Category: Borneo, Indonesia, 2017

Villages, Art and Dancing

June 2. Carol and I have breakfast outside on our patio, overlooking rice fields and with Borobrodur as a backdrop. Not an easy life, but we are learning to cope.
This morning we are scheduled to do a bicycle tour through beautiful rural countryside and villages. Carol and Valerie decide to do the mountain bikes, but Mike and I opt to do the same tour via horse-drawn carriage. This makes it easier for us to photograph (and avoids the bikes, which seems to me to be tempting fate, as I have not ridden for some twenty years, when we took a bike trip to New Zealand).
The trip was terrific, interesting scenery (rice, tobacco, chilies, and spinach) and villages. Very friendly people, and some cute kids. We stopped to see noodle making, tofu making and pottery. Only downside was that towards the very end, Valerie fell off of her bike. She does not appear to be hurt seriously, though.

Eka takes Carol and me to see the Mendut Monastery that Michael and I visited to meditate last night. We also see the interesting Mendut Temple right beside it, which is older than Borobudur and features very unusual sculptures of Buddha sitting on a chair.
Carol and I go with Eka to the wonderful OHD Museum to see the collection of modern art amassed by Dr. Lei Hong Djien. The current exhibit celebrates 20 years since opening and features works acquired by Dr. Djien 25 years ago and, along side them, new works by each artist commissioned by Dr. Djien on the occasion of this 20th anniversary. Fascinating to see the evolution in the artists’ work. The visit is made more interesting because Dr. Djien happens to be near the museum and he comes over to greet and talk with us. He has been to Chicago several times and has a son who graduated from the University of Wisconsin medical school. Dr. Djien is a true patron, in the mode of wealthy families back in Renaissance times.  His enthusiasm for the work is totally infectious, making this a most memorable event for us. I have written to Dr. Djien, thanking him and inviting him to visit us in Chicago.

We return to the Amanjiwo for lunch with the Lewises and after a very short break, we spend the afternoon and sunset hours back at the Borobudur, which typically closes to the public at sunset. But due to the resort’s special connections they can arrange special permits providing us access post closing to the public. Being at this fabulous monument all by ourselves is absolutely magical, even though the cloudy weather blocks the sunset.  It’s fun to watch everyone photograph themselves.
We return to the hotel for dinner and to see some short, Javanese dances performed to live music.
All in all, one of our best days, and that’s saying something.

2 comments to Villages, Art and Dancing

  • Mike Lefkow

    You are in your element when photographing people. I’m still amazed how you convince them to allow you to take their pictures. Well done!

  • Kay Osborne

    The photos are fabulous. The best by far is Carol’s, with the bike helmet. A close second is the kid with the over sized forehead. Wonderful.

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