Recent Travels

We made a couple of trips out of town to visit possible service locations for our students.  It also offered us an opportunity to get out of Jogjakarta and see the countryside.  We visited an area west/southwest of Jogja.  We really enjoyed the mountains and the green spaces!

The first trip was to visit a Catholic church and their activities in the Menoreh Hills.  The church and mission were started by Jesuit priest from Austria in the early 1900’s.  We visited the school, the weaving industry, and the memorial to Johannes Baptist Prennthaler.  It was a beautiful setting.  We had a good talk with the priest who talked about their various activities and told us about their villages in the mountains.

The weaving industry is non-mechanized using looms copied from the looms first brought to the area by the Dutch.  They produce fabric for school uniforms, blankets, linens, etc.  They even designed shoes!

They produce some of their own food.  For the first time we saw dragon fruit plants.

We had a great lunch of goat at a small warung along the way.

On our return to Jogja we stopped at a family water hyacinth industry.  They use the leaves for various kinds of weaving (baskets, handbags, stool covers, etc.) which are sold in shops around the country.

Our second trip was to visit three places in the Menoreh Hills that the priest had mentioned previously.  Our first stop was at an Early Learning Center.  The center runs three mornings a week with various activities for children ages 1-4.  On Saturdays, they have a program for all ages that teach reading, writing, arithmetic, and interpersonal relationships through play.  They have a small library for children to come and read.  In a beautiful setting.

We stopped by an area where the farmers grow chrysanthemums to sell in the markets.  People use the flowers for decoration and making a type of tea.  We were most enthralled with the scenery!

Our last stop was at a small impressive elementary school that includes organic farming in their curriculum.  Each class has their own plot of ground for growing vegetables, a small fish pond, and some rabbits.  Students spend time every day before formal lessons in duties around the school—cleaning classrooms, making tea, feeding rabbits, working in gardens, etc.

We held our meeting in a lovely bamboo stand overlooking the gardens and out towards the hills.  Students climbed the steps to bring us our snacks.

We ended our day with lunch (at 3:30 pm!) at a local fish restaurant.  We sat on the floor built over the fish ponds.  Had one of our favorite Indonesian dishes—ikan bakar (grilled gourami/fish).

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