The highlight of the trip was definitely the elephant ride! For about $5 per person, you can get a 15 min elephant ride complete with someone else taking your picture for you! It was so neat to be so close to these huge animals. I had no idea how tough their skin is or how they have a kind of prickly hair on them. We got to get right up close and pet them and Reece even fed one a piece of candy! She wasn't scared, but Joe kind of was. I don't blame him! I was a little scared, too!
You can see the temple in the background here. After the elephant ride, we joined the crowd and climbed the steep steps to the top of the temple. I can't even explain to you how many people wanted to touch our kids and get our picture taken with us! It was crazy! That happens sometimes here in Salatiga, but we were overwhelmed with it at Borobudur! Literally, we couldn't stop walking for a second without a crowd forming to take their picture with us. At first, I thought it was kinda fun, but after awhile it was just too much. Our kids were tired and hot and sick of being poked and touched. I hated to be the one white person they've met that was rude, so I tried to be really nice about it and say "no" gracefully!
I have a lot of really great pictures of this trip, but to be honest with you, the blogger web-site and Indonesia have never gotten along very well. Our Internet is fine here and Daniel doesn't have problems uploading pictures to wordpress, so I'm just going to start blaming blogger. I have blogged from here for over four years now, but I think I will have to make a change. This week is our last week of unit 1 in language school, and next week are on break, so I think that is when I will make my move. It's just been so frustrating when every time I have a minute to blog, the pictures don't upload or the whole thing gets erased. Grr!! Most of my blog posts are pictures because I know people want to SEE my kids and SEE what life is like here instead of me just rambling, so I'm hoping wordpress will be more picture and Indonesia friendly.
-We are finally settled into the house we will live during the rest of our time here. We were in temporary housing for about 1 1/2 months, so it's nice to be settled. Pictures to come...
-We are getting to know our neighbors and able to have basic conversations with them. Some of them are very familiar with people who are trying to learn the language, so they talk really slow and even know a few English words if we get stuck.
-The twins are rapidly expanding my belly! I have always been bad about comparing my belly to others that are about where I am in my pregnancies, but this time it is just sad! :) I feel that I am quickly passing up people who are farther along than me! I just have to keep telling myself it's because I have two, but I really hope it's not all the fried food our helpers make and all the whole milk I drink... :) I hope there is room for the both of them!
-Daniel is having many adventures as usual! One, is that he went to get a hair cut and tried to explain to them how he wanted it...he ended up with a buzz! :) Two, he joined a true Indonesian gym, which he describes as "rustic." I just can't imagine Indonesians working out! They are just so little and thin! :) And, three, he got an invitation from our neighborhood leader yesterday for some kind of event. I will let him explain in further detail, but the letter was all in Javanese, which is the local language here and totally different from Indonesian (we are not learning Javanese). So, we asked our teacher at school what it meant, and he gave us this long explanation of how it was a "M" prayer meeting where they would pray for the souls of the dead and pray for the villagers. He told Daniel that since he got a personal invite, he must go. Well, another one of our MAF neighbors told Daniel later that it was just a birthday party!! SO, either our teacher is playing a trick on us, or there is some kind of misunderstanding. Look out for a blog post from Daniel on that! He is going to check it out tonight!
-The kids love school! They go 3 days a week and stay with our helpers the other two days. They both wish they could go to school 5 days a week, though. It is just cultural that the helpers are more interested in doing their work than actaully sitting down and playing with the kids, so I think the kids get bored. We may start sending them 5 days a week next month.
-We get a report about the kids at the end of each month from the school. Their report said that Reece is a "fun girl" and Joe is a "cute boy." It said Reece loves to read and asks her teacher everyday to read to her (they have a small library in English there). It said Joe is quiet and just walks around and plays by himself all day. And, he always wants to be with Reece (sometimes they separate the big and little kids). It also said that Reece doesn't participate during circle time when they sing songs and do the hand motions. I asked Reece about this and she said it was because she was embarrassed and didn't know any of the songs. This is not like her! We sing and do hand motions to song almost everyday! I asked her teacher today what the songs were, but she said they are all in Indonesian! So, now everything makes sense! I would be embarrassed, too...I actually AM embarrassed because we sing Indonesian songs at MY school and I don't know any of them!
-We swapped our mattress in our new house out with one that wasn't being used in a different MAF house. The old mattress is still in our front room, the the kids' latest game is to get the mattress down and jump on it and do "tricks." Joe even dragged our Indonesian neighbor in yesterday to watch him! He cries if we leave the room because he wants us to watch him, too!
Okay, so that wasn't a quick update. But, there it is. Look for a new post of my big move next week. Hopefully I can fill in the blanks of my ramblings with some good pictures!