An American woman from San Francisco, Soviana Suprato, was thrilled that she had finally been able to bring her husband and two sons to Indonesia, where she was born. The plan was to introduce them to relatives, let them savor the local cuisine and, as a bonus, take them to Bali for a long weekend.
On Saturday night, the family was in Bali, midway through their month-long holiday, having just ordered dinner at Raja's, a busy steakhouse in the packed tourist hangout called Kuta Square. According to an amateur video shown by police, a slim man, dressed in black and toting a backpack, walked in. Suprato's brother, Richard Chen, recalled afterward that he thought he saw that man pass behind him.
At 7:45 p.m., there was a flash and a deafening explosion.
"I thought I died," Suprato said. "I saw only black."
She and her family had been caught up in the latest terrorist attack in Indonesia: three blasts in five minutes in three restaurants in Bali, caused by explosives laced with ball bearings, police said. At Raja's, one waiter was killed along with the suicide bomber, according to police. Officials said at least 22 people were killed, including the three bombers, and more than 100 were injured.
On Monday, the head of counterterrorism for the Indonesian police, Maj. Gen. Ansyaad Mbai, said it was possible the bombs were triggered by cell phones. He said police believed at least three accomplices detonated the bombs by remote control and might still be on Bali. [On Tuesday, Bali's police chief said two people had been taken in for questioning, the Reuters news agency reported.]
Suprato, 38, her husband, two children, father and brother were the only Americans injured in the attacks. In interviews Monday, they said they had thought the terror of the Bali bombings three years ago would not be repeated. Up to the instant of the explosion, they said, they felt safe among the crowds of tourists surging through Kuta Square.
"I was so scared," said Duke Ly, Suprato's husband, who faced danger once before when he fled Vietnam on a boat in 1980. "This time was scarier," he said, because it was so unexpected.
"All I know is that everyone was running," said their son Sean Ly, 16. "All the debris was coming down. Some people were dead. I almost thought my mom was dead."
Duke, 47, scooped up their other son, Jeremy, 5, and rushed him outside, as the child dropped his computer game on the table. Duke then returned for his wife.
"Help my father!" Soviana Suprato yelled, motioning to Jusof Suprato, lying prone on the floor, not moving, the heavy slab of a table on his back. Outside, there was chaos. "I was screaming, 'Please help my dad! He's 70 years old. I don't want him to die!' " Soviana Suprato recounted, sitting in a hospital room.
In the dark after the blast, strangers came to their aid. Australians, Indonesians and Asians from other countries gave them water and paper towels to wipe blood from their faces. Someone called an ambulance. Soviana Suprato was, in her own word, hysterical. Her uncle, Rivai Pandiangan, who had joined them from Jakarta, instructed her that no matter what, the family -- seven in all -- should be kept together.
By late evening, the family had been examined and sent to Sanglah Hospital. All but the uncle were placed in Room 211, having suffered cuts, bruises and some hearing loss. Pandiangan was sent to intensive care, wounded in the back, sides and legs by pieces of metal, possibly ball bearings, used in the explosives. Jusof Suprato also had metal pieces in his back.
Soviana's wild screams could be heard on the TV news that night. Cameramen entered the hospital room and filmed her in bloody T-shirt and jeans, crying over her sons. Jeremy had a gash on his head that needed seven stitches, and he was having trouble hearing. Sean received leg wounds that will probably require surgery.
"He doesn't know it yet," she said. "It just slices my heart."
This was not how she dreamed it would be.
After three years, she was finally taking a real vacation. Her mother had agreed to fill in for her as manager at Sweet Max's, a busy deli in downtown San Francisco. Her brother, Chen, 37, a computer technician from Fremont, Calif., came along, his first trip back to Indonesia in 22 years. Her mother and father had immigrated to the United States in 1983, Suprato said, in search of a better life.
Their arrival in Jakarta in September was an exciting opportunity for an extended family reunion. There was her uncle in Jakarta, her aunts and grandmother in Jogjakarta, a university town in central Java near a magnificent Buddhist temple called Borobudur. Duke Ly called the temple a "world wonder," as beautiful, he said, as the Golden Gate Bridge.
"I wanted them to see where I'm from," Suprato said, referring to her husband and sons. "To see the traditions, the dances, how we are in Indonesia. Over there, in the States, everybody is more modern. Over here, people move more slowly. They talk slowly. You don't see people in the streets screaming at you. In the afternoon, they all go out and talk to each other, in front of the home. All the kids are running around and playing." Life, she said, happens in the streets.
"People just socialize," said Sean, a robust teenager who spends a lot of time alone at home practicing what he hopes will become his profession: drawing anime, Japanese cartoon art.
After two weeks in Indonesia, Duke Ly had been won over. He was going to recommend to all his friends that they visit. "Now," he said, hesitating, "I don't know."
The nightmare, though not over for Soviana Suprato, has begun to recede. On Sunday, she made contact with embassy officials, who arranged for the family to fly back to Jakarta on Monday for further medical care.
The tragedy brought a rush of sympathy to Room 211, which by Monday was filled with fruit baskets and flowers sent by strangers. A Balinese woman whose arm was badly scarred from the 2002 bombing stopped by to wish them well.
"Vacations," Duke Ly said, "are supposed to be happy. But I'm happy we survived. We got help. I feel like I got family here."
Special correspondent Yayu Yuniar contributed to this report.