Lombok: A Beautiful Culture Shock.

"How's that volcano impacting you?" asked one of my former employees, now one of my favorite people in my social network.

I had no idea what he was referring to, as I had been avoiding televisions while on my travels. And I still reverted back to American news online. Apparently, though, a volcano had erupted on the next island over from where I was at in Bali.


People were being evacuated from that area to Jakarta. And flights going towards the west and to Australia were being cancelled.

I, however, was flying east. To Lombok. So my flight was still taking off as scheduled. Well, almost as scheduled. I guess in Indonesia, it's not uncommon for flights to sometimes take off a few minutes, or an hour, later than expected. With no update whatsoever. But take off it did. And on my way to a few days at a beach resort I went!

The Lombok Airport was much more organized than the one in Bali. Right away, I found my driver. And it took us an hour and a half to get to the part of the island where the Qunci Villas were. It was raining quite hard. But as we drive past the landscapes and populated areas, I noted quite a few mosques.

I did know that a large portion of Indonesia was Muslim. And the mosques I drove past - even in the rain - were quite beautiful. They weren't particularly large. But they were gorgeous. It was surprising to see so many.

Once I got to the resort, I was given my room...

And upstairs suite, with a large balcony patio. And a stunning view of the gardens and oceans...

It was later in the evening, as the sun was setting and I was enjoying this view in the rising darkness, that I heard musical voice over a speaker. It was the call to prayer at mosque up the street. It wasn't anything I had experienced in person before, and I found it calming and pretty.

Eventually the call died down, and the soundtrack for the night were echoing birds, grasshoppers and lizards. And, of course, a natural humming from the mosquitoes. (I had evaded them completely in Iquitos. They made their presence known in Bali and Lombok!)

The next morning, at about 4:30am, I was woken by another call. This one from a rooster on the property across the street. He crowed for a good hour, off and on, letting me know the dawn was coming. After about half an hour, the morning call to prayer kicked in with the wake-up call.

It was very different. And very beautiful. All together.