Sunrise toning meditation at the beach. We hurry along the beach and up the little path through the twisted briars and other beach scrub and out onto the level grassy area to our "sacred" place. Five or six of us show up. We surmise that the others didn't come because they waited until the last minute to pack. Don hasn't shown up yet! We remark that this isn't like him, as he's always so punctual. We decide to form a circle and start toning.

Just then Don bursts into view, shouting, "The rainbow, come see the rainbow!" He rushes us over to the edge of the grassy area where we can see out through the shrubs to the ocean. Don keeps jumping up and down and asking us why we weren't looking at the rainbow. "You've got to be AWARE!" he preaches at us! "But, Don," we say, "we DID look at the ocean while we walked here, but there was no rainbow then!" We realize that if Don hadn't been late, none of us would have seen the rainbow!

Suspended between low-lying, angry-looking clouds and the dark sea sparkles a short but very broad rainbow. Don's besides himself with joy! It's the FIRST rainbow he's ever seen in his dozen or so trips to Bali! We stand rooted to the spot, watching the rainbow glimmer, shimmer and change. I begin to see an etheric-looking fountain, welling up from the top of the rainbow and arcing out in all directions, forming an iridescent sphere of light! If I look hard, it disappears. But when I soften my focus, I see it. Silently I thank God and the Rainbow Deva, if indeed that's what it is. Finally, after fifteen minutes, our long-lived rainbow has dimmed, flickered and gone out. But the Deva remains, seemingly larger than before!

Don, carried to new heights, channels a message to our small group. We feel very close to each other and to Bali. We tone for a while, give thanks and reluctantly retrace our steps back to the hotel. We'll carry these magical moments in our hearts forever.

After hurrying to breakfast, we make one last inspection of our room making sure we haven't left anything behind. Then we lug--and I mean LUG--our baggage to the lobby's porch. Grimly I remember that we'd had porters to carry our luggage to our rooms. But now that my empty suitcase is now overloaded, I must lug it myself. Just desserts, I guess--payback for my frivolous spending. Two vans await us to trundle our stuff to the airport. My big suitcase--will it be safe--will it get there okay--will it arrive in Philadelphia when I do? All sorts of worry-thoughts start to bubble to the surface. Firmly I push them away--changing rupiahs into dollars--that worry is all the baggage I want to handle today!


Heck's bells anyway. I determine not to let anything ruin or even slightly taint, these last few hours in Paradise. We stroll on the beach, talk to friends, snap a few last pictures, soak up all the beauty we can cram into our memories--like I'd crammed all my material purchases into my suitcase. But it seems like we're just marking time, wandering like the doomed and the damned, desperately searching for more experiences to cram into these last hours: our "last supper" of meaningful activities in Paradise!

Since we're taking an evening flight, I am concerned that I might not be able to change these rupiahs into dollars at the airport. I ask the hotel's cashier if I can exchange money. They don't do that here. They tell me I can get it done at the airport. So I ask for a cab to Kuta. The cabbie tries to be very helpful. First he takes me to a bank--they don't exchange rupiahs for dollars, only the other way around. The cabbie suggests some money-changers. He takes me to three that he knows. But, always, the answer is no, they only exchange dollars for rupiahs! Finally, I tell the cabbie to take me back to the hotel.

The cashiers see me get out of the cab and ask if I'd had any luck. When I say, no, they tell me that the ONLY place where tourists can change rupiahs back into the currency of their home countries is at the airport as they are leaving Bali! At first I'm angry that they didn't tell me this the first time I'd asked them! But I sigh and release those feelings. I remember I'm not going to let anything ruin my last few hours in Paradise. I'll just have to leave it to luck that the money exchange office is still open by the time I get there. Joan is confident that that office will still be open when we get to the airport.

"I know what we can do!" I say to Joan. "We can search the grounds for that statue that Don told us is here somewhere, you know, the one he said demonstrated the proper toning posture"? She remembers and says she's glad I remembered. Laughing, we start searching the hotel grounds.

Finally we find a row of four small statues tucked into the shrubbery right near the lobby veranda! How did we miss them? It takes all my persuasive skills to persuade Joan to pose by each of these statues, though! She compromises by insisting that I pose first so she can snap images of me posing! Then she imitates what each statue is doing and I snap her. We wander about some more. I see some demons guarding a small stone gate. So I pose Joan on the steps between them and shoot a couple more images. It's a lot of silly fun.

Nothing we can do, however, can delay the inexorable march of time. As we board the buses for the airport, we realize we've joined the legions of tourists, who, having had a brief taste of Paradise, don't want to leave!

At the airport I discover that the official money-changer stays open until ALL flights have departed for each day! No one had told me this, either! Saving a few notes of each denomination to show folks back home, I change the rest of my rupiahs back into dollars.


I check my suitcase all the way to Philadelphia. Since I'm flying Continental all the way, there should be no problems. But then I remember that they DID lose Barbara's wheelchair for a few days. So I bless the case, surrounding it with white light and release it to the care of the Continental officials and the Universe.

Winnie's having problems, though. She's five bags over the limit. Officialdom decrees $100 per bag! Winnie blanches. She argues, to no avail. Over comes another tourist who is adept at bargaining. He gets the fee down to $250 total. Winnie pays up and thanks him. He smiles. Seems he's a tour leader and knows how to deal with stuff like this. Winnie's had to check everything except the drum, which has to count as her one allowed carry-on.

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