Good Morning

  

Alight upon the branch holy songbird,

Sing of the sun and the joy it’s given.

Awaken the dawn and let the day give thanks.

The space in which we find ourselves is sacred,

the world awaits in hopeful anticipation 

for how the divine will present itself 

in moments of grace and love.

It’s going to be a good day.

Wandering Gone Tangible

Well our little wandering project has made it out of the world wide web and into the real world. We had our first art show this last month in the Flagstaff art walk and had a great time. This coming month we will be downtown Flag again in the wine bar “Vino Loco”. Our project contains five prints from our trip with corresponding poetry. We are selling the prints as a fundraiser for the Mel’s former place of employment the Halo House, a domestic violence shelter in Flagstaff. We are both excited with the possibilities that could come out of this and are considering new ways to keep the idea of “the wandering” continuing. One idea is to open the website up to other photographer and writing duos to keep the stories coming as we are stateside, if this interests you or you have your own project that you would like some more attention for feel free to contact us. Meanwhile if your in Flagstaff come meet us June fourth at the Vino Loco and see the pics in real tangible life.

Grand Canyon State

Well we’re back in beautiful Arizona and we’re already taking kids to the Grand Canyon, Sedona, Pink Sand dunes and beyond. Not to mention Eric has been skiing in Colorado, I’ve hiked to one of the saddles on the peaks, Mel is running five miles a day again and moving toward barefoot running, Michael is super guide again wooing students and teachers alike with his super powers. I’m currently writing from white dove coffee where I am once again serving delicious beverages and sandwiches. Got to love ARIZONA

home.

Well after about two weeks in southern arizona Mel and I have finally made it back to Flag. We entered via I17 listening to  godo by Jonsi. And I’d lie if I didn’t say it was decently emotional. Slightly overwhelming. Michael will return in the future and Eric has been here for the last few weeks. We have touched base a little bit but not really. Right now I am sitting at white dove listening to my dad’s newest heresy. Which is as much as an adventure as listening to the call to prayer in an open market in Indonesia….. I am currently debating the future of this blog as it’s set out purpose is slowly coming to end. I do know that there is still a lot of processing that will be the result of this trip but much of that will probably stay in our journals or on our lips and not make it to the world wide web. I don’t want to string any you along but we will be posting pics soon of Flagstaff and our friends here so you can stay posted for that. For more blogging excitement you can also visit our other blogs at  http://krisdohse.wordpress.com/ and http://melissadohse.blogspot.com/

tropical processing

Well for many people around my good ole hometown of Flagstaff you can’t say the word Sumatra without immediately thinking coffee. In fact I would go to say that there are probably some people who can ascribe to the quality and undertones of an organic sumatra coffee before they could tell where Sumatra is on the map. And, in fact, last year to be honest, I was probably the same. I couldn’t tell you that it is in the largest Muslim democracy and country in the world. That it is North of Java and has the worlds largest volcano crater lake in a caldera known to be responsible for the last ice age. That the Batak people group is primarily Christian and also very musically talented. That there are at least three people groups and as many languages on the Island of Sumatra alone (probably many more I just came into contact with three personally). I also didn’t know that coffee would grow here almost like a weed on the side of the road along with cacao, chili, vanilla, cinnamon, cloves and any other delicious delicacy you can imagine.

I also definitely couldn’t tell you that a Sumatra tropical storm is like the presence of God, or that hammocks are as inspiring as Steinbeck or C.S. Lewis. That sleeping under a mosquito net in the moonlight with the sound of the Andaman sea is more romantic than rose pedals and Sinatra.

Basically what I’m saying is that the last two weeks of our trip were magical. Everything seemed to just fit. It seemed that the four of us got into a good rhythm of travel with each other and learned what type of space and freedom we needed. In some ways another month would have been great as we seemed to really fit together while we were in Indonesia. Even when our ferry off the island broke down and sent a domino affect of missed flights through our itinerary we seemed to just flow with it.

Though the activities of our time spent were amazing, (snorkeling with lion fish, diving with sharks, picking coffee with local farmers, climbing volcanoes, swimming with sea turtles, driving motor bikes, buying art from inspiring artists….)  I personally am left more with a feeling or emotion than vivid memories. I guess it’s probably gratitude. Mostly towards Eric, Michael and Melissa. Honestly traveling with four people for four + or – months was unheard of, we didn’t meet a group like ourselves once, and we met a lot of peeps. Obviously sometimes it sucked, just to be honest, and in the end we annoyed each other like family. Which I think is great. We bickered with sarcasm and made fun of each other like only, what I think, family can.

As I’m sitting drinking a guava juice on a busy Jakarta street filled with the smell of curry and fish, listening to the call to prayer, nostalgia hits me like a  20 foot wave. This overloads my system and I can’t really process what I’m feeling, it’s just sadness, thick tangible sadness, like the monsoon air, or an incense filled temple. All of this around us is so full and real and yet we sit as foreigners, interacting as much as we can but always with the fray, we feel a sense of purpose yet we can’t name it, in the end we are always just traveling, we observe, we learn, we grow and then we pick our backpacks and we wander on…..

The Andaman

Picking Coffee

Fruits of our Labor

joy incarnate

That WAS mine


macroni

Volcanic Lake Bliss

Coffee Picking Lunch

IT'S OVER....IT'S JUST BEGUN

Holy Hindu Cow We’re Coming Home

anything goes in the Phi Phi Islands

Well I can’t upload any photo for the time being so this will be a short post until we are back with our own computers. Basically, this is just for the record. We are clinging on to the last bits of Southeast Asia spending tonight in Bangkok before our long journey home. I must say I’m already getting nostalgic for curry and coconut, the call to prayer, the sound of motor bikes and the great tropical air. Though we’re coming home to the states our wandering still continues as at least for Melissa and I our future is completely unknown, other than we’ll be bumming a roof from our parents for a couple of weeks while we figure out how to go grocery shopping and drive on the right  (not necessarily correct) side of the road again. We’re super excited to be with friends and family again, for sure though not so excited about being back in the more predictable United States of America. However our pursuit of contentment for the here and now will be ongoing. We’re also very excited  for MEXICAN FOOD!!!!!

stay posted for our closing posts with tons of pictures and the stories from the last couple weeks including coffee farms, sea turtles, and night markets 🙂

Jungle Trek!

Someone pinch me. Am I really on the island of Sumatra? I keep dreaming that I back at home going to potlucks, it’s gotten to this weird place where my reality is more exciting than my dreams. I’m not flaunting anything when I say this, what I’m saying is that there is part of me that doesn’t feel like me without some of that day in day out type of life, it’s strange but in some ways we need the routine, something about being habitual beings. Anyways who wants to hear about all that, you all are here reading this because you wish you were on the island of Sumatra and not living your day in day out habitual routine and the guy giving you some escape from that is talking about wanting to be in your boring life….shoot, my blog stats are plummeting I better get to the Jungle trek part.**

Our guide’s name is Endra and you can find him at Mama Nora’s hotel also known as the Rainforest Inn in Bukit Lawang. This is the first time I’ve ever given travel beta just because he was a really cool guide a real sincere guy with a great sense of humor and I wouldn’t want anyone to miss a chance to meet him. Plus Mama Nora is a great cook she makes an amazing pumpkin curry. Ok so Endra leads us out of the village in to “the jungle”. The Gurung Luser National Park is one of the last of two places in the World where you can see wild orang utans or “man of the woods”. In the first day we saw a total of nine and got chased by one. As we go deeper into “the jungle” however the sightings lessen as it turns out that many have learned to feed off of the many tourists that just enter the beginnings of the park, a sad reality for any animal lovers. Still seeing an orangutan in the (pseudo) wild is one of the most amazing things one could hope to experience. The rest of the trek was phenomenal and lead us through narrow shoots up steep cliffs and down slippery slopes everything was draped in vines and laden with thorns, there are more plant species found on one tree than maybe all of the plants found in the state of Arizona put together. All of this was in stark contrast to our last week spent in the huge city of Singapore surrounded by shopping malls and chain restaurants. We spent three days camping in the “the jungle” and got out by tubing down class 3 rapids for an hour and a half dropping us right at Big Noras for banana coconut shakes. We got sucked by leeches, held millipedes as thick as my thumb, ate ants for acidity, saw fresh tiger prints, caught fresh catfish, and slept likes rocks on a rock. Ultimately we fell in love with the Sumatra forest and have now dubbed it one of the most magical forests left in our known world. We walk out baffled at the worlds we live in and truly grateful for being given such a rich experience. Thank you Jesus.

kris after trekking in the jungle

**This is probably something that belongs on my other blog but what I’m saying is that our time traveling is teaching us to be content no matter where our circumstances lead us, because believe it or not we really are craving that routine life. So please note the sarcasm when I say “boring lives” because what we’re finding is that there is just as much beauty to be found in boring suburbia as there is in all-of-the world combined. Henri Nouwen said it best when he said that he tries to live nowhere, which when broken down is now and here. Wherever nowhere is for you is where the color and the life is, its just a matter of opening our eyes sometimes. For us nowhere happens to be Sumatra but next month it will be a van in the desert, so there you have it.