Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Adventures in Atauro

This past weekend four of us expat families chartered a boat and went out to Atauro, an island off the coast of East Timor. (This weekend resulted in A LOT of photos which will be posted here over a few posts which will probably get old but oh well) We made it to port nice and early with our GIANT duffle bag full of stuff. Everyone was packing crazy amounts of stuff and I was bragging that I had fit everything into one bag, little did they know it was a ginormous military duffle ha! We hauled everything out of the car and waited for our shuttle out to our boat. It was a gorgeous day to be on the water, especially once we saw that our boat was a nice one and not one of the many dilapidated ones half sunk in the port.
We took a little motor boat out to the ship. I got to ride with a bunch of the cute kiddos!
We "raced" with the other boat. Really it was more of us yelling that we were winning and our local teenager driver looking at us with concern since he didn't speak English and had a boat full of kids yelling.
Once on the boat we tried to get the kids all settled in their spots, making sure everyone was wearing their lifejackets.
They were all so excited to be on the boat it was so cute. They kept laughing at nothing, I loved it. When I was walking out the door I grabbed our binoculars and Liam had so much fun looking through them trying to find, well anything.
I kept teasing him that there were different animals in the water
he told me I was silly and kept looking for dolphins. While he was on look out Sammy, Briggs and Oskar checked out the captains cabin who I am sure appreciated having so many kids wandering around his ship :)
The waves splashed so high up the side of the boat it was crazy! Most people switched to the other side of the boat to get away from them but Dominique who is HILARIOUS and I LOVE being around thought her solution was the best:
After about a half an hour most of the cuties on the boat were ZONKED which meant a nice quiet ride. I got to talk camera with Jonathan and show him how cool my new lens is. I am sure I told him WAY more than he wanted to know but thats what you get for asking me about photography ha! Once the island was in view Sam asked if it was the island with Dinosaurs! (He LOVES Jurassic Park) Dominique informed him that they live in the hills. He then requested several times through out the weekend to go see them.
We had rented out all four of the villas which turned out great because then our kiddos running around screaming and playing didn't bother anyone! We checked in with the proprietor Barry, he is Australian who was married to a Timorese women and has run the eco lodge for the past ten years. He has twin two year olds that enjoyed watching our kids all weekend
(The twins had five nannys it seemed like so I still have no idea which one was his mum)
We divided up into the four different villas that are all in a row and each have their own Balaes (no clue how you spell that).
Sam calls them birthday houses because last year we had his birthday party in a gazebo in Williamsburg! How cute is that, he still totally remembers!
Ours had an upstairs with a king bed and a down stairs living room and bedroom with two twin beds and on the porch was an amazing hammock!
(Sammy sleeps with his eyes open. A trait he gets from his daddy and I think is kinda creepy)
The kids had a blast running around and checking out each others "houses".
Ours was a hit because of the wooden ladder/stairs that went to the upstairs. It was dubbed the pirate ship and a favorite place to hide during hide n seek games. (And amazingly enough Sam only fell down it once! I thought for sure we would have a broken arm by the end of the weekend-- phew!) Liam liked walking up the winding path but kept filling his pockets with dirt. When I told him to stop he said "Momma look at that" I turned and looked behind me and when I turned back around he was putting more dirt in his pockets. He totally psyched me! I laughed so hard which threw any sort of disciplining for not listening out the window :) In the next installation, snorkeling and surfing!


Jan said...

My Goodness- AMAZING!! An unbelievable weekend trip. What an extraordinary place to go and to be together with other families. That Liam is quite the poser. I loved your dialog with the pictures, as usual Kelly. Sam must have enjoyed the hammock as well as the pirate house. Wish I could have been there but living vicariously is almost as good.