We arrived early morning in Jogjakarta from Bali, checked into our hotel and then rode public transport across town and on to the impressive Buddhist temple of Borobudur. We were joined by thousands of Indonesians still celebrating Lebaran, the multi day holiday at the end of Ramadan.
We arrived in the midday heat. Umbrellas were a common option for shade.
Unlike most of the tourists we approached Borobudur as pilgrims, circumambulating (clock wise) all seven levels up to the top stupa which represents nirvana.
Along the way the boys were often stopped for photos.
The local bus from Borobudur.
The muezzin at the small mosque near our hotel seemed to be the back up guy, not the most melodic and a bit hoarse in his dawn call to prayer.
Soon after returning from my mission I saw a man at USU who from behind looked to be Indonesian (in part because of the tailored look of his pants). I called out an Indonesian greeting to see if he would understand. He did. We became friends. He (Budiman) and his wife came to Thanksgiving dinner. Next year another Indonesian came to USU to study irrigation engineering. Budiman introduced me to them. They came to Thanksgiving dinner: Suprodjo, his wife Suharni and their three children, seen above in a photo (hanging now in their home) of them all in front of the Triad student dorms at USU. I enjoyed many god Indonesian meals in their home. One conversation I remember having with Suprodjo was when he suggested that Mormon missionaries might be more successful in Indonesia if they used wayang (traditional Javanese puppets) performances of our sacred texts and stories as has been done with the Hindu Ramayana.
Our friendship that began at USU continued when I visited them in their home in Jogjakarta in 1982. They took me to visit a newly restored Borobudur. Then their youngest daughter Utami (she abandoned here childhood nick-name), her husband Winny and their two children came to BYU where she received her MA in acoustical engineering. Utami's two oldest children and our two oldest children were near the same ages and enjoyed playing when our families got together. Her older sister Tipuk and her husband Ben also visited us in Springville from his graduate studies in North Carolina. Facebook has kept us in contact since then. Utami and Winny are both professors in Jogja and Tipuk and Ben live in Jakarta. They were in Jogjakarta for Lebaran.
Suharni with her two daughters. Sadly Suprodjo passed away from cancer and their son Gali died in a motorcycle accident.
Taking Suprodjo's old Vespa for a spin.
Sunday night the boys and I walked to Malioboro street, which was packed with end of holiday revelers. Families were everywhere eating and shopping.We did the same.