A delightful Sunday in Bogor. I served in Bogor for several months (including the July Bicentennial in 1976). Back then the LDS branch met in a large house. Over a decade ago, the Mormon Church was able to get approval from enough neighbors (as required by law) and the local community leaders to build this chapel.
I took this photo about 10 minutes before the start of the 9:00 sacrament meeting.
In my calling with the Young Men in our ward (I was recently released) I often wondered how members in countries where internet access is not common in homes are able to access and prepare the weekly on-line youth classes. I now know. Leaders in Indonesia get a printed version of "Follow Me" that is only accessible on-line to teachers in the US.
It was Indonesian Independence Day so for the rest song we sang the national anthem (one verse) Indonesia Raya. The speakers were assigned a very appropriate verse from Galatians 5:1 which states: "Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage." This prompted three very good talks about the liberty that comes through following Jesus. A nice change from occasional July talks in American wards the focus more on very American topics such as the divine founding of America and its divine constitution. Prior to these three speakers, three missionaries were invited to bear their testimony. First up a just returned missionary from the Bogor Ward who apparently is now much more vocal than he was before he left. Second, a brand new 18 year old missionary from Idaho at his first ever meeting in Indonesia--he did quite well with the language. And finally me, a missionary from 38 years ago. I humored them with a story of dumping dozens of frogs in frog phobic Elder deJager's room, of having to play All Creatures of our God and King on the pump organ at break neck speeds because Branch President Siregar had been told by an expat leader that Indonesians sing too slow--I then thanked the two talented ward pianists who played in the meeting, and of having to spontaneously have to teach primary one day. I had the 8 children draw pictures of what they were thankful for. I too drew. It was a picture of all eight kids' faces. I then told them that I was thankful for them. Many of those primary children were in the meeting that day as parents and leaders. I expressed gratitude to see so many familiar faces from long ago.
One of the children still too young to be in primary that day was Thomas Siregar, former bishop of the ward. His wife Anita Mongan is the Stake Young Women president and was recently elected to the Bogor Municipal council, she worked hard to get elected and even had to deal with a "black campaign" that tried to discredit her because she was a Christian.
Brother Sugiyanto is in the Stake Presidency. His wife Titik works as a translator for the church. She is also the in-country accountant/facilitator/administrator for the Jaredita Foundation.Their son served a mission in Malaysia and is an amazing pianist. Their daughter Anggi was my TA at BYU.
Sat and watched this large spider eat a few victims of his web.
Early on I was approached by a nice Indonesian woman in a dress who offered me (even after I told her I didn't smoke) this Jehovah Witness publication on the evils of smoking. I politely listened to the missionary because what she was doing reminded me of times when we Mormon missionaries headed to public parks to see if we could met good families who would invite us to their home.
Burial marker of the wife of Stamford Raffles who was the administrator of the East Indies for the few years of British rule in the early 1800s.
It was a national holiday so the park was full of families and young couples in love. I was asked by more than a few people to have their photos taken with me. I made one young couple laugh by telling her I charged $10 (100,000 rupiah). This family just wanted me to take their photo. The mother (in hiding) told me they were just country folk (orang kampong) who traveled two hours to enjoy a day at the garden.
The Dutch administrative building and then Indonesian presidential palace.
In a small Dutch cemetery I was touched by this grave marker to a mother and her son. I welcome a Dutch translation if it tells how they died.
I remember having fun in this area as a missionary on p-day swinging on some thicker vines.
Permanent residents of the grounds of the presidential palace.
Love tall tropical tress and their large buttressed bases.
Flower bed in the shape of the national emblem, the Garuda.
Even has a soccer field (I know two boys who would enjoy giving this field a try).
This group of friends from Papua asked to have me join them for a group photo. When I inquired further to figure out if they all were really from Papua (only the woman in the black shirt looked like a Papuan) I found out that their parents were transmigrants who under government sponsorship left places like Java and Sulawesi to settle in less densely populated Papua. They are nursing students in Bogor for some practical training.When they finish they will return home to West Papua.
The one thing missing from the garden that I remember well from 1976 is this tree draped with hundreds of upside down fruit bats. One bat has taken flight. Its wing span is about 3 feet. Every evening these bats would take off in a swirl and go in search of rotting fruit.
Walking home after a day in the park. The one memory of the day that was not pleasant was the smell emanating from the ditch on the right. More powerful by far than a campground pit toilet.
My hotel--which is decorated in very tacky, over the top, bordelloesque (not that I would know) wallpaper, furniture and chandeliers. Residents of Bogor were not happy to have this hotel tower over their town monument--a west Java sword.
Evening traffic. It would be more difficult to be a bike rider in Bogor these days.
Hot, sweaty and happy after a fun afternoon exploring.
That evening I was invited to join the children and grandchildren of Sister Dumalang--a delightful woman who was a stalwart member of the branch. Her son Erwin is one of the founders of the Jaredita Fund. He (his wife and one daughter) were out of town but he left specific instructions to have his driver pick me up Saturday night in Jakarta after institute and drive me to Bogor. His sisters Lisa and Nanet picked me up Sunday for Church (I was surprised to walk down in to the lobby and find them waiting for me). And Lisa and Yanti had me over for dinner that night. En route we picked up some martabak manis, long a favorite desert of Mormon missionaries. For all of my returned missionary friends, enjoy the sweet memories.
Here they are making Martabak Telor (fried thin dough filled with eggs and vegetables) which is a more healthy option. I often would buy this for an evening snack.
Here are some of the ingredients for Martabak manis.
Cook the batter in a skillet and then add lots of sugar.
Remove from pan and douse with margarine (I asked for less than usual margarine on ours)
Then add on top, for traditional martabaks--the only kind available in the 1970s--peanuts, chocolate pieces and sweeten condensed milk. This order was a more recent invention. It included nutella, cheese and sweeten condensed milk.
Fold and lather more margarine on top, cut and serve. I remember the first time I tried this as a new missionary in Semarang. I thought it was a greasy, too sweet, mess. But then, in the absence of such things as doughnuts, pie, sweet rolls, cake and the many other wonderful American desserts, martabak manis became a delicious treat.
Yanti (l to r), Erwin's daughter and son (who remind me of his father when he was about this age), Yanti's daughter and Lisa.
1976 photo of Sister Dumalang with Nanet on her lap and Lisa (l to R) Yanti and Erwin in the rear.