A whole lot has happened over the past couple of months. I rounded out my second semester here, and my family visited for the holidays! It’s hard to cover it all in one blog post. Instead, here are a bunch of photos.
And then, my family visited Indonesia for Christmas! We went to Bali and Lombok, and then I took my parents to Madiun for an express visit to meet the host family, school staff, and some friends. Then we spent a couple of days in Yogyakarta to see a bit more of Java.
The next day we went to the Gili Islands.
From Lombok we flew to Surabaya and made the drive to my site, where my parents were going to meet as many people as possible in a short period of time. Semangat! They visited my homestay and school, and got to meet two of my former counterparts and their families for dinner one night.
After a couple of days in Madiun, we made our way to Yogyakarta (often shortened and pronounced, “Jogja”), which is in Central Java. We visited Borobudor Temple, a 9th century Buddhist temple that was repaired and reconstructed in the 1970s and 80s. It’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The crowds tend to take the stairs straight to the top. But we walked around each level first, because apparently that’s the path to Nirvana. You know what? Just trying to follow the rules.
Back in the city, we visited the Kraton. It’s the sultan’s royal palace. We arrived in time for a traditional dance performance, complete with a full gamelan orchestra.
There was also a fun 12-hour period in Jogja where we thought one of us had contracted dengue. Is an international trip complete without a visit to a clinic, my very basic translation skills, and a blood test? I say no way!
But so far so good. Everyone made it home alright. For now, it’s back to reality—whatever that reality is. I’ve been here over a year and I still can’t answer most peoples’ questions about Indonesia. There are too many islands, languages, cuisines, and traditions to sum up. I’m so glad that the fam got to get a taste of it all. Selamat tahun baru! Happy 2020. Here we go, ayo, back to the classroom, and into year two!