Our Trip to Bandung, Indonesia

The Long Commute

In the beginning, I liked that bathroom.  Its marble floors cool to the touch, and well-placed miniature bars of soap, gave it such a shnazzy hotel”esque” feel.  Judging by the Jayakarta bathroom and room, one would never guess that this place was smack dab in the middle of third-world poverty.  Shacks surrounding the outer perimeter of its lagoon-like pool, it was a posh oasis in the middle of this tropical desert.

(The hotel pool)

Not until the end of the fourth day did I begin to change my opinion of the lovely bathroom.  Ah, but I am getting ahead of myself.  Let me tell you about those things of importance.

As many of you know, Ethan, Pop (Mr. Demme), and I, went to Indonesia to do some teaching.  However, our adventures did not really begin there.  They began at the Dulles airport in Washington.  Upon our arrival to the ticket counter, Pop discovered that he had accidentally grabbed his old passport.  Being two and a half hours away, and our flight leacing in only two, this created a bit of a problem.  Thus, we split up.  Mr. Demme decided to come a day later and meet us there in Indonesia.  So, with that, we headed off on our 14 hour flight, then our 7 hour flight to arrive to our first destination in Singapore.

Can you say clean and orderly?  I’ve never seen a city like it before.  It was the nicest city that I have ever been to.  On the second day of our stay there, we finally saw one homeless person and a few pieces of litter.  While there, we met some lovely people and had dinner with them and their two extremely bright children.
To skip ahead, we then headed out for Indonesia and due to a delay, we waited at the airport for 5 hours.  Needless to say, I got a lot of reading done.  For time sake, and because this is getting dull, I’m going to speed things up a bit…

Day 2 in Indonesia.
Each morning, we awoke to the beautiful calls of the nearby mosque.  The people that we worked with (from the company) are truly amazing.  They all love being there because they know that they have been called.  They are people who love to have fun and love people.  Ethan and I were honored to get to know them.  The locals are very friendly, laid-back people.

On day three, it was Valentine’s Day and Ethan’s birthday.  That was the day that I began to despise the bathroom.  Perhaps it was my frequent commute to it or perhaps it was that the cool marble floors now seemed frigid.  I don’t know.  Let’s just say that I wasn’t the only one blessed with what the local’s call “Bandung Belly.”  Ethan and I both had it.  As the day wore on, the endemic blessing became epidemic among us “Bulehs” (pronounced boo-lays meaning white foreigners).  Pray for Ethan as he’s still got it.

Day four, feeling better, but still not 100%.  We did alot of teaching that day.  It was very enjoyable.

(At the Volcano)

Day five was interesting.  We went with some guys from the company that lived there as kids and hadn’t seen each other in 30 years.  They swapped malaria tales and near-death jungle experiences as we drove up to the volcano and hot springs.  On the way there, we stopped to taste a local delicacy called “Durien fruit.”  It’s the local equivalent of beer.  It wasn’t as bad as everyone said that it would be.  It was however, aptly described as having the taste of both moldy cheesecake and wet socks.  Yum!  We made it to the top of the volcano and it was very cool to look down and see the inside of the volcano smouldering.  We continued to the hot sulfur springs and boiled some eggs and ate them.  I’m not really an egg person, but when in Rome, right?

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