30 weeks pregnant on a tropical island

Every four weeks I go up a bra size…it’s worth being pregnant just for the breasts. Pregnancy is also a lot of other things. It is the gift of life.  It is a miracle.  It is exciting…to create a life.  To carry that life within your body for nine months.  To nurture it.  To feel it grow.  To create another human being. To carry a whole world inside you. It is incredible.

It is also horrifying.  It is dramatic.  It is bizarre.  Things happen… strange things.  Not nice things.  Things you don’t expect.  Things no one warns you about. 

Weeks are passing by like fast trains and I can’t believe I am already in my last trimester. We found a beautiful temporary house in Bali, close to the hospital and a doctor who is pro natural birth (which is quite difficult to find in Indonesia, as they can make way more money if you have a c section). I will move to Bali around the 1st of July while Andreas will stay in Gili to supervise the construction site. We both agreed: living in the same house around your due date is so 2018!

Getting pregnant has changed me

It changes me every single day. I’ve changed my outlook on life and my way of thinking, changed the way I breathe, the way I love and the way I receive love. I am not the same person I was a year ago. I’m not the same person I was yesterday. I wouldn’t even compare myself to the person I was this morning.

Things are more challenging but filled with so much more reward. Things are filled with so much love. And the capacity for love my heart has grows faster and more wild by the minute. I never thought it was possible to love like a wildfire. But here I am setting flame to everything around me.

Love Rose

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Farm life on a tropical island

This morning our beloved and crazy chicken Alice passed away. Alice walked into Villa Nangka around three years ago. And decided to stay. Alice was not just an ordinary chicken. She was blind on one eye and we all thought she was immortal. She disappeared for a little bit after the earthquake but rocked up again a few weeks after, looking absolutely disgusting, pretending like nothing ever happened.

Alice didn’t want to be friends with any of the other chickens. Instead she liked spending her days chilling in her baruga. The baruga that actual belongs to our boys but Alice kicked them out.

On some days Alice behaved like a puppy and started running after us because she wanted to play. On other days she behaved like a little kitten, hiding underneath the pillows with just her head in the sun and spinning. And although we joked a lot that we would eat Alice for Christmas, we all were secretly a bit in love with her.

Thank you Alice, for being such a weird special creature that always made everyone smile.

Love Rose

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International marine research center in Indonesia

Slowly but steady the new headquarters of the Gili Shark Conservation Project is rising. It’s my dream that one day, this beautiful bamboo building will be an international marine research center that host researchers, scientist and oceans lovers from all over the world. A place in the heart of our community where we provide education in solving oceans-related issues. A home to people that want to make the world a little bit more beautiful.

I think dreaming big is the right thing to do for the world.

Think about it: big dreams are the reasons why the world changes for the better. It’s the reason why there have been so many great inventions and cured for diseases among other great stuff.

Leave your mark on the world. Know that you can achieve anything you set out to. No dream is unattainable. Dare to dream. Strive to really live your life doing what you really want to do.

Love Rose

#thinkbig #dreambig #believebig

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Bamboo kitchen design made by Asali Bali

With proud we present you the new kitchen of the new Villa Nangka! Can’t wait for the day this places is filled again with the love and laughter of our boys and our guests.

Love Rose

P.s. A big thank you to Monokromo for making this stunning design and to the cool guys of Asali Bali for putting it all together.

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To all the people who find Mother's Day hard to celebrate, this is for you

In more than 50 countries people are celebrating Mother’s Day today. Many people might claim that it has now become far too commercialized and yet another chance for retailers to try and sell us flowers, cards, and gifts that we don’t necessarily need, but for me, this day is something really special.

First of all, because I’m very grateful to have such an incredibly beautiful mother and second because I’m about to become a mother myself.

I’ve been longing to become a mother for a long time. I thought I would easily be able to conceive when I was ready. Like a lot of women, I spent many years in my twenties being terrified that I would get pregnant when I wasn’t ready. But it turns out, for most of us, baby-making is not nearly as easy as they make it seem in biology class.

I will never forget how excited we felt when we started trying.

It was as if I was pregnant already, and of course, I thought it would happen for us straight away. I read numerous books, educated myself on all the latest research, and on many occasions obsessively Googled ‘early pregnancy symptoms’ as every niggle and twinge I felt within my body was a sign that I was pregnant.

However, it wasn’t long before the excitement turned to disappointment with test after test coming back negative. One of the lowest points of my experience was crying when a close friend told me she was pregnant. They were not happy tears; they were ugly, dark green tears of incredulous jealousy.

Over the last years, I learned that my expectations were unrealistic and that even when you do get pregnant, it doesn’t always mean that things can’t go wrong anymore (I had a miscarriage after 9 weeks the first time I got pregnant). I learned that the road towards motherhood can be quite a bumpy ride and that getting pregnant is really a true miracle.

Today, on Mother’s Day, I enter the last trimester of my pregnancy, and I’m celebrating the tiny wonder that is growing inside me.

But I’m also very aware that this day can be tough for those who struggle with grief, loss, and/or infertility. For many, Mother’s Day is a painful reminder of what never was or what no longer is.

Some of my friends have endured the unthinkable pain of losing a child. Many of my friends lost their mothers and will forever miss being able to spend this day with her or call her on the phone. Other friends may hardly feel like this day warrants celebration. Their mothers failed as parents, were dysfunctional or even abusive. And then there are my friends who desperately want to become a mother, but struggle with infertility.

This post is simply intended to bring awareness to something I never gave a second thought to before I started trying to have kids.

My hope is that, if nothing else, it will make you more aware of something you may not think about…and my greater hope is that it will help someone out there going through the same struggles feel a little less alone.

So when you are celebrating Mother’s Day today, spare a thought for those people who are not able to celebrate this occasion. And if you know who they are, reach out to them!

Love Rose

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Getting To The Gili Islands In Indonesia

When I called the Dutch embassy to ask what paperwork we needed to arrange for our little girl, they couldn’t give me a straight answer. The scenario Dutch girl living together with a German guy without being married, in Indonesia, and expecting a baby was not a standard scenario.

After some calls back and forward they gave us a list with all the paperwork we needed to arrange so our little Sunny would be able to get a Dutch passport, a German passport, an Indonesian residence permit, and Andreas would be officially her legal father.

As everyone knows, getting something done at an ‘official authority’ always sounds really easy but always ends up being a complete nightmare. But luckily we don’t give up easily and after ‘just’ 2.5 months we got all the required documents and an appointment at the German embassy in Jakarta.

We made a plan and booked the flights

We would take the afternoon boat from Gili Air to Bali, book a hotel close to the airport, take the first flight to Jakarta on the next day, visit the embassy, have lunch and fly back to Lombok in the afternoon. Sounds like a pretty good plan right? But as most of you know by now, nothing in our lives ever goes according to plan and this time was no exception.

It was 1 PM in the afternoon when I ask my Sunshine: “Do you know where our passports are because they are not in the safe?”. And while I’m asking the question I suddenly know the answer. Our passports are at the immigration office as we are in the process of extending our residence permits.

The last boat to Bali leaves at 3pm and our passport are at the immigration office in Lombok. We look at each other and start smiling. We really thought we had everything sorted this time and were prepared for a smooth and easy journey to Jakarta. We start doing what we do best; working as a team, and making the best out of a crazy situation. In these moments I’m so proud of us.

It’s been almost five years

Almost five whole years walking beside this beautiful man. Since I’m together with him, my heart has never stopped with singing. It always is whispering a soothing melody to me. A song only I can hear. My special song. We have come a long way since then.

While I cancel the boat to Bali, Andreas is calling our lawyer and explains the situation. At first, she says it’s impossible to get our passports on such short notice back but after explaining the importance of the situation she says she will try. But we need to be quick. It’s Ramadan and the immigration office is closing at 3 PM.  I check the time, we have a bit over an hour left.

It almost seems impossible to make it but as we don’t believe in impossible we decided to try.

In less than five minutes our bags are packed and another five minutes later we are sitting in a private speedboat on our way to Lombok. Our driver is already waiting on the other side. We explain to him we have less than one hour left to make it to Mataram and that on the way we also need to stop at our lawyer’s office. He start smiling and nod his head, he always likes a challenge.

Miraculously, we manage to be at 2.50PM at the doorstep of the immigration office. It looks like we are actually going to make it. But suddenly we get stopped. I look confused at the security guy, not understanding what’s wrong. We are both respected the dress code and made sure our legs and arms are covered, and I’m even wearing a head scarf.

The rules have changed, again

He’s pointing at our feet and explains in Bahasa Indonesia that the rules have changed. (for all of you who never been in Indonesia, they love to change the rules here. Every time when you think you get the system, a new rule will be added to the game). What do we do now? We only have 10 minutes left and I really wouldn’t know where we could buy some proper shoes around here.

An older man walks up to me and takes off his shoes. “You can borrow my shoes sister, no problem”. I look at his sandals, they definitely fit the category ‘most ugliest sandals you’ve ever seen’ but as I don’t really have another choice I gratefully accept his offer. My Sunshine borrows the shoes of our driver and with just five minutes left on the clock, we enter the immigration office. We made it. Life is never boring here!

Love Rose

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Blue skies on the Gili Islands

Work in progress. The roof of the kitchen is almost done! Every day we are getting one step close to the finish line. I strongly believe that it’s not the quest to achieve one perfect goal that makes you better, it’s the skills you develop from doing a volume of work.

We all have things that we want to achieve in our lives — getting into the better shape, building a successful business, raising a wonderful family, writing a best-selling book, winning a championship, and so on.

When you think about your goals, don’t just consider the outcome you want.

Focus on the repetitions that lead to that place. Focus on the piles of work that come before the success. The goal is just an event — something that you can’t totally control or predict. But the repetitions are what can make the event happen. If you ignore the outcomes and focus only on the repetitions, you’ll still get results. If you ignore the goals and build habits instead, the outcomes will be there anyway.

#lovethework, #behappy #makeprogress

Love Rose

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Beautiful blue sky on the Gili Islands

For others this might be just an empty wall, for us, this is the starting place of our love, hope and dreams.✨💛

Love Rose

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White sandy beach Gili Islands

Although everything is happening according to plan, I can’t help it that on some days I wake up slightly panicked. A thousand questions shoot through my head like falling stars; will we finish the building on time? Will people like the design of the new Villa Nangka? Will we be able to create the same magical vibe in our little paradise as before the earthquake? When would be the right time to move to Bali so I’m close to a hospital? Which hospital is the best in Bali? Would my Sunshine be able to come with me when I move to Bali or will we be separated?

A tiny nuclear bomb goes off in the corner of my head. I take a deep breath and remind myself that everything will work out. It always does. I tell myself to have faith. For me, faith is an admittance that neither I nor any other human being or entity is completely in control of all the things that go on around me.

My faith has never failed me

Our world is comprised of so many unknowns, obstacles, phases of rejection, acceptance, and criticism. There are far too many things that are left unknown and taken to chance. Things that are broken and flawed. There’s considerable suffering, pain, and self-doubt. But the good news? It’s only temporary. Because if there is anything that is certain in this constantly evolving world, it’s that having a little faith will get you through it all. Having a little faith will open that door for your comeback.

My faith has never failed me. In the scorecard of life, I may have lost more than I’ve won in all the things that I’ve attempted. But I have always felt like a victor when challenges have come to pass. Because even when I have lost something I worked hard for, and suffered through, and believed in my heart of hearts that I would get, I have found that what was prepared for me was something much greater than I could have imagined. Faith has allowed me to see things clearly, even on the days that I wake up with a head full of shooting stars.

Love Rose

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Building a bamboo house in Indonesia

The bamboo crew arrived from Bali and started with making our new kitchen! Watch this space and discover how bamboo can be combined in all shapes and patterns to create a stunning collection of luxurious ceilings, stairs and railings. The prow-like curve of a roofline, the visible strength of a beam, the graceful swoop of a railing, every detail will be a reminder of Nature’s possibilities.

Although a lot of things will change compared to the old Villa Nangka, there is one thing that will stay exactly the same: Villa Nangka will be a place where you will immediately feel at home and were we – together with our wonderful staff – will make sure your stay will be a memorable and unforgettable one!

Love Rose

p.s. We will reopen our doors on the 1st of August 2019 and we can’t wait to meet you then!