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Battye Family Travels

In search of an opportunity to experience another way of life, teach at an orphanage, and immerse ourselves in a vastly different culture, we boarded a plane in Boston and four stops, twelve time zones, and 28 hours later we emerged in the tropical heat of Denpasar, Bali. Please have a look at some great captioned photos and share in our experience. As any good Balinese would do, we offer thanks for your curiosity and friendship.

Diary Entries

Saturday, 15 March 2014

Location: Singaraja, Indonesia

From Pemuteran, we pulled into Narayan Seva Children’s Home the day after John’s birthday. The children ran to the gate and the sight that met our eyes was a sea of smiling faces. They herded us into the outdoor kitchen and immediately brought out a gorgeous little cake, blazing with candles. “Happy Bird-day to you… Happy bird-day to you…” It was like coming home, halfway around the world.

Sunday is the only day of the week with no school so the kids were free. We taught songs and played games and practiced English until the sound of the frogs signaled time for bed. As the days passed, we settled into the routine. Meals of rice and noodles with vegetables, classes with each grade level, field trips walking kids the two miles to the local beach in the late afternoon, showers twice a day to cool off, and board games every night for hours after dinner.

In a week of highs, perhaps day three goes down in history as a low point; we call it a three roach day. We knew they were in our room after an early spotting. The size of healthy plum tomatoes and with a disarming habit of hissing, they were large enough to consider as pets. Just before turning in, John spotted two mating on the bed between Jenny and Emily and a third hiding inside a pair of shorts. John bravely gathered them up, amidst much hand waving and screeching from his cheerleaders, carried them out to the street, and hucked them as far as his arm would allow. We prayed they would become disoriented and wander off in the opposite direction.

As the end of our time drew near, we decided to host a pizza party as a special treat. It is the children’s favorite food. We went all over the place finding the ingredients – vegetables at the night market, vegetarian sausage and flour for dough in Singaraja, tomato ketchup for sauce, mozzarella cheese from the only store in a town of 1.3 million people stocking the stuff. The children’s home has one oven that is rolled into the outdoor kitchen and hooked up to the propane tank when it’s needed. Only a couple of pies can cook at a time so it took seven hours to make pizza for 84 children. They ate mounds and mounds of it and saved the rest to eat the next day for breakfast. By 10:30, we’d played every game at least five times and the children needed sleep. It was hard to say goodbye to them. We hugged and hugged and promised to return. Even now, in the departure lounge at the airport, it’s as if they’re here. Six year old Madu trying to sneak by me with the Jenga pieces hidden under his shirt, Asa asking to “play game, sister?”, Mahadev with his hands held in the prayer position over his heart and a nod of greeting.

Each time we go to an orphanage, people ask if we are tempted to take any of the children home. In this case, the answer is no. These children are so happy and so healthy and so a part of a big happy family with 83 brothers and sisters. In their environment, they are encouraged and reinforced for making the important things important - being helpful, focusing on learning, using their gifts for good.
Looking at their faces, the future is bright indeed.

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Location: Pemuteran, Indonesia

Moving on out of necessity rather than desire, we returned to a favorite spot from last year – Pemuteran. A fishing village on the relatively unexplored north coast, the pace is slow with mountains reaching down toward the sea, the sound of the call to prayer from the local mosque five times a day, and world-class snorkeling. Our second day, we found ourselves flying across the sea in the company of Indonesian pirates. OK, not real pirates – they were the “pirates that dive.” Jenny is terribly afraid of living creatures in the water. Death by anglerfish, electric eel or lionfish are all inevitable, as far as she’s concerned. We coaxed her into the water, clutching an orange life jacket in one hand and squeezing her fellow swimmers in desperation. We saw an amazing array of tropical wonders – pufferfish, purple and green parrotfish, rays and sea turtles. Along for the ride were Harald and Claudia from Hamburg who we met here last year and who got married in a traditional ceremony to which we were invited. The staff prepared all day – hearts of strewn hibiscus on the grass, offerings stacked high, gamelan players in a group near the sea.

Monday, 10 March 2014

Location: Sarinbuana, Indonesia

Our next destination was high up in the mountains at an eco lodge only accessible over deeply rutted, boulder-strewn roads. Four separate taxi drivers had, in fact, refused to bring us there. The fifth time is the charm. Close your eyes and imagine what the Swiss Family treehouse must look like and you’ll have an idea of the floorplan of our little bungalow. We hiked into the rainforest passing chocolate ripening in the sun, candleflower, snakefruit trees and delicate batik butterflies. We took a language lesson and the girls learned how to give massages. Get in line now – they’re quite good, relentlessly enthusiastic and happy to do it for the thrill of making you happy. For swimming, there was a natural pool under a waterfall in the middle of the forest. Jenny flailed non-stop, terrified of the leeches she imagined there.

Saturday, 08 March 2014

Location: Ubud, Indonesia

From Bingin, we headed north to Ubud to see our artist friend Deking. We met him last year when he taught us batik painting and after staying in touch and helping him with his website, he now calls us family. His invitation email read,
“Dear My family John,Susan,Jenny and Emely.
We glad that my family from Amerika would come to see me.
I am not teaching on that day and for me You all family come to see my family, we are pleased.
I will pik up all my family to my house ,and what time you will come?”

We traveled out of Ubud, away from the souvenir shoppers and massage peddlers, and into the rice fields. At Deking’s compound, his family was waiting – his wife Wayan, (who adores Emily) his two sons, daughter in law and tiny granddaughter. We sat under the trees and drank from fresh young coconuts. The only other time they’ve harvested from their one tree is for a family wedding. Wayan fried up succulent banana fritters and we sat and talked until the shadows crept in.

Tuesday, 04 March 2014

Location: Bingin, Indonesia

You would love it here. After 32 hours of travel and 12 time zones, we needed a place to get our bearings. A hurried search for “off-the-beaten-path-with-surf “ brought up tiny Bingin on the south coast. We found and booked Temple Lodge from the Singapore airport just before boarding the plane. It’s perches on the clifftop with sweeping views to Dreamland and around the corner to Padang Padang. The waves are enormous and rake the surfers over the reef as they crash.

Monkeys like to steal what you leave lying around, a two foot black monitor lizard lives at the poolside and sharing the dinner table is a tiny kitten saved from a glue trap three days before we arrived. The owners are Italian and people you wish were your family – gentle, quiet Cris who teaches yoga and Mario, who continues to live life like the Grande Prix racecar driver he once was. The first day he loaded us into his Land Rover and took us with him on his daily surfing expedition. He stopped once or twice at hidden beaches, checking for the perfect wave and ended at Geger Beach to swim in the cove off Nusa Gede. He’s on the cusp of 70. The day after the beach run I bumped into him as he was getting ready to bike to the post office, strapping on a helmet woven of reeds.
“Nice helmet, Mario.”
“Is for elephant polo.”

The meals are communal so we’ve met and spent hours talking with a parade of fellow travelers. Mark and Jim sold everything in their Cambridge home and are one year into traveling the world “until we become infirm.” Tamara Lee, who shares the name of a 1970s porn star, is from Brooklyn and came here by way of Africa. Bob and his two grown daughters live in the northern territories of Australia. “Don’t swim if you come visit,” said Bob, “crocs everywhere.” He taught us to find Betelgeuse in the southern sky. Sebastian is a neuroscientist trying to finish writing two books on the existence of a holographic universe. Our conversations touched on NLP, quantum physics, and the fact that you can indeed create any reality you wish. A young couple from Holland on a two-month trip taught us how to make coffee with a pineapple can and why a student decides to become a doctor. “It’s not because I want to help people, Jenny, anyone can help people in their job. It’s because I’m fascinated with the human body and what it can do.”

The whole place was made by hand from driftwood, stones, and old wood from Java. The floors are volcanic rock or cement stained the color of lapis lazuli. Everywhere you look it’s old Balinese doors, thatch roofs, hanging orchids.

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Location: Indonesia

In Search of the Real Bali
by John

Wondering how to meaningfully spend our last two days was difficult. We didn’t have much time or opportunity to research, we didn’t want to go south again to beaches where tourists start drinking Bintang at 10 am and count the number of bottles at the end of the evening. We wanted a real connection and appreciation for the real Bali.

We took a chance on a town that had great snorkeling and was reputedly super quiet… Pemuteran. Hours from the airport over steep mountain passes, it’s quite far off the beaten path. We found a room easily at one of a small handful of hotels and quickly fell in love with the beauty of the place. We had stepped back in time to a modest fishing village. Spider shaped bamboo boats pulled up along a semi-circular coastline of black sand beaches. Brown -skinned fishermen sat on the sand repairing their nets. Susan and I walked down an almost deserted beach and saw only one modest shop in a shack on the sand. There were no touts and most of the Balinese simply ignored us except for a friendly hello in Bahasa Indonesian. Was this Shangri-la? Susan and I took an open-hearted, warm, and very relaxing walk alone.

It happened there was a Hindu celebration in town that day, but we decided to just let the cultural research go for a change and spend time doing nothing. I realized that zealous research for Planet Rangers was one of the things keeping me from my own natural curiosity about things other than Balinese culture and Hindu life!

We grabbed the girls and invited them for a little snorkeling and a visit to a turtle hatchery we had discovered. As we walked, hints of the parade music came wafting to us intermittently. Never mind, we were looking for turtles and eels! We strolled for five minutes and laughed at the unlikely place Susan tripped over the mooring lines and broke her toe earlier in the day, a toe now sporting a rich shade of purple. Jenny and Emily helped her gingerly over and under the ropes. The sounds of the parade grew louder with clanging gongs and raspy metallic gamelins playing a haunting kind of music.

In that moment, the parade, our family and a warm cleansing rain converged at the same place. The lead flag-bearers emerged from a trail to our left wearing bright white tunics and white headpieces. The second they ritualistically dipped their bamboo staffs into the water, they cheered and the rain started. Walkers carrying mini temples, yellow decorative umbrellas, more flags, drums, and gamelins arrived. The music was everywhere. The whole parade was right in front of us as we stood in the pounding rain in our towels and bathing suits. Women in resplendent dress carried offerings to the gods to the edge of the water. Trays of banana leaves filled with flowers, rice, and burning incense were floated out to the sea gods. So this, then, was the real Bali.

Monday, 11 March 2013

Location: Indonesia

The Children’s Home
by Susan

So the thing is, we’re not in Kansas anymore. 84 kids live here at Narayan Seva Children’s Home, half because their parents are dead and half because they have a single parent who cannot afford to feed them. They are as young as two and as old as nineteen; boys and girls who want to grow up to be pilots and doctors and artists and most of all, teachers.

In class, we discover many are from the same two villages, Pakisan and Unggahan, both set high in the surrounding mountainside and wracked with poverty. Suman, a student in our class 5 group, came to the children’s home from Pakisan where his father encouraged him to sit for the better part of the day with the local men drinking arak, a fermented wine made from rice or palms. Suman is only 12. His future prospects have improved now that he’s living at Narayan Seva. John asks him, “What do you want to be when you grow up, Suman?” “You can call me President, Papa John!”

As volunteers, we live down the road in one room roughly the size of a suburban walk-in closet. All four of us sleep in one sheet less bed. There is a sink in the corner and an open-air bathroom with a cold-water shower. The whole arrangement is better than we expected. It is hot here in Sawan, on Bali’s infrequently traveled north coast. It is so hot that thick beads of sweat line our upper lip when sitting still in the shade.

We teach each morning and afternoon and eat what the children eat, a vegetarian diet of rice or noodles, vegetables, and sometimes tofu or tempeh. Two cooks prepare the food for the entire home over wood fires in an open-air kitchen while we eat on benches nearby. They earn 90 dollars a month for full time work and are paid by a German donor. In the afternoons and evenings, after perhaps our third cold shower of the day, we teach the children card games, schoolyard chants and songs. The pace of life has suddenly become slow and simple and peaceful and in this space, small things become great sources of gratitude – a fresh rambutan plucked from the tree, a fan pushing thick air at bedtime, a small child’s voice, “Play again, please?”

The Didis find it hard to turn anyone away so there are too many children for the sleeping spaces. The boys sleep six per twin bunk, three children up and three down. They have started construction on a boy’s dormitory but halt each time money runs out and start again when donations come in. While we are there, they are creating a driveway, mostly to stop the erosion of the land during the almost daily deluge of rain. Someone donates materials and the skills of one mason but the bulk of the work is done by one of the Didis and the older children – mixing by hand, laying out blocks, pouring concrete from an old wheelbarrow, and then using rusted re-bar to carve drawings into each square of wet material before it dries. When they are done, we see a sun, a rocket, a volcano and a word spelled out in small shards of broken tile. “Mama Sue-san, Mama Sue-san! How do you spell WELCOME?”

As I write this, I am sitting on the floor as the class 10 and 11 students work on a book project we gave them. A small boy has been playing at my feet for hours with only a plastic tube and the crayon and scrap of paper I gave him. He grins at me from time to time, his front four baby teeth brown and rotted away. Outside motorbikes pass by and I see an ancient woman shuffle slowly along the street, collecting plastic to recycle for money. When she smiles at me, I count two betel stained teeth.

It is easier here to live in the moment and to focus only on the next small segment of time, in this case a lunch of rice and vegetables and the inevitable sight of Emily with a deck of cards in her hand, children flocking to her like geese, “Play again, Sister?”


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Recent Messages

From David Johnson
Thanks for sharing your great pictures. We so appreciate your desire to get away from the touristy areas and see how the real people live. What an enriching experience for all of you!!
Response: Yes, just like in Thailand. Let me know if you still take your annual pilgrimage there.
Nice to hear form you!
From Sandra
Bali sounds amazing, can't wait to hear all about it! Hope to see you soon. Sandra, Mike & Ryan
Response: Hi Sandra, Mike, and Ryan,
Let's do it. How about over pizza at La Festa?
From Ms. Kovick
Emily!

I loved reading all about your snorkeling adventure.

Your friends and I have an important question for you. Have you tried a durian? A few weeks ago we celebrated the Chinese New Year and Mrs. Rantilla brought in a durian which led to mayhem! We'll tell you the whole story when you get back.

In the meantime, we're wondering if you've tried a durian. :) What other fun foods have you tried?

Miss you!
Response: Hi Ms.Kovick
I didn't try the durian but when I went to Thailand they smelled really bad so I wasn't tempted to try one either, but we saw a bunch of them. Did you eat the durian? A cool food I ate was something called a Rambutan which was a red spikey fruit.
Snorkeling was very fun! I miss you! Love, Emily
From Brett Wulfson
Hello beautiful, kind Battyes! The stories and photos from your travels bring me great joy in my heart. Thank you for sharing, and continued blessings in all your adventures! Love to all <3 Brett
Response: Hi Brett,
We loved your message and how everything you do speaks from YOUR heart. We miss you and would love to see you soon. How about dinner chez Battye? We can cook Indonesian for you!
From Susie
Hey Battyes, this is some really cool stuff! Thanks for sharing the pictures and stories. Still hoping to see you before we depart for Venice. Sending you lots of love. Susie
Response: Hi Susie,
Venice sounds great. When do you leave? Is Mary going with you?
From Alexis
Wow! So happy everyone is healthy. And I love snorkeling and it sounds as if there is gorgeous opportunities there. I love the photos and all the updates. We are looking forward to all the stories you can share at CCS this summer. Be well and keep us updated.
Love, Steven and Alexis
Response: The snorkeling was cool. Imagine the look on Emily's face after one dive when we told her those fish she didn't recognize were barracuda!
From Luisa Morgan
Dear Emily, John, Jenny, & Susan,
Thanks for sharing your vacation with us.It looks like you're having a good time!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Emily, if I was a lion fish, I think that I would faint!! {If I was a lion fish,that is}. And John, I think that the funniest picture was "John clinging on for dear life 24 feet off the ground"!!!!! And Jenny, were you eating Indonesian candy for breakfast?!! Susan,can you take a picture of the necklace that John made you?

Anyway, see you all soon at planet rangers!!!

Luisa Figueiredo Morgan
P.S.How do you write your names in Indonesian?

Response: Hi Luisa,
Emily is Ketut
Susan is Wayan
Jenny is Nyoman
John is Made (pronounced mah-day)
We know your name too! and would love to tell you how naming works in Bali!
From Abi Wool
Hi guys! It's Abi! Hope you are all having the time of your lives!! Just got back from Florida so I can relate to the incredible snorkeling experience! Are you learning things to teach the planet ranger kids and CITs? Enjoy the remainder of your trip and I'll see you soon!
Your favorite CIT,
Abi&#57378;
Response: Hey Abi! Yes, we're learning a lot while we're here... you'd love the batik and cooking! Hope you had an awesome time in Florida. Miss you!
Jenny
From Tim Allison
Wonderful!
From David & Jo Lynne
Hi Guys - Sounds like you're on another adventure is a beautiful spot. John, Macy's may never get their shirts fluffed and folded a la John Battye, but this seems a better fit for you. Susan, you do seem to embrace where you are and such a source of strength to your family. Chris - good luck with Junior year - and you may find that your travelling around will work to your advantage on the college application journey. Tim - hang in there. The weather's looking warm for TG so there may be time for basketball in NH when you're up here. Jenny - you sound so grown up. Glad you are making the most of everything. And Hola Emily - First Grade already!!! It sounds like you're enjoying school, especially the spiders!
We'd love to see you when you're in NH but know you have a long list of folks to see. Send us your snail mail address, ok? and we'll stay in touch. One of these days, we'll either catch up with you here or in MD.
Enjoy those dinners on the screened porch and the views - a year from now, you'll wonder where the year has gone. We miss you guys!
Response: We'll be back in the new year!
From Emily aka Mrs Healey
BATTYE FAMILY!!! So happy to hear about your adventures. Sounds like you have a lovely new home with a gorgeous view. How lucky! I hope to visit you and enjoy the porch and buzz of the Battye family. School sounds like it is full of fun, art and new friends.
Jenny, sounds like you have a great group of new friends. One of your many talents is your welcoming of new friendships. I would love to learn more about this gravel game. When I get together with our classmates from last year we chat about you and our memories. You are missed. I get visits from Saehee, Sarah and Emma often. There are many rumors that you are returning for a visit????? I hope so. Emily, I bet you love helping your dad in his classroom. I am lucky to have Sophie in my class this year. She writes about you in Writer's Workshop. We love thinking about you.
John, I am anxiously awaiting to hear about your first 6 weeks and setting up workshops. I am sure the students adore you and many giggles are being had.
Ohhh, the Battyes. You are one of a kind and I miss you. I'd love to be in the middle of a big group hug!
xo
Response: You're the best Emily! We miss you, too!
From Loden F
Timmy do any of your friends play on your soccer team?

Response: yeah all of em do
From Sandra, Mike, and Ry
It was great to read about your new home - it sounds truly amazing!! The pictures of the views are wonderful - I hope we will be able to have a crab feast on your back porch sometime! Looking forward to seeing you at Thanksgiving.
Miss You!
Sandra, Mike, and Ryan
Response: We've got the Old Bay ready and waiting-you're welcome anytime!
From Dale
Hey you all, remember me from the river trip in Thailand back in December 2006?
Glad to see that the incredible spirit your family inspire is still alive. Don't stop your roaming spirit, I wish I was so brave. Keep safe and in touch.
Response: Dale! Of course we remember you! It's so great to hear from you and to know you're well. Chris is hammering on us to visit England soon and if we do, a priority would be to see you. Keep in touch with us-we love you, Dale!
From Carrie
Hello from, well, actually, PHX.
I'll be home this weekend.

Loved reading all the journals.
Great stuff. It is so cool to hear
about everything. I can't wait
to come down! Being a "natury" kind
of person, I know I will love the house.
Miss you all,
Love,
Carrie
Response: We'll clean out all the spiders before you come...even if you ARE a nature gal. We can't wait to see you, Carrie!
From Many Mitchells
Hi to you all - long time since we've seen you but with Halloween around the corner we were thinking of when you all came here...seems like ages ago. You're moves sound brave and wonderful - by way of contrast the furthest we've moved is two streets away!! But having said that we still make it over to America every summer and next week we're off to India with Sykes whilst Maisie and Archie go on a swim camp in Spain...
The kids are all well - and big!! One day it would be nice to meet up again - we should definitely try and do this - don't know how much the boys in particular remember about their time in London but it would be lovely to see you all again
much love sue
Response: Hello Sue!
It is so nice to hear from you and to know you are well, still in London and that the kids are as adventurous as you. Of course the kids remember Halloween there with you-we were talking about it just this week. They remember how your neighbors weren't sure quite what to make of them "trick or treating" and brought them out cucumbers and pennies. It was great fun! Chris remembers his lunch with Sykes...when it was just the boys at the restaurant, all grown up. We talk about going to England again soon-Chris' dream is to study abroad there as England, and especially London, has always held a special fascination for him. If we come, we'd love to see you again and please know that if you are on the East Coast of the US, we'd love to have you stay with us. Do you still come as a homeswap to California? Love to all!
From Susanna Jech Paul
Always love reading about the Battye family adventures. You are my role models in life!
Alas, we are no longer in MD, having relocated to central PA this summer. More on that in an email. Best of luck to you all! XOXO, Susanna
Response: Well, PA and MD aren't that far apart! We look forward to hearing your news by email!
From Deb and David
Hey guys ! Loved hearing all the details ! David and I can't wait to see you all in a few weeks and hear more details in person ! Big hugs to all ! Love, Deb and David :)
Response: We can't wait to see you both!
From Stacey Kilroy
Nice to hear your excerpt. Sounds like a nice spot and that eveyone (sans Tim) is really enjoying this new chapter in your lives. Sophie is really missing Emily. She has written a short story regarding her friendship with her and has writtern her letters and drawn her pictures. Yesterday she sobbed for a half hour after she sang a song that reminded her of Emily . Please send your address so I can forward Emily her mail from Sophie. Warmest Regards to all,
Stacey Kilroy
Response: Hello Stacey,
It's so nice to hear from you! Emily misses the Barrensbog and the rockin' roller coaster hill on the bikes and her house and MOST OF ALL, Sophie! I'll send you an email with the new address and phone number-Emily would love to see Sophie's letters and send some back. We'll also be back in Portsmouth for Thanksgiving-are you around then? Hugs to all of you!
From Alexis Dascoulias
John and Susan:
You are truly role models for parents everywhere. I am proud to be your friend. What you have done over the past three years is incredible. John, I'm so happy that you have found an educational venue for your creativity and Susan, I love that you are there all the way with your family.
Chris - you go, man!!!! AP classes and all. I remember when you were 7 for crying out loud!!! I am proud of you.
Tim: Hang in there, man. Basketball and baseball can be played anywhere - be inventive and try to have fun.
Jenny: You are inspirational, girlfriend!!! I love your attitude and your description of your new house.
Emily: I can't believe you're in first grade!!! I remember when you were born. I'm so proud of you for writing in this blog.

Love to you all,
Alexis
Response: Oh Alexis, how great to read your little messages to everyone in the family! What a special person you've been to all of our kids...and to us. We plotted briefly about Christmas in Hawaii so we could come see you and Steven but, not this year. It WILL happen and, in the meantime, we love following you through your blog. Love to you both!!
From The Swartz Family
So happy to hear from you and thrilled you are loving your new life In MD.....No better place than the beach.....So happy to see you for a short while in August in OOB.....also, let Emily know Jade is also taking ballet lessons and loving it! Life in Vermont is good right now....foliage at it's peak, cool nights great for sleeping and apples to die for. Thanks for keeping in touch.....Be happy and safe and we will connect again soon! Hugs...Betty, Erika, Jade, Gracie, and Chad.
Response: Hey Betty,
We still owe you a picture or two from this summer and I think we are working on that little video.
From The Formichelli's
Battye's - Loved catching up with everyone via your blog! Tim, it's 'crappy' here w/o you (note that the word CRAPPY was not struck by my editor!)! I'll have Loden visit this site to read up on your whole family then post a comment. Love to all! Wendy, Tony, Loden, Stefan, and Jordan
Response: Hopefully ALL of us will move into the "better than crappy zone" soon! Thanks for reading this and staying in touch. Tim is really psyched for next weekend!!
From Fairy Godmother
Hey, Fairy Godkids! I'm guessing "lame" was the substitute for the forbidden word......glad to hear from everyone. I missed Chris on the big field trip to the Supreme Court (which went quite well, I thought....though it would have been that much better if Chris could have come and brought a giant foam finger with scales of justice or some pithy slogan)! We'll just have to do long distance Constitutional Law. Could someone send me your real-life coordinates to my email? The Fairy Godparent registry claims not to have a mailing address. Hard to get good office help these days.
xox
Stephanie
Response: We miss you, Stephanie! We'll be back in Portsmouth over Thanksgiving. Let's get together!
From Valereie
Hi Battyes! I kept hearing rumors that you were moving to MD. Welcome back! Sounds like a beautiful spot you've found to live. John, I have a squirrel (or is it a beaver?) with your name on it. Where should we send it?
Response: Hi Valerie,
I hope Middle School is going well. Please give a rousing hello to Parker. If you haven't been to the Renaissance Fair in Crownsville, MD, I highly recommend it!
From a 4/5 NJ kid with a
I've been searching for your web- site forever, and I finally found it!!!!!!!! It's really cool!!!!!!!!!
Response: Hi NJ kid! We are so glad you wrote and think that it is cool. Maybe one day you will have your own website that we will get to see. Thanks for writing!