INDONESIA, JANUARY 2006

Date: 
20/01/2006
Country: 
INDONESIA

20 January 2006
I am in Indonesia now, staying in a hotel near to Prambanam. I arrived in Jakarta on Thursday evening and got a ticket straight to Yogya. It is warm here. I was told that I had been sleep walking during the night on the plane. An Indonesian woman sitting beside me had moved to another seat. I don’t recall ever having done that before. Anyway, I spent yesterday, Friday, in a meeting with students and discussing the new International Feed resource Unit ( IFRU) which they would like to establish here as it from our department or my office. We are going to Gombang today to visit the new project. I have just been getting children’s clothes ready for donation so I expect a lovely Saturday.

23 January 2006
On Thursday night we ate at Prambanam and last night at a new restaurant. I have some problems with skin in my mouth, I am going to see Bu Endang’s husband who is a doctor to see if he can advise me on what to do. It is now Sunday night, I had quite a good day today. We saw some university plots and had some time with the Papua New Guinea student who is harvesting sorghum grass contain cyanide and tannins. Tomorrow we will be very busy. Yesterday in Gombang, they have shown wonderful progress with the goats. It is such a pleasure to see and to get some photographs of the children in new clothes.

28 January 2006
Time goes too fast when I am here; I just like it so much. On Monday I worked on my paper for the Thursday meeting and also meeting with the Rotary Club and the University engineers as the bridge of Wonolagi is now in the plans. It seems that the bridge is coming on now. On Tuesday I went to Wonolagi but the river was high and the stream was very fast and impossible to get across. Vigeta, my student, was on the other side; I had to shout to her and had to get a teacher to come so that I could tell the teacher that I had something for him. I had brought a laptop with me to Indonesia and had swapped it for two PCs which I was going to give to the primary school in Wonolagi. Because I couldn’t take it across I had to tell them where I had put it on a house on our side of the river. I know they have now since collected them. I also had to leave some children’s clothes for them as I could not take them across. The river was very fast, even the secondary school children could not get across, they normally swim across but this was impossible. I went to the Rotary Club meeting on the Wednesday. I think the Rotary Club is not as good as it used to be, they seem to be more interested in spending money from abroad than trying to do some collections themselves.

The big seminar was on Thursday and I gave the main paper which I believe was OK. It was about rural poverty alleviation. It was the opening of the IFRU at the Gadjah Mada University on Friday morning, the Gadjah Mada Macaulay. It was quite a formal occasion. I now have to take the documents back for signing by Maggie. This is the first IFRU outside the UK. Egerton University in Kenya also wants one. I think the Unit here will be much more important. We had a field trip to Kwarasan on Friday, they have won some prizes due to their development work and they are very proud of it, in fact their village was taken by the local government as being the most important for development. Even the people in the village had their own uniforms to be sure that they were distinguished. On Saturday we had discussion about future meetings and other LINK projects. I also went to Yakkum to buy more goods. I met a victim here from the tsunami disaster in Ache, she had lost here foot but got a new one made in Yakkum and was learning to sew. It really brings this disaster home to me.

29 January 2006
I am now on my way to Jambi in Sumatra where I will lecture tomorrow, Monday, and leave again on Tuesday. I have never been there before. I had a letter from Tej Walli from India to tell me that his father had died; he is the artist from Kashmir whose pictures we have at home. There are so many challenges here but there is such a wonderful atmosphere in which to tackle them

Jambi was a nice experience. I arrived in Jambi on Sunday and was met by many people. I went to see some cattle farms, cooperatives and growing pineapples and also saw some cooperative fish ponds. On Monday I was given a VIP treatment. I lectured on agri-forestry. Rusmana from Penang also came there, He is the one who used to be in Aberdeen,. Later we had a durian party then a lovely evening dinner, it seems that they all want to be photographed with me. We went back to Jakarta on Tuesday after seeing some nice parts of a bridge in Jambi. I also got some batik etc.