Tag Archives: critters

that is a good question! i suppose you wouldn’t know given how infrequently we’re posting stuff these days. we have been pretty busy, what with the summer holidays and all. here are some photos to show you some of the mischief we have been up to.

one night we made a fire on the beach.


nayou has been very much into making fires these days. despite the stinking heat, we often gather up leaves and sticks from our backyard and have a little bonfire. its nice to cook potatoes in the embers too!

occasionally nayou will wash the dishes for us.


last week brenda had a big burst of creative energy and our house turned into a giant art project. now we have some new splashes of colour in our already vibrant household!

you live pretty close to nature in sayulita. especially in the summer, all kinds of critters and random animals come out. we’ve been seeing fireflies, iguanas, hermit crabs, minnows, the occasional horse and loads of centipedes. check out this bright green guy nayou caught.


some evenings once it starts to get cool we go down to the plaza and hang out. you can usually find someone you know there and just chill for a while.


nayou and i have slowly been filming more footage for our next documentary. its going to be about food and cooking. our good friend narayani showed us how to make pizza dough from scratch.

the last time we lived here back in 2010, we came very close to buying some land that is part of an eco-community called tierra luz. we ended up taking a rain check because the project was in its very early stages and we just weren’t ready to commit. since then, the members of the community have done some amazing work on the land and it looks really nice. we’ve become good friends with the managers of the community and are very excited to see where they are going to take it. here is nayou having an explore on the property.

IMG_4284 IMG_4285oh, there was a children’s festival on the beach somewhere in there. brenda set up some really cool games for the kids.

IMG_3877 IMG_3878and i taught a yoga class for the ninos. i wish some of the adults in my classes would show the same level of enthusiasm!


here is some gratuitous cuteness to finish off the post. till next time!

IMG_4405 IMG_4406

here i am, finally breaking another drought of posts. it has been a rather busy time for us lately. i’ve been shooting off my resume to various and sundry companies to see where my next job is going to land us. school finished and all the kids are on holidays so there has been a steady stream of them in and out of our house. the rainy season has started in earnest so we have been making sure our house is keeping us dry (which it is). luckily brenda has been keeping up with her great ipod touch photos, so i’ll post them all here for you to feast your eyes on.

first up are two shots from a store called revolucion del sueno (revolution of dreams). its a super funky boutique run by a french couple whom we befriended the first time we were in sayulita. they bring a hip twist to the vibrant mexican imagery and colour palette, and its always a pleasure to go into their store and check out their wares. definitely worth a visit if you are in these neck of the woods.



these ones were taken by brenda at a beach called carricitos, about a ten minute drive from sayulita. its usually deserted, and very, very picturesque. we like going there because there are lots of beautiful shells as well as hermit crabs. the sun sets right over the ocean. for me its one of those magical places where just being there makes you so grateful to be alive.



but onto more important topics – nayou. our little guy has been doing a lot of eating and growing of late. he’s been bumping his head on countertops and other ledges that he used to walk under without any problem. brenda and i have watched his body grow taller and leaner, and his energy levels are high. which is to be expected from a five-and-a-half year old i suppose!

experiments abound in our house right now. nayou is always taking random dishes, tupperware, cutlery, duct tape etc for one thing or another. this is a great shot of the mad scientist about to embark on some new investigation.


he is still very much into finding insects and other creatures. check out the size of this ant he found in our front yard. we think it must be a queen ant who got displaced with all the rain:


this is our breakfast spot on our front patio. i love sitting here and welcoming the day with a nice strong cup of coffee. we found this local, organic brand of coffee called capulin which is just divine. its turned me into a coffee snob because all other coffees pale in comparison to the taste of these beans. notice also our “watermelon cake” – one of chef nayou’s breakfast inventions.


on most afternoons this family sets up a trampoline in the plaza and you get fifteen minutes for ten pesos (about $1usd). there used to be a bouncy castle as well which was the hot favourite, but the trampoline is pretty good too.


just in case you weren’t convinced that brenda is the best mama ever, here is something to seal the deal – she converted this space we have in our backyard into an outdoor bedroom! there have been about three outside sleepovers to date, and i’m sure many more will come as well. the space is really cosy and every time nayou has slept out there he was out all night like a rock. we’ve watched some movies out there at night and its good for that too!


its also a nice chill space during the day:


some days i have to get my practice in however i can. this was a pretty rainy day and our old foster doggie came in for a visit soaking wet. he really wanted to lay down on our palm frond mat, but i made him stay in the yoga room until he was dry. when i wanted to start my practice he refused to budge so i just began with him on the mat. then nayou saw us both in there and after that any hope of peace and quiet was dashed forever.


we met this great guy from canada called vasant (“was” as in calm for short) who stayed in sayulita for a month. he bought a bunch of indian spices with him and taught me how to make pav bhaji. he was generous enough to leave the pav bhaji masala with me so every now and then i have been satisfying my craving for indiand food by cooking it up. it is delicious!


we need to get this kid and agent and retire.


another cool thing about having a big backyard to play in – waterfights! even better – nekkid waterfights!


after the success of nayou’s bug documentary,  we have started shooting another one. this time its about food and cooking. we haven’t got very far yet, but hopefully we will get around to finishing it soon. watch this space. brenda made nayou the apron he is wearing out of oilcloth!


nayou snacking on the sayulita-famous chocobanana (full disclosure: he didn’t really like it).



this was so cute – nayou and brenda found a hole in the wall of our neighbour’s carport where a snake was hiding. the next day one of nayou’s friends came over so they took a bunch of stuff over to the hole to stake it out. these photos were taken before the mass of extra stuff arrived. i love this shot of them just sitting there in the driveway chatting away waiting for the snake!



nayou is in love with his new yellow frog umbrella. it gets lots of use as a sunbrella and also for playing in the rain.




nayou did his first photobomb with style:


our good friend sondra went back to santa barbara after four months in sayulita. we met her the last time we were here and ended up coming back more or less at the same time! it was sad to see her go, but i’m sure we’ll bump into her again somewhere… probably sayulita. these are some photos from her going away gathering at the beach.




the tiny photobomber (with bonus canine) strikes again!


crazy thing #314 you can do in mexico and get away with: chuck your kids on the roof of your suv and have them hold on for dear life while you drive (moderately slowly).



our friends are running a summer camp for kids at the beach. one of the activities they are working on is to build a surfboard out of plastic bottles. i’m very curious to see how they plan on tying the bottles together. if we end up with something wave-worthy, then i am going to build a stand up paddle board with the bottles! here is the beginning of the layout.



the fruit and veg you get around here is insane. especially the mangoes are just divine. this was the bulk of our haul today. it looks like there is a lot of variety, but its mostly just a huge pile of mangoes!


and to finish off, here is yesterday’s sunset in sayulita:





brenda found this little guy scuttling around inside our backdoor tonight. this is the third one since we moved into our place in early february. not sure if that is a lot or a little! they are a bit hard to spot, but are very easy to catch. we chuck them in the freezer and they go to sleep forever. apparently having chickens will scare away the scorpions but the mexican chickens are super early risers (read: 3am) so we may just be swapping one problem out for another.

first up, check out what brenda found lurking under nayou’s lego box two nights ago:


this isn’t our first encounter with scorpions. when we used to live here back in 2009 we found the occasional one in our old house. they don’t move very fast so we just catch them and put them in the freezer. they’re in permasleep by the next morning. luckily their stings aren’t fatal, although they still hurt like hell. if you have chickens around they will eat them all but we don’t have any in our neighbourhood. just gotta be diligent, i suppose!



brenda made matching beanies for herself, nayou and our friend liz. so cute!




we took nayou to the fair last night. he had so much fun on the bouncy castles and this mammoth trampoline/maze thing. he was too little to go on them last time around, but now he loves them!




well i’m certianly making up for lost time with all these new posts!

about a month ago brenda and nayou went on a living desert tour, which is a wonderful half-day excursion to see all of the smaller creatures that call this arid patch of land home. nayou really enjoyed it and talked about it for days afterwards. going again was an inevitability (is that even a word? it is now!) and that inevitability happened on monday. tommy the tour guide did not disappoint and both brenda and nayou came back with big smiles on their faces.

look how cute this chameleon is! i can’t wait until i see one in the flesh.

this looks like it could be ticklish… or kind of painful.

they even saw a horned adder!

the folder where i store all the photos i want to post on this blog has reached that critical threshold where i feel too overwhelmed to put them into any sort of context. but here are a set of recent-ish snaps. this first set is from the horse and camel farms about 20km outside of swakopmund. i have never been but my better halves have been a couple of times already and love it.

there are a bunch of other animals to check out as well.

the camel rides look super fun! check out brenda – a real bedouin!

brenda also took nayou to gymnastics class. he had a lot of fun, but unfortunately it made the bump on his forehead swell a little so we have skipped the last two sessions. thankfully he is almost all healed up so they will be going back soon!

one lazy saturday afternoon, bodie made scones so we headed off for afternoon tea at his place.

another beautiful building in swakopmund.

jess brought twister over which was cool.

the highlight of last week was when brenda and nayou spent half a day on a living desert tour. the more time we spend here, the more we are learning that the barren landscape around us is actually teeming with all kinds of life, living within an very complex ecosystem. tommy was a great guide, engaging the kids and adults alike with his decades of experience in the desert.

yes, that is a scorpion. look at the size of that thing! way bigger than the mexican ones. at least we’re not finding them in our house (yet?).

i really really really want to see a chameleon. they are just so cute! this one is a baby. they remain a dark colour in the mornings while they heat up, and then go off and do whatever chameleons do.

the sunsets are glorious as always.

i’ll leave you with a shot of nayou taken at a sundowner in the desert on saturday. if all the world leaders had this photo as their background on their computers i bet there would be world peace 😛

this is a typical warung (corner store, sometimes a restaurant). there are millions of them around bali. the bottles on the right contain petrol, so refueling your scooter is a piece of cake. two liters (around half a gallon) costs $1.10USD.

brenda is the champion of green smoothies. they are my favourite way to start the day. and nayou’s as well!

it rained for two days straight last week. just when cabin fever was about to set in, the weather granted us a reprieve and we went out and shot some photos in the rice paddies around our house.

these huts are scattered around the paddies for the workers to store their stuff and to rest in.

shiva stands guard over our pool.

nayou finds lots of these adorable froggies in our house.

street art.

kadek got some chickens for pets. unfortunately the poor chicks’ feathers have been dyed purple, pink, green and blue. they’re not exactly compassionate towards animals around here…

its been almost two weeks since we began our stint in bali. so much has happened that i am no longer even kidding myself about writing it all. hana suggested i just do a photo dump, so here are some snaps. i’ll fill in the blanks as best as i can 🙂

this is the house that we stayed in for the first ten days. brenda found a post on facebook by a guy called shakar who was travelling over december. he was looking for someone to sublet his place and it looked nice so we jumped on it. the house is located on the north end of ubud, behind a family compound. yes, compound. bali is very much a collectivist (as opposed to individualist) culture, and the nuclear family unit is comprised of at least three generations. the compound will usually include the main house, a guest house and a temple. our house was located behind one of these compounds. living close to an indonesian family was a really good way to start our bali experience as we got a taste of real balinese life!

you are much much closer to nature here, especially the food you eat. there are the ubiquitous rice paddies, but also coconut trees, mango trees, rambutan trees (our new favourite), pineapples, chickens etc. there is also the usual assortment of lizards, moths, mosquitoes, frogs, spiders and other random creepy crawlies who probably don’t even have names.

oh yeah, that’s a snail.

nayou started hunting for eggs in the yard the moment we arrived. he’s been obsessed with chickens laying eggs. unfortunately the hens in ubud are skinny and scrawny and i don’t think they lay. so i started hiding store-bought eggs in the yard for him to find.

ibu kadek, the lady who lives in the compound in front of our house, has two sons – wayan and kadek. the balinese have this naming system where your name is automatically assigned based on your birth order. the first born is wayan, the second is kadek etc etc. there are some variations like kadek can also be made (mah-day), but it gets confusing quickly. everyone ends up getting nicknames, but they introduce themselves with their proper hindu names.

anyway, nayou, wayan and kadek all became fast friends very quickly. wayan is 12 and kadek is 6. perfect for nayou who loves older kids. they are both super sweet with him and its great to see him making good friends despite not speaking the same language. except for the language of play i suppose. i have some gorgeous video of them all running around together which i will upload soon. when we left the house for our new one, kadek was tearing up… so sad. luckily our new house is just a five minute scooter ride away and we are still seeing them regularly!

i’m not sure what is up, but they love to throw signs for photos. peesu!

here is ibu kadek (the mom), her sons wayan and kadek with brenda and nayou.

the porch was everyone’s favourite place to hang out.

ibu kadek lent us some traditional indonesian attire for a ceremony we were invited to. one thing about bali – there are a lot of ceremonies.

the ceremonies are just one manifestation of the very very strong hindu faith in bali. every morning you see people putting our offerings in their homes, storefronts etc. one of our taxi drivers was telling me that about 40% of their time and income is devoted to rituals involving hinduism!

it is the rainy season here, but it never rains for long. usually we get an hour or two of pouring rain a every other day. it can get pretty crazy though!

my friend joe from dr. d also made his way to bali and we got a chance to hang out.

ubud is a very cool town. its compact, but dense. lots of shops, warungs (cafes), and lots of raw/organic places. plus yoga as well. i’ve already found a teacher that is challenging and inspiring me, and the energy of this place is just conducive to contemplation, meditation and hippy things lie that.

this is our favourite raw cafe, soma.

by far the best way to get around town is on a scooter. there is a weird order to the chaos of the streets in ubud and now that i’m used to it, it just feels normal driving around on busy roads with no traffic lights or signs or anything. but don’t worry, we’re all wearing helmets!

oh yeah, they have a monkey forest in the middle of ubud. the monkeys are very cheeky. nayou got a fright when one of them squeezed his leg trying to steal some coconut husk out of his hand!

on the 20th we moved into our new house. its also on the north end of ubud, and its our little slice of heaven. we are subletting the place for three weeks from a girl called oksana, who we know from a mutual friend in new zealand (thanks jeanne!). oksana is a yoga teacher and also a conscious eater and a generally all round cool chick. we’ve only been speaking via email but we can’t wait to meet her in person!

the house is surrounded by three sides by huge rice paddies and comes with a pool, huge master bedroom, open plan living room etc etc. basically its awesome, and i’m still in shock that we are living here. i wake up in the morning and give thanks for being so unbelieveably lucky.

our bedroom:

this is the second bedroom upstairs:

and the view from the upstairs porch:

we have just settled into a bit of a routine in our new place. it feels great and now that we have parked ourselves here until mid-january i am really starting to decompress. i will try to do a video update soon. stay tuned!