Flight #GA652

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The worst part of travel to and from Tembagapura is Flight #GA652, from Denpasar-Bali to Timika. It leaves at 1:50am and arrives in Timika three-hours and forty-minutes later at 6:30am (there’s a one-hour time difference). The grueling, red-eye flight torments us with an indescribable amount of physical and mental exhaustion.

With purpose and skillful planning, we intentionally avoided this flight during our last three trips out. Instead of flying to destinations north of us, which requires travel to and from Bali, we flew to destinations south of us (Australia, New Zealand, and New Caledonia), which offers a merciful daytime flight through Cairns on the company airline. However, it was only a matter of time before we had to submit ourselves, once again, to the devil in the sky.

The girls and I boarded Flight #GA652 last week when we returned from a quick, three-day vacation to Bali. A week later, the painful memory of the flight has eased just enough for us to admit that three days of shopping, surfing, and spending time with friends was worth enduring its brutal schedule.

The girls and their instructors walking down the beach.

Ally’s good friend, Summer, left jobsite last week to begin a new adventure – boarding school in Australia. Before heading home to New Zealand for a short break, and then on to school, she and her mom made plans to spend a few days in Bali, and invited us to join them. The girls all agreed that an afternoon of surfing was a priority. This is a picture of the girls and their instructors walking up Kuta Beach.

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The girls applying sunscreen and listening to safety instructions.

Summer (left), Ally (middle), and Kylee (right) on their surfboards. All three girls caught every single wave they attempted to ride. Best surfing ever!

Summer (left), Ally (middle), and Kylee/”Little Bethany” (right) on their surfboards. The girls caught every single wave they attempted to ride. It was, by far, the best surfing experience of their lives!

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