredibly poor. Every country has its Hans Rosling (see his amazing TED video here) predictable bell curve of wealth distribution, and Indonesia has so many people in it (almost as many people as the US), that a lot of people end up over on the left-hand side of the curve.

While walking around one of the cities there, I went off-track and ended up in a small settlement underneath a bridge. This family had set up here, found old couches and bits of refuse to build their home. This little girl was outside playing, arranging scraps of trash on the ground in interesting patterns.

I stopped and talked to the family for a short time. They were nice and didn’t mind me taking photos. The mom seemed a little suspicious but then calmed down when she saw I was good with kids. The dad did not speak a lot of English, and I indicated to him that his house looked pretty sturdy compared to some of the others. He pointed to one across the river, which you can see in the upper part of the photo, an, in broken words, said that part of it had recently washed away. The dad was pretty happy with what he had built. He motioned to the little fence and then motioned to his little girl.

Going Outside to Play

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Fly Fishing Behind the Ranch

There is a perfect stream here on the edge of Montana that backs onto a ranch where I have stayed a few times. At night, you can hear the stream rushing by while you sleep. Sometimes, in the morning, you can see a bit of steam coming off it as the air adjusts. In the middle of the day, the fish are biting and there isn’t another fisherman for miles.

It looks like it might be easy to cross, but, believe me — it isn’t. There’s a few deep pockets in there that you won’t find until you’re one step too late. I’ll never forget the time my chest waders started filling up with cold river water. Once a little bit starts, it’s a slippery slope!

I also ended up doing a bit of tubing down this river too… which I’m sure was completely confusing to the fish underneath.

The River Behind the Ranch

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The Hollywood Tower Hotel

I tried to give this one a very Twilight Zone feel to it. The whole ride at Disney World is filled with Rod Serlingesque treatments, so I thought it would be a fitting adjustment.

This ride is pretty freaky, and I totally recommend it!

The Hollywood Tower Hotel

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The Fed Ex Forum Awaiting the New Season

I was lucky enough to get a tour of the Memphis Grizzlies home stadium when there was hardly anyone around. The Fed-Ex Forum is an amazing facility. I think it looks like a great place to go watch games. The surrounding downtown area is also very cool… seems like it would be a great way to spend a night out. I’ve never been in Memphis on game night, but I’ll be sure to make that happen some time!

Also I got to go back in the locker room and meet some of the players. The guys were so nice and affable… I couldn’t get over it. I don’t know what I expected, but they were just all really young nice dudes. And then I saw this little underwater rehab/training facility. It was really wide and had this conveyor belt that ran under water. I asked why it was so wide and was told it was originally used for horse rehab! Crazy…hehe…

Memphis finally got a good pick in the draft… #2! That’s great for those guys… go Grizzlies! :)

The Fed Ex Forum Awaiting the New Season

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The Lost Souls of Malacca

This was a totally new way of dealing with death to me.

Malacca is a small seaside town in southern Malaysia. It has many Chinese residents, a majority of whom are still quite poor. When the family members die, there is usually very little money to give them a grave in a graveyard, so there are a multitude of shrines and temples in which families erect these miniature tombstones, stacked deep in rows. There are thousands and thousands of them. A photo is attached to each one, and most waste away with time. A few solitary ones remain behind.

In other news, there was a recent interview by the Homebody Blogger that I have been meaning to post. It has the over-the-top title of “Master of HDR Photography, Trey Ratcliff”. Well I don’t know about all that (!), but here is a link to the interview for you.

Lost Souls of Malacca

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