Christmas season (2)

Sunday, the 23rd, we came to Drono for the week.  We are at a beautiful Javanese home owned by Reti and Duane.  (Duane died a little over 3 years ago.)  We had spent Christmas here in 2005 by ourselves and had visited for a short time in 2008.  Reti says it is available anytime we want to come!  Duane designed the house in traditional fashion and collected all kinds of Javanese art, music, craft.  It is located in a small village where Reti’s grandfather had once been the village head.

We were here by ourselves (along with 2 cooks, a driver, and 2 gardeners!) for several days.  It was lovely.  We walked around the village, read, and relaxed.  We did go out to eat Christmas day eve but were fed well here.  An MCC friend from Yogya joined us one night and Reti’s brother and family came on the 27th.  Reti arrived the 28th.  (We have many more photos of this place than what is included here!)

Yayok, Reti’s brother, is a contractor in Jakarta.  He also has a workshop here in Drono where he employs several men to build furniture for the houses he builds.  The first morning he was here he took us to his workshop in the early morning to have coffee on the balcony of his workshop which overlooks rice fields.  Lovely.  He also took us on a walk through the village.  Earlier we had discovered some places on our own (tofu-making and rice crackers) but he introduced us to other interesting spots, including the morning market.  In the photo of the tofu-making family, note the pile of bags of soy beans from the U.S.

Our cooks were Yusum and Tini.  We had met Yusum in 2005.  Suradi, whom we also met in 2005, was the driver but we forgot to take his photo!    Reti’s brother is Yayok and wife Indri.  They have two teenage daughters who were fun but were not yet up in the morning when we took a photo of that family!

Reti took us to Solo for a day.  There was nothing particularly remarkable about Solo, but the drive was beautiful.  Her driver took us along many small rural roads and through small villages.  Mt Merapi (near Yogya) and Mt Merabu (near Salatiga) were stunning, towering over the horizon in one direction.  After lunch we went to Nggone Mbahmu Coffee Roaster in nearby Klaten.  Very interesting.  The family started it only about 1 ½ years ago and already it has become very popular.  The owner, Purnama Sidi, learned how to roast and make coffee via YouTube and books!  He buys his beans from all over Indonesia–Sumatra, Flores, Papua, Sulawesi, Bali and different parts of Java, including Klaten.  He has bicycled through out the islands and has learned to know farmers and coffee everywhere.  He roasts only in small quantities.  He will personally make you an individualized cup of coffee.  (However, during holidays, when he is so busy, he only serves iced coffee.)  We hope to go back in April and get our individual cup of hot coffee.  He also collects antiques.  He demonstrated his grandfather’s “hand-turned” RCA gramophone with a 78-rpm record of 1930’s/40’s Christmas songs!


It was a very relaxing week but now back to Yogya and work!  We are hoping to bring our students here for a day to visit the village and to hear the gamelon.  On the way home we saw a number of Bike Fridays, including a group of about 10 riders.

This holiday season is about over for us.  We will most likely stay put New Year’s Eve and play games.  Our only other task is to sing a duet at church on the New Year’s Day morning service.  That should be quite an experience!

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