Saturday Night

On Saturday night we went over to our friends Brian and Heather’s house for dinner and games….


A little ayam bakar from Bu Wati’s is on the menu.  (Grilled Chicken)



When you pay for a whole chicken at Bu Wati’s, you get a whole chicken.  They aren’t messing around!  Can you see it’s head and feet?



I’m about to eat the gizzard.  Seriously.  Brian swore that it was good.



Brian lead me astray.   I did not like the gizzard.  Although he did eat the rest of it.  So, from now on, it’s his.  No argument from me.



I also tried the liver because Heather swore it was good…. 

From now on, the liver is all hers!



Enough chicken.  We also played Settlers of Catan!

I was blue, and I lost. 

Just another Saturday night…

Bang for Your Buck

One of the questions we’re often asked is what things cost here.  We’ve found that some things are super cheap, some thing are comprable to the States and some things are super expensive!

About once a week we go grocery shopping and pick up things that our house helper can’t find at the market.  Our house helper also does a lot of shopping for us.  She usually shops at the open air market where things are pretty cheap.

This week we visited two stores: Ada Baru (see more about Ada Baru here) and Jimmy’s.  Jimmy’s is an import store.


This is what we purchased at Ada Baru: three bags of flour, two bags of sugar, 1 box of milk (UHT milk, not fresh), 1 bag of dish soap, 1 bottle of oregano, 1 bottle of coriander, 1 box of coffee creamer.  Total: 110,000 Rupiah (about $11.82 at the current exchange rate)


This is what we purchased at Jimmy’s: tin foil, 1 bottle of Tobasco sauce, 2 cans of tomato paste, 1 can of diced tomatoes, 1 can of tomato sauce, 1.4 pounds of cheddar cheese.  Total: 164,000 Rupiah (about $17.63)


Cheese is expensive here.  Indonesians don’t eat it.  For this 1.4 lb block of cheese, we paid about $7.  Here in Salatiga we can get cheddar, mozzerella and cream cheese.  There is some processed cheese available too, similar to Velveeta.

In Jogjakarta I found Brie!  Yummy.  But very expensive. 

We figure the cost of food here kind of balances out.  We spend very little on basics like flour, salt, sugar, spices, fruits and veggies so we can splurge on things like cheese.  What is life without cheese anyway?? 

On a somewhat related note, we got some Kraft Macaroni and Cheese in the mail the other day.  Holy cow is that good!  Especially when it’s a rare commodity!  (Thanks Mom!)


I can’t believe that we have lived in Indonesia for 6 months now and I have yet to blog about school.  Especially since we go to school everyday!  Maybe because we go to school everyday it seems very normal and uniteresting to us…but hopefully it will be interesting to you!


Our school is named IMLAC (as you can see).  I’m not sure why is it called the multi language aquisition center, because I believe you can only learn Indonesian here.  But oh well.  Maybe it’s lost in translation.


When we first arrive at school, we park our bike here.  This little covered spot is reallly nice on the days that it pours rains!  Then our bike and helmets stay nice and dry while we study.  We always have to keep an eye out for spiders when we park…they seek us out, I swear.


This is the main hall.  Down the left side is a bunch of doors that lead to classrooms.  The rooms are very simple.  They each have a few tables and chairs and a white board. 


Every Monday we have chapel (IMLAC is a Christian school).  The students are able to practice preaching, sharing a testimony and reading the Bible.  Here is Nathan reading the Bible in chapel last Monday!


Nathan likes to learn by osmosis :)


From units 1-3 we went to school for 4 hours everday.  Now, because we are in unit 5, we got for two hours a day.  The classes are pretty small.  There are only 5 people in our class right now and they split us up after the first hour into two groups. 

Here’s our basic schedule:

1:00-2:00:  We sing a few Indonesian songs together.  Then someone gives a presentation on a cultural topic (today it’s my turn!)  The presentation is about 5-10 minutes long.  After this, the teacher corrects all of our mistakes :)

2:00-3:00: The teacher corrects our homework from the day before.   Then we review the text for the day.  The texts vary.  Sometimes they are just a conversation between two people and sometime they tell a story.  The texts are harder and longer each day.  Once we’ve read through the text a few times we have to retell the story to the teacher in our own words.

That’s it!  :)  After school we are supposed to go out and talk to our friends and neighbors and practice what we learned.  It’s amazing how fast you can pick up a language when you are required to use it everyday!

Spring Flowers

It’s not really Spring here. 

Indonesia only has two seasons: Rainy and Dry.  Right now it is the rainy season and everything is green and beautiful!  So I like to pretend that it’s Spring.  If only there was the smell of fresh cut grass!

I’ve been playing with the apeture on my camera, so bear with me because I’m still learning. 


I took this picture last year at IMLAC (our school).  I really had no idea what I was doing with the camera, but I love hibiscus, so I’m including on this post!



I took this  in Papua at an airplane crash site (not an MAF plane).  The crash was last year and it burned up the hillside.  But life is growing back around the wreckage.  It was a sobering sight and a good reminder of why we are grateful for MAF’s safety regulations!



Yes, I know this is bamboo and not a flower.  I am fasinating by the bamboo that grows wild here!  Before moving here I had only seen bamboo in a botanical garden or a panda cage at the zoo.  It is all over the place here and has a beauty of it’s own.  This picture was taken on my walk to school the other day.




This is in my front yard.  A few weeks ago, some kids knocked on our door looking very upset.  They were apologizing because they had been playing with sticks and accidently knocked one of the buds off of this plant.  What sweet kids! 



This was on our walk home from the bengkel (which, by the way, already finished painting our bike!  Pictures soon…it looks awesome.)



I have no idea what kind of flower this is, but it’s pretty isn’t it?  I love the color!



Last one.  I love the drip of water coming off of the leaf!

Happy Spring!

Grandma Tjernlund’s Oatmeal Cookies

Well, I had planned on doing a post today that included pictures from school, but it was pouring rain yesterday when we left for school.  And since we are on foot now (bike still in the shop) I didn’t want to carry my camera through the torrential downpour.

So instead, here is one of my favorite recipes.

First let me tell you a little story.  When I was little my grandma made these fantastic cookies.  When I was about 5, I had a little cleaning mishap and ended up in a body cast (from my left toes up to mid-chest) and couldn’t bend in the middle.  Anyway, one day my mom took me over to visit grandma.  They pulled a little cushion into the kitchen for me to lay on so that I could help Grandma make cookies.  She put all of the ingredients in bowl, set the bowl on my stomach and let me stir everything together.  And then of course, when they were done baking, she let me stuff my face with their yummy goodness.

Years later, my grandparents moved to Minnesota.  And years after that my Grandma passed away.  For several years I asked different family members if they had Grandma’s Oatmeal Cookie recipe.  No one had it.  I thought it was lost forever. 

One day, maybe 10 years after the recipe first went missing, my Aunt called me and said she thinks she found the recipe!  She had been searching through an old recipe box at my Grandpa’s house and came across the recipe!  Hallelujah!

So, today I share it with you.  It’s yummy:

Grandma Tjernlund’s Oatmeal Cookies

3 1/2 sticks of butter/margarine
1 cup sugar
2 cups flour
3 cups quick oatmeal
2 teaspoons vanilla
powdered sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350F. 
2. Cream together butter and sugar.
3. Add flour, oatmeal and vanilla.  Beat until well mixed.
4. Roll dough into 1-inch balls and place on ungreased cookie sheet.
5. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden.
6. Sprinkle with powdered sugar while still warm.


From Here to There: Bengkel

Yesterday we took our motorcycle in to the bengkel (repair shop) to get it repainted.  The shop isn’t to far away so we drove there and then walked home.  It was a gorgeous morning and it was really fun to be out listening to the birds sing and greeting people as we went along!



Here is our bike before we left to get it painted.  Yup, it’s in our family room.  We bring it inside at night so that it doesn’t get stolen.  Violent crimes aren’t very common here, but often times things get stolen, so we like to be cautious.

Nathan peeled the stickers off of the tank because he didn’t like how they look and some of the paint came with it.  We wanted to get it painted before it starts to rust!  It will be at the bengkel for about two weeks.



We just dropped the bike off and began our walk home.  So much going on in this picture!

The blue van is a vehicle called an “angkota.”  This is one of the forms of public transportation.  They will take you to town for 2,000 Rupiah (about 20 cents).  They guys leaning out the door looks for people who are wanting a ride.

I would love to know what’s in those pots on the lady’s head.  It’s amazing what they can carry on their head here!  We also recently learned that Indonesians prefer to walk on the street rather than the sidewalk, although I’m not sure why.



On this street is a store called “Jimmy’s”  They import a lot of western food, so we shop there a lot!  It’s just in someone’s house.  The ladies who work there are really sweet and they know me by name.



This is a warung.  Again, it is in someone’s house.  These are scattered all over the place.  They sell fruits and veggies, candy, cookies…all kinds of things!  Families usually open a warung to help supliment their income.



August 17, 1945 is the day that Indonesia won its independence from Holland.  They have a big celebration on that day!  Probably similar to our Fourth of July, although we haven’t been here for it yet.



Nobody has dryers here.  Well, at least Indonesians don’t have dryers.  So, everything gets dried out in the sun.  Our laundry is dried like this too!



This is a little graveyard near our school.  I don’t know much about it, actuallly.  But some of our neighbors have told us that there are ghosts that live here. 

Well, that’s all for today! 

I know I need to get around to those school pictures that I promised…maybe I’ll bring my camera to school today!


Karaoke is huge in Indonesia, as it is in most Asian cultures.  Last night we went to a Karaoke “bar” with some of our teachers from school!  It was so fun!  You know that ackward moment when you’re a grade schooler and you see your teacher at the grocery store and you realize that they are a real person, not just someone who lives at school all the time?  Well, I felt a little like that doing karaoke with our language school teachers!  It was fun to see them outside of the school environment!

So, here are some things I learned:


Not only are our teachers AMAZING singers, they are big goofballs.  This is Andre and Kris.  I think Andre is the only one actually singing in this picture.  And holy cow can he sing!  I would buy his album!


There is some great Indonesian music out there!  We didn’t know any of the songs, but they were beautiful.  This says something like, “although half-injured, wholeheartedly…”  Songs are hard to translate for me because at lot of it is day-to-day language that we don’t learn in school.


Nathan is not as shy about karaoke as I thought he would be!  He sang/rapped this whole song by himself.  And it was awesome.  And hilarious.


Apparently, we Americans have a different sense of humor than the Indonesians.  Brian and Heather thought something was hilarious, while Yovan and Andre sat very seriously.  I have no idea what was happening.


Our teachers speak better English than they let on at school.  Andre was our MC for the night.  He did most of it in English.  But at school they are only supposed to speak to us in Indonesian.  Something to do with helping us learn…

All and all, we had a great time!

Oh, and I did sing too, but the thing about being the one taking the pictures is that you’re never in any of them!

Live long and karaoke.  (We just watched Star Trek…)

From Here to There: School

Nathan wasn’t feeling well yesterday, so he stayed home while I went to school.  Normally we ride our motorcycle to school, but since I can’t drive the bike, I walked.  It’s about a 5 minute walk through the jungle from our house to school.


Stepped off the driveway and turned right.  The fence on the right of the photo is ours.  See the cement balls on top of the pillars?  They all look like soccer balls.  I imagine that when this fence was built, soccer balls were filled with cement and then later peeled away.  Oh, and there’s that brick street again that I love.


Our neighbor’s rooster.  We hear him crow everyday.


Now the road starts heading into the jungle.  Pretty moss on bricks.  Love.  It.


This bamboo fence runs along the bricked part of the jungle path, which I am grateful for because the bricks can be slippery!  I am not, however, grateful for the spiders that make their homes there.  Especially when I slip, grab the fence for balance and stick my hand right through a spider web. 


No more brick road.  Just a dirt path now and no fence.  If you slip now, it’s every man for himself.  (Thankfully I didn’t slip yesterday!)  One time when I was walking on this path something pooped on me.  Isn’t that supposed to be good luck or something?  Or is it bad luck?  I don’t remember.


About halfway down the path, you come across this little bamboo bridge.  It crosses over a little stream.


The little stream.


Further up the path, the jungle opens up a little bit into this clearing.  Well, it’s not really a clearing, but it’s not dense jungle.  Anyway, it’s really pretty when the sun shines through the trees!  So many different shades of green!


Heading up out of the jungle now. 


We pass by this house and say “selamat siang” to the nice lady doing her laundry.


Turn right onto the big road and we’re almost there!!


Up these stairs and we made it!

I don’t have any pictures of school to share with you today.  We’ll save that for another time.

Obviously this is not the path we take on the motorcycle…we take the main road around.  But if you’re walking, the jungle path is the quickest!

Hope you enjoyed our little jaunt through the jungle!


A Tale of Bawang

The other day I sent Nathan to the warung (little neighborhood shop) to buy onions for me.  Neither of us knew the word for onion, so I looked it up in the dictionary.  “Bawang.”  So, with this newly aquired word, Nathan headed off to the warung.

A few minutes later he return with “bawang” in a small plastic bag and said “I hope these work, they’re pretty small onions.”  So, I open the bag and this is what I found:


Garlic. (Ignore the shallots in there, they were bought at a different time)  A half a kilo (1.1 pounds) of garlic.  Turns out garlic is called “bawang putih” and onions are called “bawang bombay” so when Nathan asked for “bawang”  he ended up with garlic. 

Dictionary fail. 

I went back to the warung after looking up the correct word on Google Translate (how did people ever learn a language without Google Translate??), but unfortunely they were out of onions. 

So, we made due without onions that night.  And I will forever remember the Indonesian words for onion and garlic.

Oh, and I thought I should clarify that Nathan does know the difference between onions and garlic, but didn’t open the bag to see what the lady had handed him.

The End.


Please remember to continue to pray for the relief efforts in Haiti.  MAF has sent one of their Kodiaks there to help.  So far MAF has flown in thousands of pounds of food and supplies.  Also they have set up a satellite communications center that is being used by several relief organizations.