What’s New?

Well looking back over the last couple weeks we have had a few new experiences here in Indonesia.  And even more recently today and yesterday for the first time we have had a bunch of Indonesian kids in our yard playing with our kids.  It was a little strange yesterday as Julie and I went for a quick shopping trip to a couple close by Toko’s or stores.  And when we left the house, our neighbor was in the back yard trimming the grass as he usually does a couple times a week, and our kids were inside the house doing their usual thing of either watching a movie or playing a video.  Then upon returning home we found our backyard had acquired several kids playing with a soccer ball.  However, to our dismay our kids were still inside still in-groused in their activities.  But with some strong encouragement from mom and dad the kids went outside and enjoyed playing with all the kids.  Then again today our yard became a playground for a few Indonesians and Franklin as well as he was home at the time.  I’m very glad to see our kids playing these past couple days with local kids.  I’m unsure of what changed yesterday from never seeing locals come into our yard to having them enter in these past couple days on their own initiative.  I’m hoping over time this will continue and provide some much needed interaction for our kids with the local kids.

Two weeks ago I think I (Greg) also set a personal record for the number of kilometers driven here in a single week.  It started with Franklin and I heading to the south coast to find us a beach.  Then upon our return a friend of ours wanted to road test a bike he had just recently bought so I gladly jumped at the chance to ride with him around the lake that is not to far from Salatiga.  So him and I set out Friday morning for a ride around the lake with a detour through a mountain pass over to one of his favor spots to eat.  Then Saturday morning our neighbor was taking some of his goats to market to sell and then find some more valuable replacements.  So on the spur of the moment him and I were headed to a traditional market not to far from town but far enough to add another 30kms or so to my weeks total.  Then later that same day our friends from our first house SMS me and asked if I wanted to go to Kopeng.  Not sure what happen between the time I said sure to the time I arrived to head to Kopeng with them.  And at first I was a bit confused as to what or where we were going as Pak Trisno (husband) road with me on my bike and Ibu Surati (Pak Trisno’s Wife) road with a friend on their bike and we weren’t very long traveling together before my friend Pak Trisno mentioned we can go faster than them as we have further to go.  Turns out we ended up in Magelang to visit a high school friend of Pak Trisno.  Kopeng is about a 20-30 min ride depending on weather and traffic, Magelang a little over an hour if traffic and weather are good.    It was a great week of bike riding around Central Java.  All in all I racked up a little over 600Kms which may not seem like lots but take in consideration the average speed I likely traveled at would between 40-50km/hr.  My bikes top speed if conditions are favorable 90km/hr and occasionally and very rarely 100km/hr.  It likes 70-80Km/hr but most times the traffic and roads don’t allow for sustained high speed travel.

Last week was a busy week as well I started back to school for unit 8 of 9.  Julie was busy studying as well with a couple of days break because her tutor was busy with some special activities at her university centered around an international theme.  Which Julie was also involved as she was asked to cook and bring some Canadian food.  She made some very tasty homemade butter tarts.  I heard from somewhere that there might have been a bad one or two so I took it upon myself to eat as many as I could to find the bad ones before she started to give them away to strangers.  Sadly, I failed finding the bad ones but I did enjoy all the good ones I ate.  Along with this special event at the university we along with some other families from different parts of the globe were invited to the Mayors house for supper Thursday evening.  I’ll be honest I was a little nervous as a simple farm boy from Canada, it was intimidating trying to prepare myself with what to wear, what would be good to talk about.  Not only am I immersed in a foreign culture, then to add a meal with a person of higher social standing increases this farm boy’s stress level.  All in all the event went well from my stand point.  I wasn’t the most under-dressed person nor was I over dressed either.  Our kids were basically the only kids there and for the most part they behaved great, that is up until picture time.  There are more then a couple pictures taken with our kids making funny faces or actions, or another way to put it they photobomb a bunch of pictures.  Not sure if “photobomb” is an official word but it was the new word I learned that evening.  Even here I’m learning new English words on occasion.

Well this blog is looking a little long winded so I will close with a few pictures, sorry not all of what I’ve mentioned are recorded in photographs but what I have I share. For beach pictures you can find them on the previous post.

Mountain village

My friend and his new bike.  (Which he sold again shortly after this trip.)

Julie’s butter tarts. 

New Friends from the university.

Julie’s new favorite household pet.

Livestock Market

Cattle area at the local market

Same market but the goat section

Livestock Market

Tofu Factory

Anyone hungry?

Small house business/factory setting.

Mayor’s house.

Traditional Javanese dance.

This was after the dinner at the Mayor’s house.

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