We in Indonesia - 2008

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These are the reports from 2008. 

The current ones can be found here.

Map: http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bild:LocationIndonesia.svg

Homepage – We in Indonesia – About Us – STT-HKBP – VEM/UEM – Guestbook – Impressum

Christmas 2008 / New Year's Eve 2009:

Farewell to Yogya - Arrival in Siantar

Wisma BahasaOn the  21st of December we left Jogjakarta. At "Wisma Bahasa" we had a small farewell party with all our teachers. After this we flew to Medan and then took a taxi to Pematangsiantar. When we arrived we were "befallen" by all the small mishaps which we didn't encounter so far: Our container was delayed, the head of STT was in holidays and our housekeeper family started working a week later than promised. Without the help from some german friends we would have been in an empty house, without furniture, dishes and any possibilities for shopping. At least our cook, Ibu Rubiem, was there and made some wonderful meals for us.

ChristmasWe spent Christmas and New Year's Eve with the Girsang family. By the way: What would we do without Christa Girsang? She is living here for more than 30 years and knows everyone and everthing and has 1000 helpful tips and hints. The photography on the right shows how traditional javanese and western christian cultures clash - a fascinating mixture between the unknown and the familiar.

Bergholz © 2009

Advent 2008: Yogyakartachristmas

Even though Indonesia is a mainly islamic country, you can see Christmas preparations all over the town. Our guest family who belongs to the catholic minority has now a real (green! living!) christmas tree with a "crθche", which is wonderful, even though we think maybe a little early. And, of course, in the shopping malls you can listen to these pretty-much the-same-all-over-the-world-american christmas songs.

Our time in Yogya is now almost over: The 21st of December we will leave for Pematangsiantar, where house, furniture, garden and the container are waiting for us. At least we hope so. Maybe, we will not be able to write here or via email for some time, so: Merry Christmas and a happy new year to you all!

Bergholz © 2009

November 15th 2008: Prambanan

PrambananYesterday we visitited the Hindu counterpart of Borobudur: Prambanan, the biggest and most important Hindu tempel in Java. Its not a single building but a whole park consisting of three central buildings and hundreds of smaller ones around the main temples, which was founded only a few decades after Borobudur. The great earthquake of 2006 did some major damage and the restauration is not yet finished. Both, Borobudur and Prambanan, are not only signs of the rich cultural heritage, but also visible signs of the traces that heritage made even into the special indonesian form of Islam.

Bergholz © 2008

November 1st 2008: KaliurangMonkey in Kaliurang

On the first of November we visited Kaliurang, a small village north of Yogya near Mt. Merapi. There is a National Park where you can discover the rain forrest. Sadly we were stopped by the rain, but then we visited the "Ullen Sentalu" museum. It informs about the role of the women in the high javanese aristocracy and has a beautiful collection of traditional javanese "batik" from Solo and Yogya. So we learned a lot about the mythological and magical meanings of the different designs.

 Bergholz © 2008  

Oktober 17th 2008: Singapur / Pematangsiantar

Schwimmbad SiantarIn september we arrived in Indonesia only with a short term visum, so we had to leave the country before the end of october. To get our permament visa we had to go to Singapore and then immediately to the immigration office in Pematangsiantar for the work permission. All this was done in a week, which is mostly credited to the work of the UEM office in Medan and the staff of the STT. They prepared all the papers and guided us through the jungle of burocracy. The photograph was taken during a waiting period in Siantar and shows a scene from a land with a muslim majority.

© Bergholz 2008

Oktober 1st 2008: Borobudur

At the end of the muslim fasting month Ramadhan there are two great national holidays called Idul Fitri. So we had some time for a longer trip which led us to the world's biggest buddhistic monument: Borobudur in central Java. It's not a temple, but a kind of a huge open air meditation area. It was built in the 9th century and later deserted and completely fallen out of remembrance. It was rediscovered not before the 19th century. Since the last renovation in 1983 Borobudur is listed as a UNESCO world heritage.

© Bergholz 2008

September 13th 2008: Yogyakarta

On the 15th of September we started our three month language course in Yogyakarta. We are staying in a lovely small homestay (homestay Heru) near the language school. Every day we have three lessons each two hours long, and in the afternoon we have to repeat huge amounts of vocabulary. Of course, sometimes we are too tired to learn and just "istirahat" (have a break).

© Bergholz 2008

September 1st 2008: Medan / Siantar

On the first of september in 2008 we took the plane from Frankfurt/Main to Medan via Singapore. In Medan we were awaited by Robinson Butar-Butar, his wife and Eliakim Sitorus (right picture), the staff of the UEM office in Medan. Then we had a three hour car ride to Pematangsiantar, where we met Dr. Darwin Lumbantobing, the principal of STT. Left picture shows Regina, Noah and Dr. Lumbantobing in front of our house on the campus. 

(All photographs: © Bergholz 2008)

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