|A traditional pony cart in Bandung,|
full of kids
|The language school in Bandung|
Friday, W and I explore the area on foot, stopping at the IES office to say hi to Pastor Dave Kenney, an alum of NU. Turns out Dave graduated from our alma mater the year before we did, so we know a lot of the same people. (I got to know him when I was Alumni Director a few years ago.)
|Window display of Pasta de Waraku|
Meanwhile W is cruising the mall to find a bandage to ward off a blister (my sandal was rubbing). By the time I'm done and relaxed, he's done and exhausted. We head back to the hotel without shopping. I do find a Grade 6 Indonesian workbook. This write-in-text of math/science/language/grammar/social studies should be perfect for acquiring some commonly used vocabulary. W doesn't have the energy to cruise the mall for Indonesian videos as I'd hoped. But our friends send us links to some programs for listening to the language.
It's Ramadan, the annual month of fasting for Muslims. They eat a very early breakfast (before sun-up) and celebrate a late supper (after sundown). The driver doesn't eat during the day, but he drives the two hours to Bandung. Sometimes the ride takes 4 hours, say our hosts, depending on traffic. With everyone feasting and meeting families, traffic this weekend is amazingly light (moving, not congested as usual).
|Alwin and Maria join the fun!|
We browse a few of the outlet stores for which Bandung is famous. W buys a shirt; I find a blouse for myself and a handbag for Kirsten. For supper, we're headed to the Peak, a restaurant Bramonos enjoyed on their last trip. We follow a winding lane up the side of the mountain. Barely wide enough for two vehicles and in the pouring rain, we miss the unmarked turnoff.
Instead, we pull into the driveway of a place that looks like a modern retreat center. Indra goes in to get directions and comes back to wave us inside. "The place requires a reservation, but we have a table," he says. "Let's eat here."
We have arrived -- by happy "accident" -- at Lewangwangi, an art gallery and restaurant. We sit overlooking the city, lights sparkling below. Fireworks climb the sky from the houses on opposite hillsides, celebrating the end of the day's Ramadan fast.
|The gallery-restaurant of Lawangwangi|
It's a long drive back down the mountain and back to Jakarta. By the time we get home, it's 11:30pm. (Bramonos live another hour further away!)
|Chinese food around a big table|
Over lunch, we visit with Pastor Dave, Gigi, their daughter, and the IES worship leader. The South African family, who join the feast, are great fun. Their daughter is moving to the USA to attend a community college.
"Where?" we ask. Wow - she'll be studying within a few miles of our home and church in Kenmore! It's a God-arrangement: we invite her to join us for Sunday lunches once she arrives. As we wrap up, the guys exchange jokes and stories that make everyone laugh.
|Bakezin, alias 'Temptation Central,' with our friends|
Then Indra and Yayu are off to a traditional service, where he is speaking. Meanwhile, W and I pack up our things in the hotel for checkout at 7pm. Bramonos return to drive us to the airport. It's hard to say goodbye. Knowing we'll be back in a year makes it easier.
|A teen sprayed silver,|
soliciting funds for
a Bandung orphanage
On the flight home, W and I talk about what stands out to us. What a weekend! W sleeps through most of the flight, while I read.
We arrive at Changi Airport at 12:30am, whisk through the efficient customs and immigration process, climb into a taxi, and are sped to our apartment in record time (S$13 instead of the usual S$20). We unpack before falling into bed exhausted.
Lucky W: he teaches at 8:30-3:30 Monday to Saturday. My obligation is grading papers and continuing interactions with students from the past two weeks. We're looking forward to a few more days with our daughter, Kirsten, who heads home later this week.