30 March 2007

Back in Indonesia  Plane to Kuala Lumpur and Jakarta was one hour late so I was afraid I could not get the connection to Lion Air in Terminal One but fortunately Lion Air was late too so I managed to get to Yogya  in time. I am here to set up new community project do some lectures and be at the opening of the bridge of Wonolagi. This time I stay in a University Hotel which is a bit cheaper.  Yesterday I went to see the Bridge at Wonolagi now complete.  How nice to see and how pleased are the communities.  I have to give a speech in the opening of the bridge on 4th April.  I also got a gift of £200 to provide light for the path leading to the bridge from the village and possibly across the bridge as well.  Today I have been listening to  PhD. students presenting their data. Not too good but they are very positive lot and now this afternoon we are going see  goat projects far away in West Java in other words closer to Jakarta but it is going to be  8 to 10 hours drive so long long way to go.  I have not been there before so it is a new experience but it will be dark most of the way so we cannot see too much.  Well, we will see some farmers  this time.   University of Gadjah Mada is responsible for setting up similar goat projects as we have done here but the Indonesian government has given us 8000 goats so we can set up more that 250 villages. As each group consist of about 10 families with 3 pregnant goats per family I just hope it will be ok and the loyalty to the project will be the same as with ours.

31 March 2007

West Java, this really was a long drive.  We eventually left Yogya  about 3.00 in the afternoon and arrived here about 2.00am in the morning.  Dark almost all the way.  Stopped to eat lunch at 4.00pm and then dinner at 12.00pm.  Also stopped for durian which was very nice.  Before we left we had some problems with Yogya Rotary Club.  It seems they like  to get all the credit for the building of the bridge though they have not contributed  very much.  So next Wednesday will be a formal opening of the bridge at Wonolagi Now I am taking about 20 kilos of childrens clothes to a village here.  The village is called Marja Linka and we are staying in a town called Kuningan.  It was a long drive, distance 320km but it took 10-12 hours driving.  Now back from Marja Linka.  It was a nice experience.  It took two hours to get there on a very narrow and slow road.  We then came to the villages where the Indonesian government have given goats as community project based on our  experience.  Each community comprising about 10 families have given houses facilities for 30 female goats kept on a revolving fund basis.  The goats were obtained from a commercial supplier who was not being honest.  The goats should have been no more than three years old and clearly many of them or almost half of them were four years  or older.  We have today examined six communities 180 goats and many of them are not good enough.  It was nice to mix with the local farmers and here they speak Sundanese which of course I do not speak but then some of my friends  did  not speak it either as they speak Javanese but most of them of course speak Bahasa Indonesia.  Nice climate here plenty of water.  Second rice crop being planted mainly with terracing, very very beautiful landscape.  Found a couple of villages where we distributed the children’s clothes and will leave the rest to be distributed.  It is nice group of people here.  I took part in holding the goats which  seem to surprise them.  Early in the morning 6.30 to work again with goats and in the afternoon head off   again for Yogya .  Again not  much time for sleeping.  There  is Karaoke dancing in house  next to us so it was very difficult to sleep.  .  But there is no drunkenness  here which makes it much nicer than had it been at home.  This is of course a Muslim country.  It does mean you cannot drink but you never see drunk people  around.  Forgot to say that Kuningan is a hot water town with underground hot water Had water in the hotel which comes regularly from underground and sometimes tourists come here just because of that.

4 April 2007

Time flies on 1st April we came back at Kuningan about one hours today from the city.  Many farmers  came a bit late.  Again  too many goats with similar problems as in Marja Linka.  Nice people nice team but a bit disorganised.  Sometimes the community groups are spread some may be in three places and having to set up a scale for weighing etc. takes some time when we eventually finished the village leader offered a meal which was nice and then back the Kuningan to get back to Yogya .  It was very late about 7 o’clock in the evening before we left so we arrived back in Yogya  at 4.00 in the morning and I had to lecture about 9.00 am no problem,  In the evening we went early to bed after a Chinese meal in Quality hotel.  Again lecture tomorrow morning and in the afternoon going to Wonolagi to see if all was under control for the formal opening on 4th April or the day after.  On the Monday I had a chance to meet the school teacher to give him a present from Les May   He wants to use it to buy a printer for the computers we gave him almost a year ago.  To get a sewing machine for the children to learn sewing and to buy some paint for the small damage that was made to the walls by the earthquake last summer.  So today early morning go to Wonolagi for the formal opening of the bridge which start 9.00 am from here and came out on the road to the area full of many people.  Whole of Yogya Rotary Club were there.  So we had a Rotary Club meeting as well.  It was a wonderful occasion.  I gave a speech as I was one of the VIPs but it was so nice, difficult to explain how joyful  such an experience is.  I spoke for about 10 minutes to a large crowd.  I told them the bridge had many pillars .  Rotary Clubs, local government, university donors and not least the local farmers  etc.  We had lunch and when we came back to the faculty I got Bu Hanim and Bu Lies to take me to Malioborough to buy a few things Tonight we have dinner with faculty members.  Nice day to remember.  My time here much too short this time.

8th April 2007

This evening was nice in Chinese Restaurant.  Sharing with the bridge engineers from university.  It was such a nice evening ending of a wonderful day.  Thursday afternoon we went to a village we are going to start a new project which may be supported by the Orskov Foundation a new community project.  The village is poor but nice people.  Here I learned for the first time to look at Mahogani trees as a bank. Mahogany trees  were planted in the garden and with other plants under them but when the trees were old enough they  can be cut when money was needed just in effect the same as the goat and cattle often are used ..  There were already building houses for the goats so we better get some goats for them.  Friday was a big surprise.  A friend of mine Pak Suburs daughter was to be married and when they found I was there.  I immediately had an invitation.  First to attend the flower bath of both the bride and the groom as I remember from Bu Lies’ daughter’s wedding very formal it all was.  Bu Lies took me to Yakkum so I could do a little bit of shopping etc. to keep up to Joan’s shopping list.  In the afternoon to the flower bath and in the evening to the wedding party.  Not too interesting but many old friends from Gadjah Mada University here.  Saturday evening again it was a busy time altogether.  Got on the plane in Jakarta.  Got KLM in time.  Met Bu Tri the girl I have met so many times and she got a good seat for me for  long haul to Kuala Lumpur and Amsterdam.  So back again  Easter Sunday.  Grandpop is ill Joan may have to go to Derby tomorrow.