Sunday, July 5, 2015

Young Singles, Mt Bromo, Clowns, Batu, Not-so-Amusing Park, Mt Panderman, Teaching with Elders in Malang

Young Single Adults

We recently initiated a Young Single Adult Group for the two Surabaya Branches.  We meet every two weeks.  Pizza, young people, games and a Gospel discussion.  Who wouldn't want that?

Ardi, Elders Satiyono and Loudon, Rudi, Samuel, Sister Williams and Nunuk. 

Nunuk, Elder Loudon, Rudi, Samuel, Elder Satiyono, Pipit.  They love Speed Scrabble. Our variant....ok to use English, Indonesian and Javanese. 

Sister Williams, Pipit and Nunuk

Mt Bromo

About 2 hours south of us is a National Park surrounding a cluster of volcanic mountains, peopled by an ethnic group called the Tengger, generally Hindu with their own language. 

We parked our car above Wonokriti, and paid about $36 to rent a Jeep and a driver for a day.  He drove us up the mountain on a narrow and winding road. 

A Hindu monument on the rim of Tenggera Crater. 

"Sea of Sand" inside the crater.  Mt Batok in front, low-riding Mt Bromo, grey-looking, about 7200 feet high, containing the steaming cauldron, and Mt Semeru in the background.  Semeru is the tallest mountain in Java.  

Mt Semeru smoking 

A good view of the rim.  A small village sits perched on the east rim.  Ground Zero for the next eruption.  Last was about 2011. 

Viewpoint on the rim, looking east toward Jember, obscured by distance and cloud-cover.  Another volcanic peak to the east.  Java is full of them. 

The Jeep drove us up and over the rim, then down a steep track into the crater, literally a "sea of sand".  One can rent dirt bikes and horses here, or you can just "hoof it," your own, not the horses'. 

Our driver, Peter's, first time on a horse.  He was nervous, but now he's a hero to his son.  Cowboy Pete.

I feel sorry for my horse.  They are all small, and 9 months of sedentary mission life has added to my horse's burden.  Got up to a fast trot.  It was fun, but my horse dander allergy still exists.  English saddles did not feel stable. 

"Forbidden to lean on the fence.  It's dangerous."

Locals rope up and collect yellow sulfur from the walls of the cauldron. The smoking cauldron in the middle is probably 150 meters across. This place is awe-inspiring, and more evidence of the power of God, the author of what we call Nature. 

In the distance on the sandy plain is a Hindu Temple.  The locals hold religious ceremonies here seasonally.  On the rim above I am sitting next to a small statue of Ganesh, the Hindu deity with the head of an elephant.

The approach road to the rim travels past very steep hillsides growing potatoes, often on 60-70% slopes, which is what is seen below.  The photo does not reflect the steepness. And the furrows run down the slope, not across the slope. Wonder what happens in the rainy season. 

President Hadi's Birthday Party at his house

Sisters Chua and Ingersoll, Peter, President Hadi and his lovely wife, Sister Ningsih

Dinner at the home of Sister Sisi, Peter's mother in Malang.  His Grandfather also present. 

Opening day for Jurassic World at Royal Cinema

Usually the movie is just an excuse for Sister Williams to buy movie popcorn. 

Macam-Macam (Odds and Ends)

After one of our District Presidency meetings, President Hadi took us to a local Es Kacang Hijau (Iced Green Peas, sweetened with coconut milk and sugar, eaten in a bowl with a spoon) roadside stand.  It was really good. Looking at the vendor's T-shirt, now I know where the green came from.  

Beautiful rural view in Sidoarjo, looking south toward Arjuna, which is also smoking.  Lots of smoking volcanoes around here.  I am only slightly nervous. 

40 years ago all rice padi's were tilled using water buffaloes. Now they are all mechanized, and the buffaloes are almost all gone. Much more boring now. I miss the old days.  What's odd about the farmer?  

This is our travel life in Surabaya.  Traffic is sometimes unbearable.  

On the other hand, you never know what you might find right outside your window. Lots of songbirds in the cage, happily singing away.

Indonesians have a creepy pre-occupation with clowns, scary movies, and all things mystical, magical, macabre.  Sometimes while sitting in a traffic jam, people dressed like clowns, Javanese dancers, and other creepy caricatures approach the car asking for money. I can't look at them. 

A sexy angkut.

Would you let your 5 year old play with bottle rockets?  They were swinging this launcher (holds about 15 shots) like an ISIS thug.  This is at Brother Yohannes' birthday party.  Lots of Investigators present. He is our Surabaya 1 Branch Mission Leader.

In many bathrooms, they have these signs over the toilets telling you how hydrated you are based on, well, you know. 

Bicycle splits with the Elders in Malang, Elder Williamson and Elder Sutarno.

Where my homeboys used to crash, 1973-74. 

Pres Rhama's son, Alex, fell and suffered a severe distal forearm fracture requiring reduction and many weeks of casting. We visited him in Malang and gave him a BYU T-shirt. 

Batu, Not-Very-Amusing Park

Our 38th Wedding Anniversary at this Amusement Park with the Malang missionaries.  38 years ago we were in the SLC Temple.  Now, a photo on a small Hindu temple replica, but certainly lacking the impact.  I have the best companion, for time and all eternity.  How wonderful to spend a mission with her. She teaches me so much, and loves me anyway.

Sister Merlin. 

Sister Williams teaching the spirits in Spirit Prison.  Again, the wierd Indo focus on haunting, ghosts, zombies.  This was the worst 'Haunted Mansion" I have ever seen.  It was gross, smelly, schmaltzty.  Just creepy.  All we could think of was getting out.  Fright was not the motivation. 

Triple creep.

So, they did have sort of a cool aquarium here.  But a wierd fascination with toilets. Never would have thought of using them as props in an aquarium.  Except maybe in Cyprus, where Mark S and I scuba'd in a seascape so barren they had to liven it up with kitchen appliances on the sea floor.  

Elder Gong (our Asia Area President.)

Life size chess pieces in a Javanese motif.

Elder Sutarno.

Elder Thompson busting a move. 

Elder Baize, looking a little like Nephi on the shore. 

Rat Temple. 

Upside down on an Indonesian ride. Faith. 

Peter has grown a pair. 


Looking out our balcony at Zam Zam Hotel in Batu.  I really liked this place. 

Looking up at Mt Panderman from the Park in Batu. 

Climbing Mt Panderman

I caught a ride on the back of a motorcycle from this hotel employee. A common way of getting around here.  Just stand on the street and ask anyone you see for a ride.  Ojek.  $4 round trip. He took me to the trailhead.  

The south side of Mt Arjuna, smoking of course. 

The summit after a very steep, rocky climb of 2100 feet in two hours.  Lots of scrambling on all 4's at times.  

Shortly after summiting and pulling out an apple, I was mobbed by monkeys, some quite large and aggressive.  I was distinctly outnumbered.  Wisdom suggested a getaway, so I threw the apple in one direction and I high-tailed it in the other.  

Men walk or ride high up in the hills to cut grass for their livestock.  

I saw two men carrying 2 heavy bundles each, using a stick and balancing the bundles as they descended.  During Ramadan, the Moslem fasting month, no one eats or drinks during daylight hours.  Forgetting, I offered them a bottle of water.  They kindly reminded me.  It was somewhat inspiring to me to see their faith in action, as they expended great energy climbing up and down this large mountain with heavy bundles, all the while fasting to honor their faith.  Today as I was fasting, and feeling very weak and tired and a little impatient, I thought of them.  

I love this video.  Just quiet, a rare commodity here.  Me and the birds and the crickets.  So peaceful.  Wish you could hear it.

Kid Time

1 comment: