Lombok

Idul Fitri | Lombok | Indonesia

Imagine the most spectacular Fourth of July fireworks display you have ever seen. Multiply that by a thousand and you can begin to imagine the scene that unfolded in front of our hotel Saturday night!

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Saturday night marked the end of Ramadan fasting which is celebrated with a parade featuring floats from each of the mosques in town and of course, fireworks. This year, there was a debate on the starting date of Ramadan because the holiday is based on the cycle of the moon so we weren't quite sure if we were going to get to see the festivities. We were a wee bit sad as we left dinner because there were no signs of fireworks. But, as we walked out the door of Pizza Hut, the parade rounded the corner and suddenly, we were right in the middle of it all!

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We tried to get ahead of it and get back to our hotel so we could watch from there but got sidetracked by the cutest little kids at a fireworks stand. We bought them some fireworks and began to shoot them off above the parade. This was our friend who gave us special price.

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After spending some time down on the street, we negotiated front row seats on the roof of our hotel with the security guards. The fireworks were exploding right in front of us. Literally. I would like to point out that I did not zoom into the pictures below, they were just erupting straight at us!

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Lombok | Indonesia

We've been in school for a month and it's already time for a holiday! My friends and I are jointly  celebrating Indonesian Independence Day and the end of Ramadaan by island hopping around Lombok. For those of you that are unfamiliar with Indonesian geography, Lombok is the second island to the east of Java (where I live), right next to Bali.

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Our flight took off, on time, Wednesday which is a rare occurance here! We got to Lombok where we were able to stuff ourselves into a car to go to a city called Mataram, where we're staying. We all split up here because two of my more adventurous friends decided to hike a volcano for a couple days; I decided the beach would be a bit more relaxing.

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On Thursday, we drove down the coast to a harbor town that chartered boats to a cluster of gili (small) islands called Gili Bedis, Gili Sudak, Gili Tangkong, and Gili Nanggu. 

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I don't know if Gili Bedis (below) even classifies as an island (it looks more like a sandbar) but google labeled it that way so that's what we'll go with. We went snorkeling around the islands and I discovered that I am downright terrified of fish.

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In fact, on one of the coral reefs, I almost drowned myself by accident. Upon seeing some fish coming out of the coral that I was floating a mere foot above, I flinched, which caused my snorkel to fill up with water which meant I couldn't take a breath. I also didn't want to take my eyes off the fish so I couldn't take my head out of the water and with all of my thrashing, my mask also filled up with water. Definitely one of my finer moments.

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