Friday, October 31, 2008

Septic systems in Indonesia verses a biocycle

I took these photos about 2 months ago but have been too busy to post.

I was shocked to discover what happened to our household sewerage.

We have lived in rural locations for the last 12 years and have always had a BIOCYCLE unit.
A biocycle is a home waste water recycling unit. Ever drop of water that is used is recycled in to clear water.
You can not drink it, but is safe to use on the garden.
This is a small scale version of a modern city sewerage system.
These units are expensive to purchase but are very environmentally friendly.
They operate by mixing good bacteria and oxygen (very simple girl

The only draw back is that you have to be very careful about the product you use, eg no antibacterial cleaners, alkaline cleaning products, napisan, washing powder with enzymes etc.

You can read about my Brisbane one here (from 2006).

I was always careful to keep the unit balanced , if the bacteria levels went down I would have to add bicarb soda in, about 1-2 kilos, as well as some garden fertilizer (yes stinky blood and bones.....). To add this I would have to flush it down the toilet........nothing like fertilizing your toilet LOL! (or I could just give GJ and his mates a huge feed of meat curry...that would boost it up too!).

So I was use to the idea and operation of a septic system or so I thought....

A lot of the public toilets in Indonesia have signs and bins for used toilet paper, the systems can't cope with it, it certainly adds a lovely aroma to the already strong smelling bathrooms.Now I know why.

The owners maintenance man came and told me they needed to do some work on the septic, I just assumed it would be the old sludge removal thingy.....I just asked that it be done while I was a work and the kids at school.

I now know what a Jakartan septic system is; its a hole in the ground with a bit of bark in the bottom.
So the contents of the toilets just goes into a pit and eventually wanders off into the water table.
This is about 6 meters from where the well is sunk for our tap water .

Can you imagine what the ground water is like in a city of 20+ million people......

All other water goes into a open ditch roadside and eventually gets to the river.(here is a description).

So live at the top of a hill and don't drink the tap water, or wash your vegetables in it (and don't think about anything as you shower....)

Thursday, October 30, 2008

nearly back.....

I think I might of just finished my last essay for this semester.....
Now just exam revision, oh and all the lectures I haven't had time to listen to because of essays.

I might have time to blog...soon.

I might also have time to read the 1500+ blog posts in my Google reader...........

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Oktoberfest 2008, Jakarta

We went to the 20th annual German Oktoberfest in Jakarta last night.

Boy, do the Germans know how to have a good party!

This is my good friend M and I.
I actually managed to drink that stein of beer...It took me nearly five hours but I did. I totally horrified the young men next to me by tipping ice cubes and sprite in my mug all night long. (I had to, half a glass of cask wine cost 106 000rp.... around AU$16, but beer was free flowing all night!
M had a great time and enjoyed showing us how the Germans party, on the not really, just on the benches.

M is starting to get an Aussie accent so it was great for us to have a chance of getting a German twang!

We stuck around to win the grand raffle prize of flights to Berlin......we wanted to win and visit our lovely American friend on her new posting in Germany (hi Shannon, we thought of you and Dave last night, hi to the boys!), unfortunately we did not win........

There was the most amazing om-pa-loom-pa (I have no idea if this is the right word- a traditional Bavarian band) band playing all night long.

They were fantastic!

There was German drinking songs, conga lines- although they have a different name, as well as old favorites.

We danced to Status Que, inserted swear words into the classic 'livin next door to Alice' and by the end of the night I was singing in German!

The funniest party of the night was when the MC asked everybody to reminisce about what they were doing twenty years ago in 1988 (this was the 20th anniversary of the inaugural Oktoberfest in Jakarta), I realized that twenty years ago I was actually in Germany!

GJ pointed out that most of the other people in the room probably were too, lol.
But I chose to be special as I am Australian!

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Villa Kampung Seminyak, Bali

These are some of the photos we took of Villa Kampung.

We had a wonderful time in this villa, the service and amenities were exquisite.
I loved all the antiques and curios throughout the complex.
We all loved the Boshe stereo system that was wired through the whole complex that we could plug all the iPods into (mine was banned...Ella Fitzgerald and then Frank sent every ones head spinning).
I loved the library filled with books in many languages as well as the complementry clothes washing and drying.

We had seven adults and ten kids in total, and could of fitted more......

These are the photos I collected months ago from the web when we were booking.

We booked through Paradise property, they arranged our last Bali trip and were very proffessional. Prices are negotaible and there are residents discounts. |

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Georgias 10th Birthday

Georgia has made it into the double digits!
We have managed a few celebrations so far...
The first was a party at Ultimos Italian restaurant in Seminyak, Bali last Saturday night.
The next was at Hard Rock cafe in Kuta, Bali while we waited for our flight home.
Today was cup cakes at school.
The party is in the planning stage still...I will combine all the birthdays into one big party later on in the month.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

What do kids remember?

I think it is the fun, games and family time that makes the best childhood memories.

My kids might not remember the fancy villa we stayed in in Bali, but they will remember 9 days of fun with their friends.
We were treated to nightly shows of gymnastics, swimming, plays, parades and fun. Ten kids all on holidays together makes for a great time.

Interesting things I have seen this week.

This drawing is on the wall at Ultimo's Italian restaurant in Seminyak. The more you look at it the more you see. It is simple yet very complex.
This is the way GJ drank his beer the other night.
GJ normally never drinks beer, a very unusual Australian male species. He added a glass of ice to make it more palatable , next he will be adding a straw and a slice of pineapple.
This truck has driven on a soft spot and the road has collapsed under it. This is common, what grabbed my attention though, is the women unloading the truck of concrete bricks. They were stacking a huge amount of weight on their heads and walking down a lane.

Friday, October 03, 2008

What are the odds?

Three friends go for a walk....
have a quick stop at a dress shop...
all come out of the change room.....
In the same print, lol.
Two out of three brought a dress but not this shade.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Jen at the beach in Bali

Bali shock

We managed to get every one back to the beach and in the water.
This was very important as the children (and adults!) were all severely traumatized from the rip, pounding gigantic surf, rescue, resuscitation, and hospitalization of some of our group on Sunday.

But all has ended well with everybody healthy and happy and home at the villa.
I still can't bear to talk about the details.

Happy news to follow....