Pasarpino to Tias 51km
Tias to Bengkulu 61km
This trip was always intended to be a journey, joining the dots. Cycling from places I have been before, to places I've never been. Revisiting special places, and finding new special places. Seeing for myself what others have talked about, places that previously I've only seen from 30,000 feet, places I've read about, or dreamed of visiting. The initial plan involved visiting 64 countries over four years and eight months. Ju said it was too long. Cut it in half. So here I am, 140 days, and 8000km, into my 900 day adventure, joining the dots.
One thing I've learnt already, is that there are a lot of dots out here, and every dot, some you might have heard of, most you will not have, and some that don't even register as dots on a map, is an important dot. Every dot is a place where a whole bunch of people, that we've never meet, never heard of, never even thought about, were born, brought up, educated, married, worked, had kids, grown old, and died.
Every dot is a place where people have based their lives, made friends, built homes, prayed, played, loved, fought for, worked for, and come back to after periods away. There are so many dots, that mean so much to so many, but most of us just are not aware of even existing.
All these dots represent communities, many a good deal bigger, older and busier than my dot, and as I cycle through them, watching weddings and funerals, watching deliveries being made, products being produced, kids going to school, farmers, shop keepers, policemen, teachers, nurses going about their business, families spending time together, people enjoying each others company, I realize how much I miss and value my dot, 8000km behind me, or is that 35,000km in front of me.
I'm missing, most of all, Juliet, and am so lucky that she is so supportive of this old fellas dream, and that she answers my Skype calls. Thank you my sweet.
I'm also missing my community.
I'm missing the weekly Test of Time band rehearsals. I feel so privileged to be part of such a talented group of people, that enjoys playing together, and producing such enjoyable, professional gigs, that can be enjoyed by so many.
I'm missing being part of an amazing team of caring, skillful, and community conscious St John Volunteers. These guys put many, many hours into their training, and serving the community, and it so rewarding working with them, as a part of a team. Well to be honest I'm not really missing the 2am Sunday call outs to the drunk who's fallen down some steps, but I'm missing the team.
I'm missing the Amuri Players. I know they are deep into rehearsals for their next production, and I'd love to be there, sharing the fun, the laughs, the working together, to come up with a show fit for public consumption. I'm really proud of our previous shows, and I'm sure this one will be just as good. Such amazing friendships develop from these shows, as you stand shoulder to shoulder, well out of your comfort zone, in front of a boisterous crowd. Yep, I'm missing that challenge.
I'm missing going riding with my mates on our beautiful mountain bike trails, whether just for 30 minutes, or for several hours.
I'm missing the food so easily accessible in my dot. Bread. Cheese. Salads. Mayo. Pickle. Ginger Beer. All those yummy cakes and stuff you lot keep putting on Facebook.....
I'm missing all the warm, smiling "Gidday Grum"'s from the young people of our school. I'm missing the camaraderie and familiar. I'm missing those I work with, those that shout abuse across the street, those that wave two fingers in my direction, those that toot or wave as they pass in their car, truck, van, those that smile or laugh at my stupid hats or colorful socks, those that call into my home to say gidday. I'm missing my community, my friends. I'm missing my small, insignificant, on some maps, non existent, dot.
But I'm on an adventure. I'm getting to visit and meet, and get to know so many people, in so many dots. Just for a bit longer, I'll put aside what I'm missing, and continue to Join The Dots, perhaps, bringing them all closer to my Dot. Stay in touch.