Living in the Moment- Yogyakarta

Scene from our drive

Austin’s project again has some delays, which left us with a free weekend. We are hoping to go to Bali later this week after getting an official temporary release. Here’s to hoping that it comes through!Anyway, Saturday morning came around and we found out we would not be able to just up and leave for Bali like we were planning. We had to wait for more official approval and stuff, which was not going to happen over the weekend. Finding that out around 8:00 am Saturday, Austin suggested that we go to Yogyakarta for the weekend. There is a ward of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints there, so we could go to church, and there were some ruins that I really wanted to see. Plus, we wanted to get out of Cilacap for awhile. We have literally done everything there is to do here.

At 8:45 am, I looked up hotels in Yogya. There happened to be a Hyatt Regency there where we could use our accrued hotel points to stay there instead of money! Yay! Austin got on booking that while I went downstairs to enlist the help of the hotel staff to purchase bus tickets. Our very helpful sales lady who speaks good English called the bus company and got us tickets on the 11:00 am bus. She said we needed to leave by 10:30 in order to make it to the bus station on time. That gave us a little time to pack and shower up before leaving. The Efficiensi “shuttle” has buses that go between Cilacap and Yogyakarta every hour from 3 am to 7pm. There were even buses on the half hour on our return trip! 

We arrived at the Efficiensi bus station just as an efficiensi bus leaves the station. There are lots of people waiting for this bus to Yogya, so I am not worried, but it seemed weird. A few minutes later, it was back and we got on board. The seats were comfortable, the air conditioning worked well, and Austin had much more leg room than in Economy Plus on airplanes, so we were good to go! Landon did not need his own seat yet, so we took turns holding him on laps. To our surprise, he was completely fine with just sitting and looking out the window for the first hour or so. Then he fell asleep for awhile, then woke up and ate some food. He spent the remainder of our time on the bus watching cartoons and playing games on his tablet. Thank goodness for his tablet! The bus ride was very long- over 5 hours to go 200 km. This was due to the nature of the roads- one lane in each directions shared between scooters, carts, cars, big trucks, and buses. Passing is allowed all of the time, and so the bus was constantly jostling back and forth over into oncoming traffic to pass the slower moving trucks and scooters. It was a little nerve-wracking at first, but we got used to it.

Rice fields 
My favorite part of the bus ride was seeing the landscape of Java pass by. There were tons of rice fields, and mountains rising in the background behind them. There were also several big wide rivers that we passed over. It is rainy season so everything was lush and green from the over night rainstorms. Overall, although it was very long and exhausting (constant changes in speed really do an number on your entire body!), it was also beautiful. 

Welcome drinks
After finally arriving at the Yogyakarta bus terminal, we were greeted by our driver from the Hyatt. He had been calling Austin all afternoon wondering where he was. All we could tell him was that we were still on the bus. Anyway, he walked us out to his car, which was on the other side of the enormous bus terminal. Landon freaked out a little during the hour-long car ride to the hotel. I guess 6-7 hours of sitting doing nothing will do that to you.
Landon and I with our leis

Everything was better once we arrived at the hotel. We were chased down by a welcoming person with flower leis, and ladies came around with a very refreshing welcome drink. It was a mixture of different kinds of fresh squeezed juices. Yum! Since we have lived in hotels over the past 7 months, Austin has the highest status possible in Hyatt rewards. Which means that when he went to check in, they immediately invited him to the Regency club lounge to finish the checking in process. Landon went out the door in the opposite direction of the lounge, so I wandered around the grounds for a bit before going to find Austin. The first thing I noticed was how quiet it was. The hotel was far back from the road, and that was in stark contrast to our thin-walled and single-pane window hotel room located about 10 feet from the noisy road here in Cilacap. In fact, it was the only time I have enjoyed more than a few seconds of silence since Jakarta. How refreshing! The landscaping was beautiful and there was a koi pond winding around a terrace. Landon wanted to throw rocks at the fish, but we decided to just look at them instead. We checked out the pool and other grassy areas before Austin finally came back from checking in. He was having a chat with the general manager, because I guess that’s what happens when you have status, or something.

Our hotel was shaped like the famous Borobudur ruins
The main perk of booking with points and having status is that breakfast and dinner are also free in the Regency Club Lounge. Technically dinner is called “evening hors d’oeuvres” but there is enough food there to count for dinner. So, while we were there, we only needed to worry about feeding ourselves lunch. That was a big perk. Also, the pool had a full blown waterslide. I was nervous about going down with Landon, but he absolutely loved it and wanted to go down all by himself! So he did, a few times, with a parent at the ready to catch him at the bottom of the slide. 
Unfortunately, our vacation to Yogyakarta did not last very long. We arrived Saturday night, swam, ate dinner, went to church early Sunday morning, went to Borobudur ruins, ate dinner, got up really early the next morning to go swimming, and hopped on the 8:30am bus. I wish we could have stayed all week!
Silence and serenity… just what I needed!

Church was interesting and all in Indonesian. The ward filled the chapel completely- we had trouble finding seats! It was the annual Primary program, where kids from church go up in front of everyone, say little speaking parts and sing songs talking about all the different things they have learned over the past year. This primary program was different in that all of the girls had batik dresses- and the older girls were matching and white ribbons in their hair. All the boys were wearing blue suits, purple batik ties, and matching pocket squares. The leaders were wearing different colors of vertical stripes. Everyone was matching. It was adorable. Also, the kids singing made me ugly cry. It seems the whole culture is not shy about singing out. Even with a small congregation, the congregational hymns during church were sung out loudly and proudly by all in attendance- regardless of singing ability. The same went for the kids. They were singing their little hearts out. I did not understand the words, but I think that helped bring the Holy Spirit even more profoundly into the room for me. I didn’t have the words to trip me up, just the amazing feeling of these kids bearing testimony through their song.

There were three sets of missionaries in attendance- two sets of elders and a set of sisters. One very nice elder agreed to translate for us for sacrament meeting. We followed along in the lesson manual during Sunday School, and then an Indonesian sister missionary helped translate Relief Society. I was even asked by the teacher to contribute, which I did using the simplest phrases possible to help the missionary so she could translate my story correctly. It was lovely to go to real church, even if it was in a different language. I felt spiritually fed and uplifted by the members there. I’m hoping we can go to church in Bali next week!

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