Central Java

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October 19th 2007
Published: October 20th 2007
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Visiting Central Java

To Limbangan, near Mt Ungaran. Then from there to Semarang and on to Surakarta (Solo). Then to Yogyakarta and Mageland, visiting Borobudor. Then to Pekalongan and back to Jakarta

in a Batik factoryin a Batik factoryin a Batik factory

the first stage of the process, the men printing the wax designs onto the material

Sorry I haven't updated this for a while. I've spent a few weeks visiting some of Pattiro's offices in Central Java and so had not much internet access and then have just had a nice little holiday in bali for two weeks too!!

After spending a very lovely week with Widi and his family in Limbangan I went to Solo (a city within Surakarta). Solo is def not quite as pretty as Limbangan, but a quite nice city. I stayed there with someone from Pattiro, Latri, in her boarding house. We went to the traditional market near her home to buy breakfast every morning (Nasi Liwet (rice with some kind of coconut, egg +other random things sauce)) and she took me to some nice local places to eat in the evening too. The food was pretty nice and so cheap, about a pound for both of us!

Solo is famous for producing lots of Batik and so Setyo and Erla took me to a batik factory. see pics.. Erla is just a volunteer for Pattiro while she is still studying English so speaks it really well. She translated a meeting we had with one of the local government members about public health and what their plans are to try and provide health insurance for the poor, it was v good to be able to communicate via her! She also took me to the batik market in the city centre and persuaded me to buy some more..

After Solo Benni showed me around Yogyakarta and took me to Borobudor Temple. Benni had travelled from Jakarta to Yogya (about 9 hours) that morn and still came all the way over to Solo to collect me and take me back to Yogya, so kind of him!! He is studying for a masters in Public Policy in Yogya and had just come back for the start of term. Yogya is famous for being the most touristy place in Java and def I def saw more white people in my few hours there than i have in my whole time in jakarta so far! It has one street, Moroboro that has loads of craft and batik stalls, i bought quite a lot again...
Benni then took me to Borobudor the next day which was really amazing. Apparently it used to be one of the 7 wonders of the world but has now been replaced.. It is still v impressive though!! We took a lot of photos!!

From Solo I went on to visit Magelang briefly and then Pekalongan. Pekalongan is on the north coast of Java and was so hot!! I'd got used to it being a bit cooler and the fact that it was mid thirties every day was not so compfy!! One of Pattiro's staff there has set up a radio station in his home and one evening i stayed with him and one of his journalist friends who interviewed me and then wrote an article on it in the paper the next day. Basically it was just for the novelty value of having a 'bule' (white person) there. The radio station was quite impressive, just a computer and some cds really and it broadcasts for about 18 hours a day and has about 10,000 listeners.

Getting to visit lots of Java has been really good and especially to see it by staying in diffferent family's homes. It was really interesting, probably even more so because it was Ramadhan and a big month i the Muslim calender. I was looked after so well everywhere. Although I was kind of ready to come back to Jakarta after three weeks spent moving from place to place.
I just returned to Jakarta for a week though and then it has been a holiday for 2 weeks beacuse of Idul Fitri and the end of Ramadhan, I will write about that little trip separately now..


Additional photos below
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having dinner with Andi and Latri at a road side cafehaving dinner with Andi and Latri at a road side cafe
having dinner with Andi and Latri at a road side cafe

Eating nasi kucing (cat rice) called it beacuse its just a snack like the left overs they'd feed to the cat!
meeting with some becak driversmeeting with some becak drivers
meeting with some becak drivers

becak - the bike taxis
Yaki took me to visit a musilm group so they could practice their EnglishYaki took me to visit a musilm group so they could practice their English
Yaki took me to visit a musilm group so they could practice their English

they were a bit shy and just wanted a photos though..

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