Friday, January 8, 2010

The Loooooong Holidays Are Almost Over

Nativity set from Bethlehem
Reading to Kayla from a travel book really puts her to sleep

Didn't understand the words, the music was uncommon, and the sights a bit strange

Love the pointy hats!

I need a shave and I have bad breath...other than that I'm beautiful

Not quite the Mara but Tamin Safari is OK

What to do with three weeks of vacation time and not a lot of extra cash?

Golf (poorly).

Spend a day at the coast.

Take an 8-hour train to Yogyakarta. (More about Yogya, in a bit)

Take a 6-hour flight back to Jakarta. It's not that the trains are so fast or the jets are so slow. It's just that delayed flights and rain and who knows what else had us sitting and sitting and sitting at the airport.

Golf (really poorly).

Spend a day at Waterbom. Check earlier posts to see what this is all about. We must have liked it since we did it again. Also did some ice skating a day earlier.

Golf (really, really very poorly stinky bad).

Visit Puncak, including the almost-Masai Mara-like animal safari. (More on that in just a bit, too). Shop at the outlet stores.

Golf (best round ever...must have been the new Outlet clothes).

And there you have it. Christmas in Indonesia. I love warm, green Christmases.

Back to Yogya. Yes, it looks a little bit like I'm trying to write Yogi Bear. Pronounced Jogja. The train ride was great. Gave us a chance to see the countryside. We spent four days there visiting famous places like Borobudur. I won't bore you with the history but a quick Google search will satisfy any of you who are intrigued by the photos. On a scale of 1-10 of excellent places to see I'd say Borobudur rates about a 6. The Masai Mara is a 10. So is Petra in Jordan. The Pyramids are a 7. Give Jerusalem a 7, too. Most of Bolivia is an 8, some of it (like Cerro Rico and Lake Titicaca are a 9). The Frosty Boy in Spring Arbor is about a 4. Lime Lake, a 3 though it used to be a 5 back in the days...

Puncak is another story. Lots of it reminded us of the tea fields driving up to Tigoni. Some was like Jarabacoa in the Dominican Republic. Beautiful green hills and crisp cool air. About a half hour from Puncak is a safari place that really had some good animals and shows. Brought back good memories of the Mara which is, I think, my favorite place on earth. We stayed at a "mountain villa" owned by one of the families that helped begin our school here in Indonesia. Another family from school along with this teacher's mom and dad who were visiting stayed there with us. Great time relaxing, playing games in the evening. And then it happened. I wasn't expecting it. It took me completely by shock. I only went along to be sociable but there I was, in an outlet store. I began seeing several "must have" golf polo shirts. The kind with the Calvin Kline embroidered thingy. Polo. Calloway. All these good things that had these teeny weeny defects (reminded me of me!). So, I shopped until all the women and girls left me and went to other shops. And then, when they were all shopped out they came back and made me stop shopping. But I had my haul of 3 shorts, 3 polo shirts, and a nifty hat all for the grade total of $32.00.

And so today when we rushed back to Jakarta from Puncak (left at 5:15 am) I was excited to get back onto the golf course and try out my new clothes. They worked great. You know, when you look like a golfer you start thinking like a golfer. The next thing you know I finished with a 44 and a 47.

Other items in the news: Hannah is the new owner of 4 new pets and a set of braces. She got them on just before we left for Puncak. In a month the dentist will decide whether or not four teeth need to be pulled. Rebecca is the new owner of yards and yards of batik fabric and 3 little Bonsai-type trees we bought while in Puncak. Photos to come in the next few days. Ben spent most of Christmas break playing guitar and playing Playstation. He says now that his brain has completely vegged out, he'll be able to work hard in school. I'm off to Australia on Wednesday for a week for an IB workshop. I'll have some more updates then. Thanks for reading.