Monthly Archives: July 2009

House, School, Teeth, and Food!

Now that we have been here in Bandung for almost two months, we are finally starting to feel a little more settled.  We have been able to get some furniture for our house, get curtains up, and paint the kitchen cabinets!  We’ll post a video as soon as we can.

On July 14th, we started language school classes to learn to speak Indonesian.  So far we are learning a lot and can understand a whole lot more of what people are saying to us (YAY!). It will still be quite a while before we are fluent, but we can get around much better now than we could when we first got here.  At first both of us were going to class from 8-12:00 each day and we took Elizabeth with us so that Kara could feed her there.  However, it was very difficult for Kara to focus on language learning and being Mommy for that long in a small classroom each day.  From now on, Matt will continue to go to class from 8-12 every morning and Kara will have a private tutor at school from 1-3 p.m. That way one of us is with Elizabeth all day and we each have dedicated times to focus on language learning.

Elizabeth has two new teeth and is getting so big! She is really trying hard to crawl, but hasn’t gotten all of the right motions all together yet. Here is a picture of our girl showing off her two new pearly whites!

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Now that we are not travelling anymore, we have been able to start Elizabeth on solid foods. Some of her favorites are sweet potatoes, green beans, carrots, apples, and pears. We tried avocado, but that didn’t go down so well. It sure is fun to learn what she likes, though! A lot of the foods that we can get here taste slightly different than what you can get in the US, and there are a lot of other different things like guava, rambutan, snake-fruit, etc. Maybe we’ll wait a little bit before we give Elizabeth anything too exotic to eat!

Some other fun things that we have found here in Bandung! Just little reminders of home…

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Toko Kopi Aroma

Last week we had the opportunity to visit and tour a coffee roaster in downtown Bandung who has been in business since 1930.  It is still owned by the family, now in its second generation of coffee roasters.

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  They still use huge cast iron drum roasters built in 1936.IMG_2663

Toko Kopi Aroma ages their coffee beans before they roast them for eight years. Below is a picture of the warehouse of beans.  The ones closest to the front have aged the longest.

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Needless to say, I (Matt) bought 2 kilos of coffee before we left for a little over $5 US.  All the coffee is purchased from Indonesian growers on several different islands.  They still buy their beans from the same places they have for the last 75 years.

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On a separate note, we just got moved into our house.  We’re still waiting on some furniture to be delivered, but once we get a little more settled we’ll post some pictures and video.

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The Sights and Sounds and Smells of Bandung…

Everyone tells us to take lots of pictures of what we see while we’re still new here in Indonesia, because after a while it will all seem normal to us. So we thought it would be fun to share some of the things that we see everyday that are becoming “normal” in our eyes, and also be able to show you what we’ve been up to!

Here we are with Paul and Krisanne at a Japanese restaurant in our neighborhood. They have free wi-fi, so we are there quite often!

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Last week we went to an Angklung orchestra cultural event. It was really cool to see them play these unique instruments, They are made from bamboo and are different sizes in order to get different pitches. They are played by shaking them to make the bamboo pipes rattle.

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Here is Elizabeth trying her hand at playing the Angklung. Actually, she was more interested in eating it (teething!).

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Our family eating at a mall here in Bandung called Paris van Java. The food was excellent and cheap!

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Here we are with the whole group from orientation:

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This past Sunday, we attended a Sundanese (the local culture here in Bandung) house church. The service was mostly in Sunda with a little bit in Indonesian, but the music was all Sunda. It was really cool to experience a contextual church here in Indonesia, since this is what we will be working toward in Central Sulawesi. We all sat on the floor and enjoyed the gamelan music and the food afterward!

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Durian is an especially fragrant (stinky to Kara!) fruit that is currently in season here in Indonesia. We smell it in every store that we go to.  Our director thought that eating durian would be a good way to orient us to Indonesia, so he brought one and cut it up for everyone to try. Kara had to stay inside and take pictures through the window to stay away from the smell. Matt enjoyed being adventurous and trying this new fruit!

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An early morning view down the valley from the house that we are staying in temporarily:

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Yesterday we went to the pasar (market) and found some beautiful batik. Here we are with the translators from school who bargained in Indonesian for us:

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Hope this gives you a better idea of what we’ve been doing and we’ll keep taking lots of pictures of our everyday adventures here in Indonesia!

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