|The language school in Bandung|
Friday, W and I explore the area on foot, stopping at the IES office to say hi to Pastor Dave Kenney, an alum of NU. Turns out Dave graduated from our alma mater the year before we did, so we know a lot of the same people. (I got to know him when I was Alumni Director a few years ago.)
|Window display of Pasta de Waraku|
Meanwhile W is cruising the mall to find a bandage to ward off a blister (my sandal was rubbing). By the time I'm done and relaxed, he's done and exhausted. We head back to the hotel without shopping. I do find a Grade 6 Indonesian workbook. This write-in-text of math/science/language/grammar/social studies should be perfect for acquiring some commonly used vocabulary. W doesn't have the energy to cruise the mall for Indonesian videos as I'd hoped. But our friends send us links to some programs for listening to the language.
Saturday morning, Bramonos and Kristi (their oldest daughter) pick us up to head for Bandung. We've been drawn to the city since we first considered moving to Indonesia. Dave has set up a meeting with a couple who used to live in Jakarta and attend IES. An IES branch in Bandung would be a great asset for speakers of English, whether Christian or not. We're exploring what that might look like.
We meet up with a delightful couple, Alwin and Maria, friends of IES who moved back to Bandung to be with their families. They're great company and full of good ideas about living in Bandung. We encourage them to start a Life Group, like the one they miss since their relocation. After a cooling drink at Chatime (Ciwalk Mall), they scoot off to other obligations.
|Alwin and Maria join the fun!|
Instead, we pull into the driveway of a place that looks like a modern retreat center. Indra goes in to get directions and comes back to wave us inside. "The place requires a reservation, but we have a table," he says. "Let's eat here."
We have arrived -- by happy "accident" -- at Lewangwangi, an art gallery and restaurant. We sit overlooking the city, lights sparkling below. Fireworks climb the sky from the houses on opposite hillsides, celebrating the end of the day's Ramadan fast.
|The gallery-restaurant of Lawangwangi|
It's a long drive back down the mountain and back to Jakarta. By the time we get home, it's 11:30pm. (Bramonos live another hour further away!)
|Chinese food around a big table|
Over lunch, we visit with Pastor Dave, Gigi, their daughter, and the IES worship leader. The South African family, who join the feast, are great fun. Their daughter is moving to the USA to attend a community college.
"Where?" we ask. Wow - she'll be studying within a few miles of our home and church in Kenmore! It's a God-arrangement: we invite her to join us for Sunday lunches once she arrives. As we wrap up, the guys exchange jokes and stories that make everyone laugh.
|Bakezin, alias 'Temptation Central,' with our friends|
Then Indra and Yayu are off to a traditional service, where he is speaking. Meanwhile, W and I pack up our things in the hotel for checkout at 7pm. Bramonos return to drive us to the airport. It's hard to say goodbye. Knowing we'll be back in a year makes it easier.
|A teen sprayed silver,|
soliciting funds for
a Bandung orphanage
On the flight home, W and I talk about what stands out to us. What a weekend