Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Fun Things to Share with You ~ We finally SAW the BIG Gecko - we keep hearing on our back porch!!!

Close by our house is Gallery KayoE  (wood) Natural Art Craft Sala(3)tiga art store and the owner/artist Pak Pramono Pramoedjo

 2011/07/08 Article Jakarta Post Pramono Pramoedjo Caricaturist (click on this link to read about this artist) was there when we visited his shop.

Our friends had told us about the shop - they had a beautiful TV cabinet made...and it was a gorgeous work.  So Nick & I wandered over there.  Pak Pramono has some really creative people working for him as well.  And one of the men made a beautiful sign for Nick -

                                               LOOK  what Nick was honored with?

All done by hand - one of the young workers did such a beautiful job!

So very kind!  
We were quite impressed how gifted the people were and the items that they made...! We found some beautiful pieces - and a  "container" is very tempting right now!


Here is one of our good friends - Yohanes - !  His family lives close by but he actually lives in Sumatra right now....an area south of Lake Toba where he works.  We will enjoy his friendship here until the end of January, when he returns back to Sumatra.

 Hey ........Welcome Yohanes...! He has a beautiful smile doesn't he?

A few weeks ago at the local market we met a man from Greece, his name is Babis - and lives here in Salatiga with his wife and children.  He worked on a Greek cruise ship and met Kristine in a tourist shop in Semarang...the rest is HISTORY!!! A very sweet couple with two beautiful children...very pretty!
They came by to wish us a Happy New Year! We speak English with them.....because we certainly do not know Greek...ha!


We know of this Gift & Gallery Shop that we have wanted to stop at, and as Nick & I were passing by the shop we did just that...STOP! 
(we actually HAD to stop- it started raining all at once- like REALLY hard!!!) 

 Adi and his wife run the shop and there was many really cute gifts - oh my!
As Nick walked through the Gallery section he came across this picture and of course we recognized it...right? 
Multnomah Falls in Oregon on the Columbia River!  

We asked "Adi" about the picture, and he shared with us that the artist had found this picture on the internet and decided to paint it...can you believe that...here in a gallery shop.... in Salatiga...JAVA...a painting of a very familiar waterfall for us!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 What fun huh...it is truly a SMALL WORLD after all!!!!

When there are weddings, funerals or any kind of celebration - people put up a big tent (rented) and just set it up on the road right in front of their house...for 1 or 2 days and yes it does blocked off the street.  You just have to go another way.  Then when the party is over the men come back and take it down again!  Look at that guy up there...taking down the metal poles...oh my goodness!
He is quite handy sitting up there...I just had to take a picture of it...one by one he hands down the poles to the guy below...until only the corner pieces are in place...better get off that FAST!

 Nick saw a special bike - some handy person put this together from many different parts!
You motorcycle buff's....can you see????


 Lookie here....a list of things that this shop does: all these words we recognize curtain/gordyn spread-sprei (sheets or bed spread) ah  bedcover - we know that one! souvenir of course... it always surprises Nick & I when we see the Dutch words - but should we be surprised?  Not really but it is so cute to see!  It  makes us feel even more "connected" here....sweet!

 It was raining CATS and DOGS as the saying goes!  Get out the umbrella Nick..it is coming down HARD!!! Find cover Nick...we will be soaked in this one!!!!
 We found cover and just stood there for a little bit.  This lady definitely needed to get home...she was willing to take the chance and get to her destination!!!!!
Oh My Look At that rain..it floods the little streets..and then ....before you know it....the rain stops and we were able to continue our walk again. Yes...tropical rain....we are getting use to it - but just need your foldable umbrella handy and our poncho's are always with us in the seat of the motorcycle...that really helps!   


 Oh my - I opened the back door the other evening and saw something MOVE!!! YIKES!
Every morning we find  "poo-poo" on the tile floor out back - and always in the same area....well guess what???  THERE HE WAS...THE LOUD-MOUTH GECKO!  And he was right in front of me on the tile walk.....& zipped right up the wall close by me - yikes and...so fast!
 Once I "collected myself"... (HE was BIG YOU KNOW!!!!!!!!)  I went back inside to find my camera- to show you all what he looks like....so this is a zoom picture up on the top wall of the side of the house!
 Yes he's is just stuck on the wall like that...sitting up there - waiting patiently for BUGS!!!!!  He didn't mind my flashes either...just sat there for hours! (Yes...I went outside to look again and again a few times that evening)..... But carefully mind you...sure didn't want him - this BIG guy - jumping on little ole' me!!!!! He looked about a foot long! He needs to stay up high...right?!!!! RIGHT!!!!
 Finally then "the" Gecko who makes those 'tow-kaaaaay' sounds and leaves the "poo-poo" every morning has been seen and discovered on the premises...He dares to show himself...it took 2 months!!!!!
We have really been patient, every time we have heard him...we would go out with flashlight to look and see if we might find him...but he always shut-up as soon as we came out there!  I guess he decided to make himself known to us.  He must of "heard" we were staying in the house longer....Ha!

Now we.....you & I...have seen him!  FINALLY!


New Years Eve ~ Yes we are 15 hours ahead of you!

Happy New Year! Gelukkig Nieuw Jaar!  Salamat  Tahun Hari Baru!!!! 
 New Years Eve in Indonesia WITH olie bollen of course!  (flour & butter mixed w raisen & apple) and fried in oil...healthy...well......! Good.....
and......VERY Dutch!
 Beppie our Dutch friend had been in the kitchen that afternoon!
 Kristiaan & Lianne had their parents visiting from Holland - Mees & Gerdi - so Elisha & Beppie invited them over!  Also Ewout & Liesbeth the other Dutch couple came as well! 
 There was Dutch & English spoken ~
 Kristiaan, Lianne and her father had left last evening at 10 pm to climb Mt Marapi with a guide...they would be on the top at sunrise - and then come back again!  We heard they made it almost to the top but had some weather, it was foggy - so they came down again...a 5 hour climb up and then another 5 hours down!  Kristiaan did say there was a lot of lava rock and it was very grainy up there. They climbed on the ridges with a flashlight...well - I do think hiking during the day is the way to go...you guys!  Gosh!
 We played some games - I had brought along the 10,000 dice game ~  it was fun - and before you knew it, it was already 11:50 pm oh my the evening flew by!   Hey we hear the fireworks...!!!
                          Oh yes it was out there...lots of it!  Here in Indonesia it is ALL legal -
                                  Happy New Year Everyone!  
2014 here it is!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

All over the World - Family and Friends - from Indonesia to YOU .......Happy New Year! Blessings and good health and love to you all ~

........  Nick & Ellen in Salatiga Java

A Handel's Messiah Party ~

 On the 27th we were invited to Fred & Jenny's home for a lovely evening of fellowship and singing!
 Everyone was asked to bring a dish to share!  And there was quite a variety of yummy food on the counter! From Indonesia to American, German, English, Korean - Malaysian...!
 Nick and I just enjoyed getting to know everyone better.  Many of this group are from the International School here in town. 

Fred our Host -  studied in England - and speak fluent English! 
                             Dinner was delicious and so many desserts too to choose from - My!
 Jenny our hostess welcomed Bonnie who just walked in!
 We all were handed out music - parts from the choruses - "And the Glory of the Lord" "And He Shall Prurify" "O Thou That Tellest Good Tidings to Zion" "For Unto Us a Child is Born" "Glory to God" and last but not least....the "Hallelujah" chorus!  We had a recording of it - too - in the background -probably very wise because we did not always know our parts!

                 Those 3 gals together - my they sang a really high pitch soprano..amazing to hear!

It was a lovely evening of fellowship together - so many away from their families - I am sure this gathering was a real blessing to all of us! 

Friday, December 27, 2013

A Day OUT!

 We have had some really wet days for mnay weeks actually...most everyday we have had rain.  It IS the rainy season and at times I do forget we are in a rain forest environment - so lots of rain, lots of moisture and humidity.  Anyway - on Sunday morning and then Christmas Day too and the next day...oh my - SUN!!!!! Lots of it!

Oh I was delighted...and to feel that warmth on the body....ahhhhh felt so' GOOD! It was just gorgeous out!  So Nick & I took a day out to enjoy all this gorgeous weather!

We drove towards Ambarawa again...just a pretty road and then because of our last outing 2.5 weeks ago - and having rain that day- we were not able to see much of Bandungan...so we decided to go back to the "vacation" area up in the higher altitude.  (3000+ft)

So off we went...driving and stopping to take lots of pictures of the beautiful rice fields with the levels & terraces that make it look so pretty!

 Nick stopped...Ellen takes the camera out and we just take-in what we see around us!

             Hey You...you are looking mighty fine on that      m o t o r c y c l e !!!!!  That my guy!
 Two ladies working in the rice field...hard work! 

 Gosh Nick just look at those mountains on a clear day...so pretty!  We are actually surrounded by mountains all around us here in Salatiga! 

 We came to a intersection and there are men playing music on their instruments and these 3 guys are dancing - keeping us entertained while we wait on the signal light.  So they come by with a basket hoping you will give a little something - which we always like to do.

 They had their Javanese attire on and looked pretty impressive...you just had to give something!  I enjoy the music - it is so different!
Every time we come to this area - they are always there on that intersection...playing!  So this just might be their way of earning a living...it must help pay their needs - because we have been here now 3 months and each time we drive to this area...there they are! 

We drove into Bandungan and then went onward and upward into the mountain side...and it was just gorgeous and beautiful up there!  Lush and green (from ALL the rain!) Oh how I love to just drive those mountain roads...windy and pretty - we did a bit of climbing and that motorbike just took us right up...no problem! 

Sweet huh...all those little kampung's here and there (villages) A very pretty sight indeed!

 We drove down again to Bandungan (wheeeee such fun on that bike I tell you - I just gotta get one of my own...Nick????) 

We found a cute place to have lunch...Hotel Rawa.  We stopped because we saw the beautiful gardens (Meg?!!!) Oh such beauty - somebody had put a whole lot of thought into the garden and I just went crazy with the camera!!!!  The view was beautiful too - although you can't really see it very clearly in these photo's.  You can vaguely see the lake down by Salatiga...again we were about 3500+ ft in elevation and Salatiga is at around 2100ft.  
 The house had a veranda all around it and the siding was different too...it was a wood siding - Nick noted. 
 There was this cozy atmosphere attached to it and the inside of the dining area too was really cute.  All decorated for Christmas!
 Do you see what we saw on the menu??????  Kroketten?!!! Croqette in French? Oh my goodness - it took only a "second" for us to order that!  4000 rupiah = 40 cents
We were the only ones on the deck outside and then later a lot of guests came in for lunch!  They came to us and asked if they could take pictures with us...sure we said...and chatted with them!  They were vacationing in Bandungan - from Semarang...and also enjoying the country setting they said.

OK...I will now bombard you with pictures of the garden area...so for you who are not too keen on that...do not go any further....ha! 

But here it comes! ..................................... so we come unto the hotel property and parked the bike and wander towards the restaurant - and see this arbor...with this orange color hanging from it.....

 ....This bright orange plant I have never seen before....does anyone recognize it???????????????????????/
 Oh it was absolutely bright and beautiful!!!!!!
Just breath taking...really!

A deep orange....Oh I wish I knew the name of it! 
 If you double click on this photo you will see the fineness of this flower...so pretty!  It looks like 2 little ears coming out on the top huh?

 Here is another one I do not recognize...now ....I have never been good with names of flowers...but what I mean to say is.... I have never seen the likes of these flowers...!

 Look at this one...with the purple tips on them.....

        And this one....amazing again.....aren't they beautiful!  Just hanging like that?

 This one too was very unique.....amazing creativity the Lord has!!!!! 
 This one grows into a cone-like flower....so pretty!
 This little Rhino welcomed us as we entered into the parking area of the hotel!
 After a nice lunch and enjoying the beautiful setting and chatting with the guests there...Nick & I went inside to pay our bill and thank them for a lovely lunch.  As we walked up to the counter we saw in the cabinet these spice holders - from HOLLAND!
 We asked the waitress and she explained (the best we could understand) that the couple who had owned the restaurant was a Dutch lady with her Chinese husband.  They ran the restaurant for quite a long time and now their daughter has taken it over!  Ahhhhh now we understood the way the building was built and that it was a Dutch style.
 Time to head down the mountain back to Salatiga!  Thankfully we still had a nice drive in front of us and we could enjoy the warmth of the Sun some more! 
 We saw these ladies in the pick-up truck...sitting on the edge like that...gosh...."don't put on the brake pick-up driver" or they will fall out!!!
 We came behind this other truck LOADED down with wood...oh my goodness it was leaning to one side....top loaded too!  Gosh I sure wouldn't want those logs falling off that truck!
Zip around it fast Nico!!!

 Well almost back to Salatiga and we stopped at a vegetable stand close to the house...and again....what a beautiful scene it was towards our kampung!
      Beautiful...isn't it?  YES SIREE!
Well we have had a lovely morning and early afternoon....and how great it is to just 'get away' for a little bit...having fun on the motorbike and just spending some time enjoying the scenery!