Maratua Atoll, Indonesia: A Wedding, Jellies, and First Days of School

Maratua Atoll 

East coast of Indonesian Borneo (Kalimantan)September 2019

This place is absolutely breathtaking in its white sand spits, turquoise waters, and the prolific coral reefs crowding the outer walls.  The boats on the Indonesian rally are nearly all here, but soon they will be moving along with the schedule, and we will choose to stay behind and make bigger hops to the places we most want to see. 

Elizabeth's cooking lesson:  making pumpkin gnocchi with Noelle

Our friends' boat, Illimité, beached up on the sand spit!

Yesterday we went to swim in a lake full of jellyfish, their gelatinous bells pin-balling between the many tourist bodies.  I loved just finding an isolated area and floating among the pulsating jellies, like some sort of deep meditative experience.  

Yes, I wore my wetsuit.  Just to float, certainly not because I was scared of being stung...;)

One of the three species of jellyfish swimming with us

We have recently started the new school year.  I am now the proud teacher of a 7th grader and 9th grader!  Yikes!  Each couple of days we will add in another subject until we are doing all 5 of our core subjects.  I’m not sure yet how we’ll fit it all in, and I don’t want to feel rushed or stressed.  I’m praying that God will reveal a workable daily agenda to me.  I just don’t want to be doing school all day, but certainly want to fulfill requirements (especially for a high schooler!).  One day at a time, starting slowly so that we can be methodical and take care with our procedures and expectations.  It is very important to me this year to cut back on complaining and build organization, accountability, and responsibility.

Cultural Studies 101 as we walk through the village

Update:  The day after I wrote this post I heard that there was a huge wedding happening on shore, and I was desperate to see what an Indonesian wedding was like after seeing so many fancified brides in wedding photos hanging on the walls of family-owned shops.  So, we did our first part of the school day and then dinghied over to shore for a cultural field trip!  We were sorely under-dressed among the sequined dresses and rhinestone hijab brooches, but they were welcoming and insisted we get a lunch plate!

Wedding buffet for all the guests

Quite the affair and flair!  This poor couple must have been melting in the tropical heat!

In the end, the writing assignment of the day was a few paragraphs about each - the jellyfish lake and the local wedding in their Day One diary apps!  

Lord, just be with me as I embark on our eighth year of boat schooling.  Give me joy and remind me to leave room to explore beyond this planned curricula.  Learning is more than standards and objectives.  Let our learning be genuine, relevant, and meaningful as we travel to new places together.

Exiting the channel of the Maratua Atoll


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