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October 31, 2008


There are approximately the same number of people living here in Jakarta as there are in New York City!  It is amazing to see the incredible buildings and mass of humanity.  It is amazing what has been done here in four years since we were here last in terms of new buildings.

The people are beautiful, bright, well-educated and really wonderful!  We were awakened this morning at 4:22 a.m. with the call to prayer.  Ninety percent of Jakarta is Muslim.  We did a really fun parenting seminar today for Femina, which runs most of the major magazines in Indonesia.  Sponsoring this event was the Indonesian division of Parenting Magazine and Ayahbunda which translated means MotherFather.  They are beautiful magazines and we had a wonderful five hour discussion about Raising Responsible Kids! 

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At the end of the day after lots of fun interchange they invited the entire audience to come up to the stage for a picture.  Here they are:


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Again we learned that everyone wants the same thing for their families…happy responsible children!  At lunch we were able to chat with several tables of women and found that there are good hospitals here but absolutely no pain medications for mothers in labor except in case of a caesarian section. And of course they are all rooting for Obama to win.  We were meeting in the very neighborhood where he spent part of his childhood!


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Our darling hostess, Vivian, organized this event with the help of many others and was about the average size of the women there.  Fun Day!

October 28, 2008


Wow, what a country!  We arrived a couple of days before our speaking assignment here.  Funnily enough, they lost our luggage again (didn’t make the transfer in Hong Kong) and our hosts had the wrong date for our arrival so in the middle of the night we found an interesting hotel and hired a guide and we spent a wonderful couple of days on the Mekong Delta.  With a cute Vietnamese guide we enjoyed four different boats, a fabulous bike ride through a remote village where we rode on six feet of pavement which turned out to be a three lane highway.  There are 4 million motorbikes in Saigon alone and the number in the whole country is simply mind boggling.  People passed within inches of us without batting an eye!  We say kids playing marbles, gorgeous rice fields, a guy living with a flock of baby ducks, preparing to rid the rice fields of snails, commerce everywhere, even a few TVs in three roomed, dirt floored huts.  At the end of the day, we got caught in a torrential rain storm and were laughing hysterically as we sloshed in our shoes.  With no other clothes to change into except for a couple of extra shirts I had in my overnight bag, Richard wore one of my T shirts and we bought new shorts for him as these pants were literally dripping! There is such a barrage of new experiences coming every day that it is a hard to inhale it all! 

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Life on the Mekong Delta!  

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The floating markets were incredible. Climb aboard a "shop" and they’ll treat you to a pineapple!

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The land markets were VERY interesting and breathtakingly pungent!


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Beautiful, friendly people…also small!


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October 23, 2008

Parent Talk in Los Angeles and Great Entrepreneurs in Saskatoon

Kristina Jackson along with her wonderful assistant Lisa have been organizing community events designed to help families in the Los Angeles area called "Parent Talk" for seven years now.  They do four events a year and we had the privilege of being their "kick off" event this week.  About four hundred bright and eager parents in the Manhattan Beach are were there at a local high school ready to tackle their most important job of parenting.  We really enjoyed speaking with these good people and especially enjoyed the beautiful California weather.  What were we thinking when we sent our kids to school on the East Coast for the winter?  What a great place, especially when you can enjoy it with such wonderful people!


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The next morning, despite getting up at 4:30 a.m., we almost missed our flight to Saskatoon, Canada.  Although we made it by the skin of our teeth, our luggage didn’t so we had fun trying to buy some shoes for Richard so he didn’t have to wear his white tennis shoes.  There was only one pair of size 13 dress shoes in the store which he promptly bought. Luckily I had the outfit I had worn the night before in my little roller bag that I had taken with me.  In the end we had a great time with an outstanding group of Entrepreneurs whose creative ideas and multiple businesses were inspiring.

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Greg Yuel, who we had heard us speak about the family bank at a conference in Las Vegas last year had followed our advice precisely, except for the fact that when you give an entrepreneur a good idea, they make it better!  He and his wife Olivia as well as Ernie another member and a great father of a blended family who was also at the conference, presented how they had implemented the plan for having a family economy, complete with an in-house family bank!  You will find the results of the Yuel’s search for just the right bank below. There is a slot on the top for slips works like a charm. They have done such a wonderful job with their kids who are beginning to feel the joy of ownership as they earn, spend, save and give their own money! 

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How fun it is for us to someone a good idea and have them make it better! 

October 5, 2008

Beautiful Jackson Hole Wyoming

For the second year in a row we have had the privilege of speaking to parents and people who deal with children in Jackson, Wyoming.  A handful of wonderful women who represented various churches in the Jackson area have organized themselves into a committee called "Our Common Cause" They are dedicated to building the good will of the community through educational seminars and Christmas projects. It was an absolutely perfect time of year to visit that incredibly gorgeous spot on earth in this season of the year so we are doubly grateful for the opportunity to meet with loyal, dedicated parents, spouses and partners who all want to improve their skills and do a better job as they raise children…our world’s most important resource!

Below you’ll find pictures of our wonderful experience there which included a three hour float down the Snake River at the peak of autumn:

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The Tetons enhanced by the splendor of fall.

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Our rubber boat and one of several bald eagles

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  Autumn leaves, sunlight and water make for a unforgettable journey.

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Heroic members of "Our Common Cause"

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