How big, how blue, how beautiful


Home sweet home


Yep, Rob got glasses before we came so he could see all this scenery better!


A view from our island to another

Our first five days on Kenawa have gone by quickly. When we pulled up to the island on Monday I think both mine and Rob’s jaws dropped at the site of the Earthships and the clear water ten steps from the door of the closest one. We were greeted by Mama & Papa Kenawa who are the only 2 actual residents of this 32 acre island. With their help, and Suji’s, we unboarded both houses and began exploring our new home sweet home.



Mama and Pap Kenawa helping taking the boards down  I promise, Rob is not worried – just caught him at a weird time


Volcanic rock 


View from the front door 😊


View from our house to the right

Rob and I took the house closest to the ocean since it has a king size bed and Teri took Earthship 2 just a few steps farther back. The bottle work in the houses is really the main feature (I promise to take photos for next post). Each morning that I wake up all I need to do is open my eyes and I can see all the beautiful glass bottles lit up with the ocean in between. That’s how close we are. I hear the tide rolling in when I wake up in the middle of the night, watch the sky turn orange across the water if I wake early enough and all without moving at all. All the doors are screen to allow the wind to flow through the house and leaves the view unobstructed.


View towards the hill on the left of the house


Main entrance to the island 🌴🌸

We spent our arrival day cleaning the house, settling in and discovering what was already here for us to use. The batteries that charge from solar power were drained in Teri’s house, but we charged them over the next day and got them back up and running. There is plenty of work for us to do this month, but not without ample time to enjoy this island each day as well. The water is so clear and remarkably stunning. Our living room is on the front veranda where we spend most of our time. That’s also where we make all of our meals. Mama Kenawa has a shop a two minute walk along the shore where we can always grab a meal
or a mildly cool beer, but so far we have been making our own meals. We all know Rob loves to cook and we stocked up on noodles, rice, vegetables, lots of hot chilis and other assorted items before arriving. The food is very very inexpensive here.


The front area is our living room/kitchen


Giz is Rob’s sous chef


My hair was sweating on this one

146CEB7E-C7C9-480B-9B13-F905262A3DABEvery evening he begins his relaxation time of cooking and I’m the happy recipient! We even had a little baby tuna one evening that was so fresh and delicious. My favorite part of the island so far is the snorkeling! I’m in love. Every day we have a “snorkeling date.” This morning I couldn’t wait and rolled out of bed, into my swimsuit (which isn’t always required- the first day we snorkeled naked) and off to see my beloved fish. By far, I see more zebra fish than anything else. Schools of them! But there are so many different and brightly colored fish and I see different ones every day. What makes me smile most are the HUGE bright blue star fish. They are a foot long across and just splay out on the coral for me to see. I will become brave enough to use my waterproof phone case and take photos to share. I would love to share what I am seeing. Mostly our days consist of a bit of work (today we began to repair a roof leak on Teri’s house), snorkeling, admiring the shells and coral, cooking, chatting with visitors to the island, reading and watching stunning sunsets. Island life is nice. It’s relaxed.




Since the island is so small we easily walked around it in 45 minutes on our first morning here. Magnificent views surround each part. I especially love the mountains on the surrounding island. I truly am a mountain girl at heart. Upon climbing the one hill on the island to watch the sunset last night we counted 13 distinct islands that we can see surrounding us. And when we look down I can see the green and blue ocean beckoning me to explore it underneath. Today we did just that and chose a new piece of shore to snorkel from. We plan to snorkel around the entire island discovering each new piece of coral reef it has to offer. Today’s adventure was just what I needed. The water was deeper, the coral larger with huge mushroom fans and the fish bigger. Rob plans to come back and use his pole spear to catch these bigger ones for dinner one evening. The cherry on top though was that we swam all the way to the tip of the island and then had to decide how to get back to our place – swim or climb the steep cliffside of the back of the hill. Naturally, we chose to climb the cliff-face which was a little precarious (my dad would say “be careful and don’t make worry!” just like he did when I climbed a mountain by myself this winter and came back covered in cuts and bruises because I recklessly went up farther on the ice than I should have). From shore line to hilltop today. It was spectacular and yes, we saw 2 more big blue starfish.


I got this photo online, but I had to show you how special these are! Love!



Rob wants a pet 🤣

As I finish writing this, the daily rain just stopped (usually happens for 30 minutes towards the end of each day as the rainy season ends), the air is cooling and a full rainbow just faded. Rob is cutting shallots and preparing dinner while the tide recedes. I didn’t see the starlings tonight like I normally do at dusk, but I’m sure our morning dragonflies will welcome us tomorrow.💓🌸☀️D7AE1CB3-611A-4A2F-9ACB-832D1FE3B7E3.jpeg

Kickin’ It Moyo style 🌴

Palau Moyo (Moyo Island)

We planned a little break for ourselves when we landed in Indonesia before heading to Kenawa. Bali, Lombok and Sumbawa are all larger islands with a developed tourism infrastructure. Keeping with our theme of being out on the edges, I found a small, simple, brand new resort on an island nearby. It is run by an Italian couple assisted by a truly local staff. Mauro & Valentina were gracious hosts, Sri cooked us spicy meals, Freddy helped explain the flora & fauna and the rest of the staff let us just relax and enjoy our jet lag in a beautiful setting.


Kicking back in the pool as soon as we arrived

46B164AE-6EAA-417B-9881-E3CFBB47394B.jpegSpicy noodles and Bintang beer for breakfast. A walk along the beach, dip in their cool refreshing pool and hours sitting on the end of their boat jetty just staring down into the clear water at all the colorful tropical fish was a perfect way to recover from the preceding planes, cars and boats. I could remember the names for some of the fish and the others I just pointed out to Lacy by color and shape like, “see the yellow square one??”


The beginning of the walk to the village


Very interesting trees on Moyo


Usually, Lacy is the first one up and adventurous. On our second full day there, she was the one who slept in late so I ventured out. A 40 minute walk took me along the coast and through a nearby village. A left turn at a stream took me up into the jungle and along a winding path to arrive at a small waterfall. The walk along the coast was an exercise in emotions. A path between an amazing jungle, naturally cultivated banana groves and small gardens also showed me the world’s plastic bottles, bags and trash that wash up and collect among the picturesque mangroves and driftwood. The colorful fish swim in colorful plastic twice a day as high tide shuffles it all around. The village was another test of my emotions. I’ve never really walked through an area where houses and trash seemed intertwined and people slept out in the open under rusting tin shed roofs. Skinny little chickens ran from me, more goats dared me to pass than ran away and the town dogs came to sniff and see who I was. The thing is, everybody smiled. Every child was dressed neatly, some in school uniforms. They all waved and said “Hello”. I think I waved at every person in town. Twice. I then headed onto more of a jungle path. It wound me through huge trees with even larger leaves, trees with ribbon like roots that stuck up out of the ground, trees with spikes and what looked like little apples growing, vines, ferns, moss and almost nothing that felt familiar. Mr. Hobbit? Are you there? The waterfall was more like a cascading series of pools than a true waterfall. Pretty and soothing like waterfalls are, but I found myself still staring at the trees. A few had monkeys in them that stared back at me. On my way back I came across the largest lizard I’ve ever seen at about 6+ feet long and solid black. After we scared the shit out of each other, it ran off with an incredibly loud thumping from every footstep / pawstep it took. On my second trip through the little village, 3 young girls waved like before but after I passed them, the giggles came out. They whizzed by me on a scooter a minute later and set up to wave and giggle again. I’d forgotten about Gizmo being in his typical ride along spot on my daypack. He’s always waving so I guess we all made each other smile more than a day’s worth by 10am.

Early the following day, it was time to catch the public boat back to Sumbawa. We left the Blue EmOcean resort that has been created over the last several years by a great young couple but just recently open to the public. 6 rooms, a small restaurant and a tranquil pool have been built in what was wild coastal jungle on a quiet coral beach. I really hope we find our way back there sometime.


Freddy is awesome. He told us the names of trees we were curious about, gave us both beautiful rings he hollowed from shells and shared a wealth of knowledge 

The loud clacking and crackle of the old marine diesel engine made me and the chickens, already onboard the boat, jump as it fired up. Everyone else seemed little fazed, so I sat with Lacy on the middle platform under the tarp shade of a typical small Indonesian boat for the 2 hour trip. The tarp was actually an up-cycled tarp sign that formerly covered a billboard likely somewhere in Bali. The slow ride just let us take in more of the island scenery as we cruised along, spotting jumping tuna being chased by a pod of dolphin. We called our previous driver, Herman, when we arrived. After a little negotiation, he agreed to take us to the port on the other side of the island 2 hours drive away. Not that it was physically all that far away but with the roads full of small scooters, big scooters, small motorcycles, micro vans, work trucks, horse carriages and a few cows, we were glad to have an expert navigator. We stopped in the town of Alas along the way to stock up for the time on Kenawa. 10 kilos of rice was at the top of the list. Sugar, noodles, lots and lots of vegetables including cabbage, carrots, shallots, tomatoes, garlic, some serious chilis, oil, sweet canned milk and some coconut cookies as a treat.


Boarding our 3rd boat of the trip so far. This one is only 10 minutes to Kenawa from Poto Tano


Lacy, Teri and Suji on way to Kenawa

We met Teri and Suji in the port. Teri is from China and will be the caretaker of the second Earthship on the island with us. Suji is a local who has worked with previous people from Earthship Biotecture. Another spicy lunch in port and we boarded another little runabout boat with outboard pontoons for the short trip over to Earthship Island / Kenawa. We could see the island’s recognizable shape from the road nearing the port so we knew it wouldn’t be long. My heart was already racing.


First glimpse of the island as we approach by boat 🚣‍♀️