INDONESIA, JANUARY 2004

Date: 
22/01/2004
Country: 
INDONESIA

22 January 2004
I am writing from the Quality Hotel in Yogyakarta. I left on Sunday 20th with Bu Yuni who is not better having been operated in Aberdeen for a benign brain tumour. I also met the British Council girl, Muriel, on the plane. She was the one who called me and advised me to go back when the Bali bombing took place and told her that I was going to stay. We have just returned from Kwarasan today. It is so nice to see the enthusiasm and the successes of their goat project. I also saw some excellent examples of forest regeneration, along with the farmers’ participation. The state owns the eucalyptus and the farmers plant maize, groundnut, soya and cassava around them for their use. It helps the eucalyptus yields as well, an excellent combination which benefits both the state and the farmers. If you ask the farmers how best to combine the different leguminous trees they will tell you which the researchers cannot as they have paid very little attention to complementary multicropping.

25 January 2004
It is Sunday and I will visit Borobudur with Razak from Kenya. He arrived two days ago. He will also lecture next week. Time flies so fast when I am here. I went to see the problems of the river in Wonoeagi. We would like to see if it is at all possible to get a bridge because the primary school is on one side and the teachers on the other, so sometimes it is difficult for the teachers to get across unless they swim. The secondary schoolchildren from Wonolagi have to swim across in the wet season. Sometimes the river is so fast it is simply too dangerous to do this. So I met some very wet children when they came across, they put their school uniform in a plastic bag on their backs and swim across and change on the other side, doing it the other way round on their way back. We will try to get a bridge across the river with some help hopefully from the Rotary funds.

I am now waiting for a driver to go to Borobudur with Razak. Also coming is Ristianto. Bu Kustantinah has a family meeting.

31 January 2004
Quality Hotel. It seems that this trip is once more coming to an end. How time flies. Yesterday was spent mostly in the lab but I also went to Yakkum to do some shopping. Last night Bu Lies and her husband gave Abdul Razak and I dinner at Pring Sewu where I have been many times before. Abdul Razak says he wants to write my biography, I don’t know what he is going to write. The next trip is going to be to Nepal with Joan. I went to the last Rotary village on Saturday, but when we got there the clutch on the car went so I was really afraid we were going to be stuck there because it is quite remote. The mechanics soon turned up and took the car away and we walked to the village. It was really nice and after about an hour they came back with the clutch repaired. I wish we had garages like this at home. I didn’t actually say goodbye to Razak but he said he had an excellent time in Indonesia. Bu Yuni and her husband came with me to the airport. I always hate leaving Indonesia, it is really my country. Yesterday was the Muslim festival of Idul Adhah, a festival in which people get together and those who can afford it buy a sheep or a goat or one-seventh of a cattle beast. Two-thirds of the meat is given to the poor and one-third used by the giver. So many sheep and cattle are sold along the roads in the cities and also in the University campus. It comes from Ibrahim’s story of killing sheep instead of his son. I went to the prayer festival. The Quality Hotel is really good, it only costs about £16 per day for a four or five star hotel.