Operation: Lon-done

After politely declining the the offer from the Thai surgeon to blindly hack into me, I found myself teetering on the brink of despair and hopelessness. It would be here that my Buddhist father would tell me not to panic about things that are outside my control. And he was right. After months of a … More Operation: Lon-done

18 going on 80? Arthritis, Hip Dysplasia and Hip Replacements

“Dysplasia…” “shallow hips…” “…dislocation…” “…torn labrum…” “arthritis” These words swam around my head as I walked out of the doctor’s office, filled with disbelief, incomprehension and eyes brimming with tears.   I was diagnosed with bilateral hip dysplasia at the age of 18. For those of you unfamiliar with this condition, hip dysplasia describes a … More 18 going on 80? Arthritis, Hip Dysplasia and Hip Replacements

The End of an Era

And just like that, it was all over. We were standing in Jakarta airport, about to board our separate flights and a deep melancholic feeling settled over me. We had spent every moment of every day for the last 27 days together (miraculously without a single cross word being said) and separating from my “drunken, … More The End of an Era

The Cult of Death

There’s a joke in Sulawesi that the Torajans live their whole life preparing for their death. It isn’t too far from the truth. When a Torajan dies, their death is not acknowledged until the funeral ceremony. This takes place over 6 days – 3 days of bull fighting and 3 days for the actual ceremony, … More The Cult of Death

Down on my cluck!

We arrived in Makassar and as we looked out of the window of our guesthouse, a sickening sense of dread descended on us both – there, not 5 metres away was a loudspeaker attached to a mosque. The call to prayer starts at 4am! As we settled in, the last call to prayer erupted from … More Down on my cluck!

Escape from West Papua

After my malaria diagnosis, I sweated my way through the next three days, almost entirely bed bound, and we abandoned our original plan to proceed further into the interior of West Papua – exploring areas devoid of tourists and largely impossible to get to. Manado would be a much better destination for rest and recuperation, … More Escape from West Papua

Ellie gets malaria

Things were not quite right when I woke up. My head was splitting and I had a slight fever – and when I pushed my breakfast away untasted, dad was concerned. I love breakfast. Luckily, there was a boat leaving for the mainland that morning and he decided to go to a doctor to get … More Ellie gets malaria