21 January 2014 - 7:30AMSitting in Sentani airport now, waiting for our plane to Bali. We got here nice and early only to find that they don't even start checking people in until... we actually aren't sure when. Just not now. I'm a few days behind on blogging, so today's post will actually be about Sunday, two days ago.
We had a relatively lazy morning, and didn't leave the guesthouse until 8:30 to drive up to school on the motorcycle we had borrowed from a friend the night before. I had thought driving here was crazy before, but it's just insane on a bike. I love it! It's so much fun weaving in and out of traffic and not having it be "bad behavior" or anything like that. Here it's just expected, and I actually got more dirty looks and honks from doing things like stopping at a red light and slowing to merge with traffic than I did from anything else.
Church didn't start until 9:30, so we had some time to get more pictures of the campus that Naomi wanted. It's nice and peaceful up there, and continues to remind me of UIS-SC (or UHS for those of you who remember it that way.)
After the church service was over, we rode the bike down to Syd and Nola Johnsen's house where we met them and the Sjoblom's for a ride up MacArthur hill. We stopped for nasi bungkus and pisang goreng in town before heading up. For all those not fortunate enough to be connoisseurs of Indonesia food, pisang goreng is deep-fried bananas, and nasi bungkus is rice and a topping of your choice, wrapped up in a banana leaf and newspaper for easy Indo-style take-out. The road up goes straight through a military base, so we had to stop and check in first. Mr. Johnsen had to leave his license, and we had to promise not to take pictures, and were expected to leave our windows rolled down so we couldn't do anything sneaky, I guess.
The view from the top was amazing. You could see all of Sentani, had a great view of the airport, and got a different view of Cyclops (the big mountain just north of town.) There was a ton of people up there, and dozens and dozens of motorbikes in the parking lot. Everyone just enjoying a nice Sunday afternoon where the breeze keeps it cool and the grass and open space is a nice change of pace from in town.
We ate our dinner (it was delicious) and then strolled through the little museum with pictures of General MacArthur's time in Sentani during WWII. Most of the captions were in either Indonesian or Dutch, and the pictures badly faded, so I didn't get as much out of it as I wanted, but it was neat to see nonetheless.
It didn't take long until our status as outsiders was noticed by a couple groups of kids, and we were approached twice with shy requests for pictures with us. Naomi and I happily complied, and got a few smiles and a bit of conversation in return. After we'd had our fill of dinner and picture taking (both of the scenery and with the kids), we headed back down. After retrieving Syd's license at the bottom of the hill, we returned to their house and picked up our bike for the ride home.
Arriving back at the guesthouse, we were faced with the difficult decision of whether to go out exploring again, or to take a bit of a siesta. Actually, it wasn't a difficult decision at all. Despite how much we're loving being able to get out and about, our pace here so far has necessitated quite a few naps since we're trying to actually be rested at the end of this vacation. So we happily slept through the hottest part of the afternoon.
We had made dinner plans with Clive, and went out to meet him on the bike around 6:30. The place he picked was delicious; Naomi had chicken steak, and I had Jakarta fried noodles. We spent a couple hours enjoying dinner and chatting. I may have mentioned it before, but Clive is involved in a really neat school here for Papuans in their 20's who want to learn English and leadership in a Christian-based environment. Naomi and I are very interested in work like this that departs from the traditional "mission organization" way of doing things, and wanted to pick his brain. It's not necessarily where I think we'll end up, but I really wanted more information to be able to share with others who I know that might be interested. They're always looking for people who are interested in short-term work teaching English. No teaching degree or formal training required. Just a love of people, a native speaker grasp of English, and a desire to impact the world. If you know anyone who might enjoy that or be interested in more information, let me know and I'll get you in touch with Clive.
That took up most of the night, and we left with plans to visit the school in the morning to see the students (some of whom we had hiked to the waterfall with) and share a few things with them. Heading back to the guesthouse, we were so worn out that we went straight to bed. It feels so nice to have a day so full that you feel genuinely tired and complete at the end of it. We slept like babies.